In This Issue
From the Director
I was no older than ten when I first came to America. It was a family trip and we visited New York City, Washington, D.C., and some cities in Florida. I remember the skyscrapers in Manhattan, those long cars called limos, the Spanish spoken in the streets, and the heat shock in Miami when we exited the airport. All were bigger, faster, more charged with energy and, even though I lived in Madrid, I felt like someone from a remote village who, for the first time, had come to a big city.
America still lives in the minds of Spaniards as the land of adventure and opportunity, the place where strong will and hard work are a path to make one's dreams come true. After frequent visits as student, I came to America to work in 2004 and stayed. Many things have happened since then, some were foreign to my culture that I did not, at the time, understand well, but now looking back all make perfect sense. This adventurous path will hit a milestone later this month when I will become a citizen. It is exciting and an honor to be an American. America has given me both extraordinary family and professional opportunities. I feel welcome and part of a community, and I am grateful to all my fellow Americans for accepting me into this country.
Like me, many immigrants in the past have become citizens, reminding me of a quote from President John F. Kennedy: "Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life." Just by walking in the DIA galleries, one can hear President Kennedy's statement and visualize the accomplishments of generous collectors and native-born artists as well as those who came from all over the world and settled here. It is our responsibility to continue telling the stories of all the people of America. The museum is committed to this, and the variety of exhibitions and programs coming up shows our interest in broadening our knowledge, representing all our communities, and embracing our past, present and future. The exhibitions that opened this summer, Art of Rebellion: Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement and D-Cyphered: Portraits by Jenny Risher, touch upon the 1967 Detroit rebellion and civil unrest of 1967 around the country and bring music and art closer together in our galleries, respectively. In the fall, we will open shows presenting the creativity of different continents--Europe, North America, and Asia--with remarkable paintings by Claude Monet and Frederic Church, ofrenda altars celebrating the Day of the Dead created by local artists, and the finest-crafted objects installed in our new Japan gallery. We continue to strengthen the fabric of our society, made with colorful threads of different thicknesses and textures, with the hope of bettering this country called America--my country.

Salvador Salort-Pons 
Detroit Institute of Arts

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D-Cyphered: Portraits by Jenny Risher
August 4-February 18, 2018
Albert and Peggy de Salle Gallery of Photography

Explore the musical history and long legacy of Detroit's hip-hop music scene through the eighty color photographs by Detroiter Jenny Risher capturing the genre's most groundbreaking and notorious performers. The title "D-Cyphered" is a play on the mainstream meaning "to decipher/to decode" and "cypher," the hip-hop term used to describe a cycle of competitive freestyle rap.
Among the pioneers and trailblazers featured are   Awesome Dre and the Hardcore Committee, Prince Vince and the producers, artists, and management from World One Records photographed in Detroit's historic Ford Piquette Avenue Plant, the site where some of the earliest cars were made and an appropriate place to pay tribute to Detroit's first hip-hop label.
One section shows many of the artists in their neighborhoods--the sites of their homes, schools, and places where they grew up, wrote lyrics, sampled, cyphered, battled, and formed solidarity and rivalries with others who were part of the scene. Many of Detroit's most well-known emcees, rappers, and hype men are also included, among them Mr. Porter, Eminem, Royce da 5' 9", Black Milk, Big Sean, and Danny Brown.
Click here for exhibition-related events.
This exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Support has been provided by Founders Junior Council of the DIA and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
Above: Sino, Fenkell St. and Birwood Ave., 2017; pigment print; Jenny Risher, American. Courtesy of the artist.

