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Cardiovista: Detroit Street Photography

Cardiovista: Detroit Street Photography presents ten photo-essays by local photographers Brian Day, Carlos Diaz, Bruce Harkness, and Tom Stoye. The series, shot over the past five decades, focuses on the photographers' journeys across diverse neighborhoods, from midtown to downtown, from Hamtramck's Poletown to Southwest Detroit's Mexicantown.

Each photographer captures the heartbeat of Detroit through case studies that turn a critical, multi-faceted lens on the Motor City's complex urban and cultural history, and he examines how those histories can impact, sometimes devastatingly, its communities. Their cameras allow us to bear witness to microcosmic realities otherwise unseen or overlooked.

Street photography has proliferated in Detroit and other urban centers since the 1950s. This genre is tied to architectural photography and also to photojournalism in its socially-conscious, often labor-related subject matter. In Cardiovista, the photographers document the city's bodies, buildings, and boulevards in ways that penetrate all façades, revealing that the public and the private, labor and leisure, present two sides of the same coin-urban everydayness. Day, Diaz, Harkness, and Stoye operate in the manner of archivists, anthropologists, social critics, and painters, and their photo-essays communicate four respective, yet collective, views of Motown's story.

The photographers-Brian Day, Carlos Diaz, Bruce Harkness, and Tom Stoye-will be present at the opening reception, which is free and open to the public. A 178-page catalog featuring images in the exhibition and also additional photographs in the series, together with texts on the photo-essays, will be available for purchase on opening night. The book is on sale at the Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstore.

Cardiovista: Detroit Street Photography is curated and organized by Nadja Rottner, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Michigan-Dearborn, together with students enrolled in the Art History Museum Studies Seminar 2014.

A short preview of the exhibition and more information on the catalogue is available on the UM-Dearborn Fine Arts Facebook site.

Featured University Art Collection Piece

Featured collection glass artwork

Taketori Tale, Kyohei Fujita (b. 1921), n.d., Mold blown glass with gold and silver foil inclusions
Gift of Richard and Louise Abrahams, Collection of UM-Dearborn (Adp39), Photograph by Kip Kriigel

World renowned artist Kyohei Fujita was born in Japan in 1921. He is known as the father of Japanese studio glass. Many of his works, including this one, were inspired by early Japanese boxes that were richly decorated with lacquerwork and mother-of-pearl inlays, and traditionally used to store Buddhist writings, jewelry, inkstones and brushes. Fujita's celebrated ornamental glass boxes revive conventional Japanese aesthetics in a contemporary form. This breathtaking piece was mold blown with gold and silver foil inclusions. Whenever asked by collectors what to keep in the boxes, the artist usually stated "You should put your dreams in them."

---Laura Cotton, Art Curator and Gallery Manager

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  • Stamelos Gallery Center
  • 1st Floor, Mardigian Library, UM-Dearborn
  • 4901 Evergreen Road, Dearborn, MI 48128
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