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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 26 September, 2011 8:21 PM

Detroit Design Festival: Art, Fashion and Design Shine in Mid-town

Quicken Loans and Fathead Partner with dc3

Photo by Lars Hjelmroth, Rolco Sports Network

Great Detroit ambassador


by Raymond Rolak Web Team



DETROIT -- “It’s great to have companies in our own backyard who understand the important role creative people play in the future of Detroit’s rebirth,” said Matt Clayson, director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center. Clayson was referring to the marketing partnerships incorporated for the first Detroit Design Festival. Presented by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and Quicken Loans, over 80 events and kick-offs were scheduled.

“This is a great opportunity for young, energetic, creative people to get involved,” said Quicken Loans exec Mark Acchione. He was referring to the fast paced fashion show taking place on the New Center Park stage platform. The lights, sounds and visuals made for a pleasing high-tech performance. This was at the kickoff event for the Detroit Design Festival.

The Quicken Loans’ sponsorship of DDF allowed mini-grants for local designers and creative professionals. A sister company of Quicken Loans, Fathead, LLC, also supported the Detroit Design Festival. The Fathead decorative decal, created by dc3- Ventures was placed on the sidewalks in front of the sites hosting ‘design happenings.’ The presenters wanted to foster networking and show the commercial possibilities in the Detroit Creative Corridor and the Wayne State Tech-Town both near the New Center areas.

One of the most innovative scenes was at the old Dagleish Cadillac building on Woodward Avenue. Just in time for a Halloween warm-up there was a creature-feature walk. Now called the Quark Gallery at 6161 Woodward Avenue, there were animal costumed characters mingling in the parking lot. It was imaginative, inter-active and very popular. Titled “D’s Creatures,” it combined many inventive genres of art, just what the DDF was hoping for.

CCS art instructor William Tyrrell put together a cast of artists to make and perform in oversized and structural animal outfits. Tilted D’s Creatures, Tyrrell had the help of glass artist Matt Catt. Catt, also a CCS instructor said, “We worked all night to get this ready and it has been a labor of creative teamwork.” Tyrrell’s passion and networking got others to join the cast of art ambassadors including John Rizzo, Manal Kadry, Sean Hages, Anita Bates and Ayaka Hibino. Also lending their efforts were artists William Menzo, Katie Bramlage and Marko Pavlovski.

Tyrrell, who is accomplished in many industrial art mediums also, incorporated a fashion show as part of the presentation, choreographed by Fotoula Lambros. “We had a team working to make the runway and it turned out major league,” he added. The welding and construction surrounding the runway and surrounding displays drew much attention. D’s Creatures as an exhibit was growing and morphing. It was participation art, and had an urban-chic involvement.

Another design event that drew a crowd was the aviation collaboration presented by Detroit Aircraft Company. Television newscaster Bill Proctor emceed a panel to hype future design challenges in aerospace. Titled “Detroit, Where is My Flying Car?” the event was a showcase for the economic potential possibilities at Detroit City Airport and the projected future of air travel. There were avionic displays and futuristic auto-air illustrations. The highlight was the networking of the aviation design challenge for student teams.

The creative art and aviation story-boards from the collegiate teams were worth the look. Attendee and eastside Detroit ambassador, Janina Parrott-Jacobs, was highly impressed, “Look at this energy; this is so great for Detroit.”

Two art locations that stood out were the Red Door Gallery and the Quark Gallery on Woodward Avenue. The first had an impressive display from native Detroiter Cedric Poole and the later had a one women show by Suzanne Paridee, titled “Second Life.”

The Henry Ford Museum offered an outdoor video presentation of famous design icons, Carroll Shelby, William McDonough, Toshiko Mori and Don Chadwick. Another home-run was the “Eat-Sleep-Draw” presentation at the Red Door Gallery at 7500 Oakland Street. The platform and journey of starving artists who simply eat, sleep and draw every day of their lives was highlighted.

The weekend presentation at the WSU Hilberry Theater will continue in repertory. The production of “A Day in Hollywood-A Night in the Ukraine is riotous.” It has songs, humor and the usual cast of zany characters. The costumes alone are worthy for viewing attendance, it is a visual time machine.
An interesting new concept is that of the ‘pop-up galleries.’ These are design and retail centers where an individual artist and designer can rent space by the month. Detroit’s 71-Artists Lofts Building, had a presentation with emerging new designers. (Located at 71 Garfield Street off of Woodward between Forest and Canfield.)

For more information on the Detroit Design Festival, visit


Detroit Design Festival logo




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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.