Art Of Rebellion:
Black Art of the Civil Rights Movement
Through October 22, 2017
Special Exhibition Gallery Central
Revolutionary , 1972, s creenprint;  Wadsworth Jarrell,
American. Detroit Institute of Arts. Gift of the Azzi/Lusenhop Black Arts Movement Collection
Most of the works in this exhibition were made by artists working in five collectives-- AfriCobra, Kamoinge, Spiral Collective, Weusi, and the Black Arts Movement--that created art for African American audiences, asserting black identity and advancing racial justice. Also included in the exhibition are works by artists who were not part of a collective and artists working in later decades who were inspired by art from the Civil Rights Movement.
"With the Civil Right Movement, this is really the first time that African-American artists get to assert their social and political concerns," exhibition curator Valerie Mercer told the Detroit Free Press. "From there on, it's somewhat of a recurring theme in their work. If it wasn't for some of these artists of the '60s and '70s, some of the African-American contemporary artists today wouldn't be doing the kind of work that they're doing."
She continued that these acts of rebellion were connected with the times. "A big part of the story for these artists was that the mainstream art world was not giving many opportunities to African-American artists, so at a point, these artists figured, we'll just do our own thing. They wanted to create art that was relevant and interesting to, and focused on, their own communities."
Two panel discussions with artists whose works are in the exhibition have been scheduled on August 25. From 10 a.m. to noon, Detroit artists Allie McGhee, Rita Dickerson, Tylonn Sawyer, and Sydney James discuss their art, the Detroit art scene for African American artists from the 1960s to the present, and issues surrounding the idea of African American art as being inherently political.

From 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., members of artists' collectives established in the 1960s to combat racial, social, and political injustices talk about the advantages of being a member of a collective. Artists Wadsworth Jarrell, Jae Jarrell, Anthony Barboza, and Ademola Olugebefola will discuss their art as members of AfriCOBRA, Kamoinge and Weusi respectively.
The exhibition is organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts in collaboration with Detroit's Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which organized a complementary exhibition, Say It Loud: Art, History, Rebellion. Both are part of a community-wide reflection on the Detroit rebellion of 1967 that involves about 100 local institutions led by the Detroit Historical Society. The DIA exhibition has been generously supported by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the Whitney Fund.

