Black Detroit 21: A Work:Detroit Exhibition

04 January 2013
Black Detroit 21: A Work:Detroit Exhibition

In partnership with the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design, the University of Michigan Detroit Center presents the Work: Detroit gallery exhibition, Black Detroit 21. Curated by Odie Rynell Cash, Black Detroit 21 addresses social concerns within Detroit's African American community by exploring the topics of identity, territory, protest, sexuality and transition. This exhibition kicks off with an opening reception on Friday, January 11, 2013 from 6 – 9p.m. The opening night performance and discussion features:

  • 7:00 p.m. - 4TheatrSake; 25 minute performance of selections from Cell/$hips.
  • 7:30 p.m. - Artists and Curator Discussion: Black Detroit 21; Moderator: Odie Rynell Cash, Curator
    Over the course of the last five months the artists and curator from the exhibition have held discussions both in person and via the Internet around the topics presented in "Black Detroit 21". This final discussion will focus on the exhibition theme in relation to art and the Detroit community. A brief question and answer period with the audience will follow the discussion.
  • 8:30 p.m. - Satori Circus - Performance
    "Oh Happy Day Trilogy" (part one)
    According to the artists, the goal of this performance is to “make us ourselves...soul searching/identity - its loss and in search of it...and what is gained in doing so...entertainment/education/observation/simulation/and the hybrid that comes out of those. Thereby, the audience walks away questioning...the artist, themselves, the world we've woven around us.”

With a Black population of more than 80-percent, Detroit's African American community plays a significant role in this city's cultural identity and economic future. As Detroit moves through the 21st century, what role will the African Americans play in Detroit's development in the community? How will this population define itself in the new century while dealing with various issues that impacts growth, development and cultural enrichment in the city? The exhibition Black Detroit 21 addresses social concerns within Detroit's African American community by exploring the topics of identity, territory, protest, sexuality and transition. The 11 artists in this show are from a multitude of social, personal and generational backgrounds, finding a common theme in their work, which documents and/or is influenced by Detroit's African American community. The installation of the artists work in Black Detroit 21 presents a visual context to create a dialogue around these topics.

Black Detroit 21 is curated by Odie Rynell Cash, an internationally active independent curator, arts program organizer and artist living between Detroit, Michigan and Antwerp, Belgium. Cash is recognized for his wide range of artistic practices and concerns; with the significance of avant-garde ideas and experimental mediums/media that address contemporary social and urban society.

He studied a Liberal Education curriculum at Columbia College Chicago. He has an extensive and varied background, having curated and exhibited artworks in more than nine countries, including projects in Antwerp, Manila, Rotterdam, Paris and Toronto. Cash was the recipient of a 2007 Flemish Minister of Culture Travel Grant for research on performance theory. He has been invited by the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria to curate a group exhibition that is anticipated to open in the Fall of 2014.

The exhibition concludes on March 22; with event performances on February 7, February 20, March 8, March 12 and March 22 (cancelled). For more information about Black Detroit 21 events and artists, visit:

For press inquiries, contact: or (313) 593-3584.

The exhibition may be accessed between 11 a.m.– 4 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday. Work Detroit is located at the University of Michigan Detroit Center at Orchestra Place, 3663 Woodward Avenue, Suite 150 in Midtown Detroit. Parking is available for exhibition guests in the structure behind Orchestra Place.