Denyse Couture of Clarkston Cultural Arts and Jillian Reese of DIA help install Inside/Out artwork on Main Street. Photo by Phil Custodio
BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
Artwork came to town last Friday, as Clarkston Cultural Arts Council and Detroit Institute of Arts installed the Inside/Out exhibits.
“We hope to create awareness and get the community excited about an artful presence in the community,” said Denyse Couture of Clarkston Cultural Arts, who brought the DIA program to town. “We need people to talk about the arts and support the arts anyway they can. We can only do this with community support.”
The Inside/Out exhibit includes 11 reproductions of artwork from the Detroit Institute of Arts in Clarkston and Independence Township, including two at Main and Washington, and pieces at Main and Waldon, McLaren Healing Garden on Sashabaw Road, Independence Township hall, Clarkston Independence District Library, and Brady Lodge.
In the Clarkston News parking lot at Main and Washington is a print of the 2002 artwork “Movement #27” by Kwesi Owusu-Ankoman of Ghana.
“He uses traditional African art for inspiration for contemporary pieces,” said Jillian Reese, community program manager for DIA.
The artist places African Adinkra patterns of symbols representing ideas and wise sayings, like a double crocodile, which symbolizes unity, alongside symbols used all over the world, like a traffic arrow, to create his own language of expression, Reese said.
“We’ve been doing this for eight years, since 2010 – 2015 was the last time we were in Clarkston,” she said. “We’re very thankful to supporters of the tricounty millage to support the museum. There’s a real need for us to be in the communities like Clarkston, which is an hour from the museum. It supports the mission and is good for small arts councils.”
Clarkston Cultural Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit group run entirely by volunteers, and in need of community support.
“The board is second to none, very tenacious and persistent, (but) we need gas to drive, we’ve been running on fumes,” Couture said.
The DIA will do whatever it can to help, Reese said.
“It’s only good for us to help regain a key quality of life component,” she said. “We’re really excited about it.”
The arts council hosts a DIA Inside/Out Reception from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at The Gateway on M-15.
Inside/Out artwork will stay up through the end of October, Couture said. Check Clarkstonarts.org and DIA.org/insideout for more information.