dftDetroit Film TheaTRE
The DFT gets into the hip-hop action this month with two films shown in conjunction with the exhibition D-Cyphered: Portraits by Jenny Risher: Dolemite and Wild Style. The films follow live events related to the exhibition on Friday and Saturday, August 4 and 5.
The late Rudy Ray Moore, a pioneering figure in comedy, music, and film, earned the unoffical title of "Godfather of Rap" for his rhyming storytelling. He made his big screen debut in Dolemite, a cult exploitation epic about the unjustly imprisoned pimp, Dolemite, who marshals his all-female "stable" of Kung Fu fighters to extract revenge from the gangster who set him up. Dolemite is recommended for adults because of violence, nudity, language, and jokes that still can't be told on TV.
Wild Style (right) was the first celluloid vision of hip-hop as a unified culture, linking graffiti, break dancing, DJing, and freestyling, culminating in one of the greatest hip-hop parties in history. The film chronicles the influential South Bronx youth culture of the era before it became globally known and presents important hip-hop personalities in their milieu before they went on to reap national success.
Back by popular demand for one more screening is Kedi (lower right), the film about the hundreds of thousands of cats that have roamed through Istanbul freely for centuries, gliding in and out of people's lives, affecting them in ways only an animal that straddles the worlds of the wild and the tamed possibly can. The film plays Sunday, August 6, at 4 p.m.
Also showing this month is Harold and Lillian, a behind-the-scenes documentary on the lives of Harold and Lillian Michelson, a storyboard artist and film researcher respectively, who worked largely uncredited in the Hollywood system but left an indelible mark on classics by Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, Billy Wilder, Mike Nichols and many more.
Coming the weekend September 2 is Moka, a tense new revenge thriller infused with shades of Patricia Highsmith and Alfred Hitchcock. Diane is obsessed with tracking down the owner of the mocha-colored Mercedes believed to be the cause of a deadly hit-and-run. On the shores of Lake Geneva, she finds the car as well as the woman who's putting it up for sale.
For more DFT information, including dates and times, or to purchase tickets, click here.
Presented by
AwesomeAwesome Fun
A family hip-hop festival, a weekend of dance, and an outdoor puppet show of a beloved Rudyard Kipling tale are on the Detroit Institute of Awesome's August schedule.
Spend the afternoons of Saturday and Sunday, August 5 and 6, on the DIA's lawn immersed in the three elements of hip-hop: graffiti art, dance, and beats in conjunction with the exhibition D-Cyphered: Portraits by Jenny Risher. Two graffiti artists create a work on the spot, then participants can create their own piece of aerosol art. Learn new breakdance skills (or show off your well-honed ones) with a live DJ in a showcase of hip-hop moves. Anyone wanting to learn various hip-hop dance styles can take a crash course in a workshop. DJs will also hold small workshops on beat production throughout the day.
If you were a hip-hop artist, what would the cover of your album art look like? Gather inspiration from the D-Cyphered exhibition, then bring your vision of yourself as a recording artist to life using a variety of art-making materials to create a CD cover. Musical-themed art making workshops are offered Tuesday, August 15, through Sunday, August 20.
It's not exactly dancing in the streets, but there's dancing on the Woodward Plaza and in Rivera Court when the Detroit Dance City Festival comes to the DIA. For the family night owls there's Friday Funk Night in front of the museum on August 18 starting at 9 p.m. The evening features some of Detroit's best dance crews and performers for a celebration of music and dance. During the day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 18, 19, and 20 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., there's dancers, musicians, and performers in Rivera Court.
Bring blankets, chairs, and snacks to enjoy an afternoon on the DIA's lawn watching a puppet adaptation of Kipling's short story " Riki Tikki Tavi," about a mongoose that protects a British family from a venomous cobra in turn-of-the-century India.  Jesse Mooney-Bullock uses hand puppets, rod puppets, and masks within a lush landscape of leaves, trees, and original music for two performances on Saturday, August 27. Between shows, Mooney-Bullock leads families in in a paper puppet workshop.
Every DIA Awesome weekend includes family-friendly guided tours, art-making workshops, gallery art games, and on Sundays, drawing in the galleries. Activities are free with museum admission, except for Animation Club screenings, which are free for members and $5 for the general public.
All Things Hip HopAll Things Hip-Hop
The DIA is really hopping this month with activities related to the exhibition D-Cyphered: Portraits by Jenny Risher, from a live rap battle to lively conversation, to a funky dance party.
Detroit hip-hop artists engage in a cypher battle, a cycle of competitive freestyle rap, with instrumental accompaniment by Burnt Sugar Arkesta on Friday, August 4, at 7 p.m in the DFT auditorium.
The following evening, also at 7 p.m., Greg Tate (right), a former staff writer for the Village Voice known as one of the "Godfathers of hip-hop journalism," enters into a conversation with Piper Carter, founder of the Foundation of Women in Hip Hop, and Bryce Detroit, music producer and founder of Detroit Recordings, on current hip-hop culture. Both events, in the DFT auditorium, are free with museum admission, but the two DFT hip-hop films that follow are ticketed.
A Friday Night Funk Party on Friday, August 18, celebrates dance, funk, art, and hip-hop beginning at 9 p.m.. Crews and dance groups will be performing throughout the night, in addition to open opportunities to freestyle on the dance floor. Featured performance is by Global Pungmul Institute.
Click here for exhibition-related events for kids.
News and Notes
Call for Ofrendas
The Detroit Institute of Arts, in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate of Detroit, extends an open call for proposals for ofrendas, or offerings, honoring the life and memory of lost loved ones, for the museum's  Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) exhibition. The altars are traditionally created by collecting and incorporating objects meaningful to the deceased, such as favorite foods, drinks, mementos and pictures, into elaborate displays with pan de muerto (bread of the dead), sugar skulls, candles, flowers, papel picado (paper cutouts) and other decorations.
Proposals are due by end of business day Friday, Aug. 11, and will be reviewed by a selection committee of DIA staff and local community members of Mexican heritage. Selected artists will be contacted by Friday, Aug. 25. A $300 stipend will be given to artists of selected ofrendas. For more information and to submit a proposal, visit
Explore the outdoors in the DIA Shop with items featuring the work of Charley Harper, an American painter of wildlife and nature who captured the essence of his subjects in a style he called minimal realism. Harper's work is a departure from more detailed illustrations of wildlife such as those by John James Audubon or Martin Johnson Heade. Sought by art collectors, his designs can be enjoyed through an assortment of goods, including gift tiles by Ann Arbor based Motawi Tileworks, as well as calendars, books and other decorative items.
Located near the Farnsworth entrance, the DIA Shop is open thirty minutes beyond regular museum hours. Of course, you can shop online anytime. Members save 10 percent on purchases both in the shop and online.
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