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Canvas Detroit

Julie Pincus and Nichole Christianintroduction by Marion E. Jackson

Award Winner

Architecture, Art, Detroit, Photography

Published: November 2017
ISBN: 9780814344620
Pages: 292 Size: 8.5 x 10.5
Published: April 2014
ISBN: 9780814338803
Pages: 292 Size: EPUB
Book Images

The cascading histories, shining at one moment, crumbling the next. The vast prairie lands within the metropolis. . . . All of it an incitement to make art.

— Linda Yablonsky

Detroit’s unique and partly abandoned cityscape has scarred its image around the world for decades. But in the last several years journalists have begun to view the city through a different lens, focusing on the wide range of contemporary artists finding inspiration amid the emptiness and adding a more complex chapter to the story of a city long labeled as a haunting symbol of U.S. economic decline. In Canvas Detroit, Julie Pincus and Nichole Christian combine vibrant full-color photography of the city’s much-buzzed-about art scene with thoughtful narrative that explores the art and artists that are re-creating Detroit.

Canvas Detroit captures hundreds of pieces of artwork in many forms—including large-scale and small-scale murals, sculptures, portraits, light projections, wearable art, and installations (made with wood, glass, living plants, fiber, and fabric). Works are situated in both obvious and more hidden spaces, including on and in houses, garages, factories, alleyways, doors, and walls, while some structures have been entirely transformed into art. Pincus and Christian profile internationally known figures like Banksy, Matthew Barney, and Tyree Guyton; prominent Detroit artists such as Scott Hocking, Jerome Ferretti, and Robert Sestock; and collectives like Power House Productions, Hygenic Dress League, the Empowerment Plan, and Theatre Bizarre. Canvas Detroit also features contributions by Marion Jackson, John Gallagher, Michael H. Hodges, Rebecca R. Hart, and Linda Yablonsky that contextualize the current artistic moment in the city.

This beautifully designed and informative volume showcases the stunning breadth and depth of artwork currently being done in Detroit. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in arts and culture in the city.

Julie Pincus is an award-winning graphic designer specializing in brand identity and communications for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit arts organizations, and foundations. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan and her MFA from Yale University. Born and raised in metropolitan Detroit, Julie now lives in New York City with her husband. Nichole Christian is a writer and Detroit native who began her career as a staff member for some of the nation's top news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Detroit Free Press. Her work appears in the books Dear Dad: Reflections on Fatherhood and Portraits 9/11/01: The Collected "Portraits of Grief" from the New York Times. She holds a BA in journalism from Wayne State University's Journalism Institute for Media Diversity and lives in suburban Detroit with her husband and daughter.

Contributors Include:
John Gallagher, Rebecca Hart, Michael H. Hodges, Linda Yablonsky

Canvas Detroit is doing what we all know needs to be done for Detroit: taking its reputation of being dark and dangerous and countering that by displaying the energy, determination, generosity, and sheer talent of the artists who are flooding the city . . . Together, these authors have crafted a book which is a beautiful collection of artwork in many forms including murals, sculptures, portraits, light projections, wearable art and installations.

– Emily Pape, Real Detroit Weekly

Their book is looking more and more like a bestseller.

– The Examiner

An absolute "must-have" for twenty-first century artbook shelves!

– James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

A masterful achievement five years in the making, Canvas Detroit, conceived and designed by Julie Pincus and written by Nichole Christian captures rare moments in Detroit’s ever-changing landscape through portraits of artists who have tested the limits of the city’s wild and public spaces.

– My Jewish Detroit, My Jewish Detroit

The Detroit 'Canvas' includes 'large-scale and small-scale murals, sculptures,portraits, light projections, wearable art,' and various installations, some "on and inhouses, garages, factories, alleyways, doors, and walls." Collectively, said Pincus, they offer a somewhat abstract message that Detroit is indeed alive and well – at least from an artistic sense.
Pincus, of course, deserves credit for helping convey that fact. The book, which offers a riveting and inspiring look at the creators of street art, is a testament to her own ingenuity and determination, of her desire and willingness to tell a story that begged to be told.

– Tom Kirvan, Detroit Legal News

You don't often get a book to review that makes you drop everything and simply say, 'Wow.' But Canvas Detroit almost made me miss this magazine's June deadline because I kept picking it up. Julie Pincus and Nichole Christian take an amazing journey across Detroit's thriving art scene. . . But it's much more than a picture book, rounded out with artist profiles and contributions from John Gallagher, Rebecca Hart, Linda Yablonsky, and others who cover the art and architecture beat in Detroit and Beyond. This is a coffee-table-worthy book that has substance to keep you coming back for more.

– Steve Wilke, Hour Detroit

Canvas Detroit could have easily just have been a photo book of Detroit street art. Instead, designer Julie Pincus and author Nichole Christian were determined to tell the stories of the people behind the art, as well as their individual motives. The temporal nature of street art is why a book like Canvas Detroit is so important. It’s also important to
catalog these artists because many of them seem more concerned with unleashing their own artistic bug than with promoting their work.

– Lee DeVito, Metro Times

Lavishly illustrated with 450 photos, the nearly 300-page book profiles dozens of artists and was written by Julie Pincus and Nichole Christian, with additional essays by others, including Free Press reporter John Gallagher.

– Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press

The sheer size, the breadth of this place. . . . The cascading histories, shining at one moment, crumbling the next. The vast prairie lands within the metropolis. The freeways that divided neighborhoods where people lived and also no longer did. And the fist of Joe Louis—enormous! All of it an incitement to make art.

– Linda Yablonsky

  • 2014 Foreword INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award - Result: Bronze Medal Winner in the category of Art
  • 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award - Result: Tied for Gold Medal in Great Lakes Best Regional Non-Fiction
  • 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Awards - Result: Short Listed for the Eric Hoffer Awards Grand Prize
  • 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Awards - Result: First Runner-Up in the category of Art
  • 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award - Result: Winner in the Coffee Table/Photography Books category
  • 2015 Midwest Book Awards - Result: Winner in the Arts category