Friday, July 8, 2011

Opening of The Alley Project (TAP)

Neighborhood members, kids, local service providers and artists will debut The Alley Project (TAP) Gallery, a permanent outdoor exhibition space dedicated to aerosol street art, on July 4 in Southwest Detroit.

The alley, which is located between the streets of Avis, Falcon, Elsemere and Woodmere, is now covered in murals, crafted by local artists and youth alike. Through a partnership with a Master's of Architecture class headed by Will Wittig at University of Detroit-Mercy, neighborhood kids worked to transform a residential garage into studio art space and gallery, dubbed Studio Luevanos. Two abandoned lots adjacent to the alley were purchased and cleaned. They now host outdoor modular canvasses, reconstructed patio furniture and a bicycle rack (built by an area bike club and metal artist from 555 Gallery with locally salvaged materials).

Erik Howard is the director of Young Nation, a Southwest youth and community development nonprofit. For the past year, he's coordinated efforts to bring TAP Gallery to fruition. It was funded in 2010 through Community + Public Art Detroit (CPAD), a partnership between the Skillman Foundation and College for Creative Studies (also underwritten by the Kresge and Chase foundations). Howard emphasizes that, beyond the art, TAP Gallery's mission was to create a participatory project for the community and its stakeholders.