Friday, November 1st brought the opening of “Working Title” at Alley Culture, and surely there has never been a cozier or more welcoming experimental gallery space. It takes the brave of heart to wander down alleys in Woodbridge, but on Fridays and Saturdays from 3-6 p.m., you can find Alley Culture tucked in between Trumbull and Lincoln, in a red building on the alley south of Willis.
The impetus for the “Working Title” show came out of a the Alley Culture project, a rebuild of a 1926 garage into a gallery space, crewed by Matthew Hanna, Dennis Teichman, and Michael Mikolowski. These three “worker artists” were then asked to curate a show in the space, and each of them invited one of the artists currently on display.
Teichman’s choice is 2739 Edwin’s own Steve Panton, taking a rare moment to put his own work on display. The southern wall of the gallery is dominated by a low shelf featuring an astonishing assortment of metal detritus, each piece collected one at a time on Panton’s numerous walks along the railroad tracks. To supplement this astonishing array of shapes, which seem deeply purposeful yet jarringly meaningless to all but the most archaic of locomotive engineers, Panton provides a history of train culture, set out on typed index cards, giving his installation the appropriate feel of cultural anthropology.
Mikolowski invited Christopher Anderson to show some of his exquisitely layered paintings. From hurricanes of colorful grit to grids of melted votive candles, Anderson’s work is a textural spree, catnip for surface-philes like myself.
James Collins is the third artist on display, invited by Hanna to display three of his process-dictated paintings (which sadly did not translate well photographically. Mea culpa). Aside from Alley Culture’s regular hours, Panton will offer further background into his work in the exhibition on Sunday, November 17th at 7 p.m., before introducing historian Martin Hershock (author of “The Paradox of Progress”) to discuss his view on the impact of the arrival of the railroad. Following the talk, there will be a screening of “Who is Bozo Texino?” by photographer and filmmaker Bill Daniel.
A Night Out With the Trains: November 17, 7-8:30 p.m. Free. At Alley Culture (alley between Tumbull & Lincoln, red building south of Willis), Detroit. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.