A pathbreaking DIA exhibit opening Tuesday gathers five dozen privately collected paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, collages and photographs by African Americans.
The 16-week show, "Detroit Collects: Selections of African American Art from Private Collections," spans varied subjects, styles, influences, techniques and eras. No tickets or extra fee are required.
One goal of showcasing items from 19 local collections is "to teach people about African American art," curator Valerie J. Mercer says in the Free Press. Another is "to highlight the collectors," she adds.
"I wanted people to realize that collecting African-American art is very doable in hopes of encouraging people about collecting. . . .
"These collectors are in your communities. They could be your lawyer, your doctor, your dentist, your neighbor."
Freelance journalist Ryan Patrick Hooper notes that Mercer, at the DIA since 2001, now heads its Center for African-American Art — the first curatorial department of its type at a U.S. museum.
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"Detroit Collects" is a tribute not only to the artists featured, Hooper notes in the Freep, but also to "collectors throughout metro Detroit who valued African-American art before its relatively recent rise in popularity for institutions and collectors."
DIA photos below show nine more of the 60 works on exhibit through the first Sunday of March.