The Carr Center announces the opening of an exciting new addition to the Detroit art scene – a multipurpose art space located inside The Park Shelton (15 Kirby St, Detroit).  It is called the Carr Center Contemporary and the space will include both a gallery and performance studio. 

The Carr Center Contemporary’s Gallery will celebrate its Grand Opening on October 19th at 7 p.m. The gallery has been designed to recognize and celebrate the perspectives, creativity and accomplishments of African American artists. The inaugural art exhibit for the gallery is titled “Beyond Space”and  will explore the concept of space and spaces, investigating multiple themes, including architecture, technology, memory and queering.

Curated by Carr Center Resident Artist, Carrie Mae Weems, a McArthur Genius Fellow revered for her visually complex work in photography and video, “Beyond Space” will include Weem’s work, the work of renown Detroit artists Carol Harris and David Philpot, as well as participants in the Carr Center’s 2019 Independent Scholars Program.  

The Carr Center’s Independent Scholars Program Fellowship (ISF) is a 12-month fellowship and professional development program that provides one-of-a-kind mentorship and experiences for a select group of early-career artists from around the nation.  The “Beyond Space” exhibition is their final activity in a year, which also included being the only group of American artists to exhibit at the Havana Biennial.  

 Erin Faulker, the curator and senior creative director of the Carr Center, describes the ISF artists’ experiences as “vital, dynamic, and unparalleled.”

“As a group, the scholars discovered that their individual practices circled questions about liberation and entrapment from and within spaces, finding a place to reside, and what home means,” she said.

The grand opening of the Carr Center Contemporary’s Gallery and the opening night reception will immediately follow the first Converge Detroit Symposium, a Carr Center hosted event that will be held earlier in the day at the Detroit School of Arts. Fourteen invited artists and scholars will present their work at the day-long symposium, exploring the theme “Beyond Space: Unbounded Theory and Practice.” 

Featured among these fourteen scholars will be E. Patrick Johnson,  the Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and chair of African American Studies at Northwestern University, who both performs and has been published widely in the areas of race, gender and sexuality. Also presenting will be Adama Delphine Fawundu, a photographer and visual artist from Brooklyn who co-founded and independently published the sold-out book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora.

“The Grand Opening of this new space and reception celebrates a new era for the Carr Center,” said Oliver Ragsdale Jr., president of the Carr Center. “We want those who attend the symposium and/or come to the exhibit to have a stimulating experience and engage in conversations, fellowship and the excitement of the day… and the many days to come!”  

The Contemporary’s Performance Studio, set to open in early 2020, will be used for performances, rehearsals and creating new work. Currently scheduled programming includes a curated “Discovery” performance series introducing early-career artists and a new film series.

The Carr Center Contemporary was made possible with the support of the Kresge Foundation.

 For registration and/or tickets to the opening night artist reception, the symposium or both please visit – www.thecarrcenter.org


For inquiries, please contact Sarah Norat-Phillips at 248-979-6345 or sarah@thecarrcenter.org

Ticket Information

$25 Ticket includes entry to “Converge Detroit,” the symposium @ Detroit School of Arts, “Beyond Space” the exhibition and the opening reception following the exhibition @ the NEW Carr Center Gallery. 

$50 Ticket includes entry to “Converge Detroit,” the symposium @ Detroit School of Arts, “Beyond Space” the exhibition and the opening reception @ the NEW Carr Center Gallery, PLUS the inaugural event catalog.

$10 Exhibition and Gallery Opening Reception only @ the NEW Carr Center Gallery

About the Carr Center 

The Carr Center is a multi-disciplinary arts organization that leverages the essence of the African American cultural experience to inspire, entertain, challenge and educate. This was accomplished through three core programs:  the Carr Center Presents, the Carr Center Arts Academy and the Carr Center Artist Hub. The Carr Center Presents utilizes an array of local venues to bring national, regional and local performing and visual arts to metro-Detroit. The Carr Center Arts Academy offers multi-disciplinary arts education and training through in school classes, summer intensives and professional development programs for early career artists. The Carr Center Artist Hub provides support and space for community-based artists and arts organizations to do and/or create their work. We invite you to help support the work of the Carr Center. Subscribe to a season pass, donate and/or volunteer. 


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