Thursday, May 19, 2011

Detroit's College for Creative Studies Student Exhibition - it's FUN, CREATIVE & FREE - ENDS 5/27

"Rose Glasses" Fresco by Carina Aquino
Detroit is filled with design and creativity...

On Friday, May 13th, I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception for the College of Creative Studies Student Exhibition.  The exhibition is located at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education in the New Center area of Detroit.

This exhibition features art designs from graduating seniors and underclassmen in each of the college's degree programs. This exhibition is huge in terms of sheer volume of work and space in that it is displayed across 4 floors of the Taubman Center.

During the evening, I saw some wonderful art and met some instructors and parents that are were proud and overjoyed at the work that the students created. 

CCS instructor Sally Erickson Wilson
Instructors who keep it all in the the Family
The Taubman building is so huge that I had no idea where to start my art journey. So I was very happy when College of Creative Studies instructor Sally Erickson Wilson came up and introduced herself.  Sally has been teaching History of Modern Design, Portfolio Presentation, and Transportation Design at the college for 6 years.  Design is a family affair for Sally since she is married to Larry Erickson, the College of Creative Studies department chair for Transportation Design.

It's all about the Kids
Sally and Eric both were all smiles as they chatted with me about their students and their love of design.  They also told me how much they love teaching in metro Detroit where there is a vast amount of design resources including the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) and The Henry Ford.  When I asked them what they liked about teaching, they both were in sync when they told me it was a pleasure to work with such talented and focused students.

Leather Car Seat & Luggage designed by Joseph Lombardi
Sally told me that I had to checkout the exhibit on the 11th floor of one of her students in Transportation Design.  She then beamed with pride as she told me about student Joe Lombardi's creation of a beautiful leather car seat and handmade luggage that would put Louis Vuittion to shame. I could not believe that a college student had designed and crafted these pieces. The photos above do not do the pieces justice.

 Shariah Butler and the Najjar Family 
Design is a Family Affair
I also met a very proud Mother, Father, and Aunt to two students enrolled at the College of Creative Studies.  Mary Najjar (photo center) is an instructor in the Continuing Education department and also the mom of photography senior Christian Najjar (right of Mary) and illustration junior Jabriel Najjar (left of Mary).  Her third child, pre-college designer Naheela Najjar, has an original dress design on display that was also shown in a photograph taken by sibling Christian.  I had noticed Christian's photography as I was browsing and it was great to meet the artist and her entire family.

Photo is part of a 3 piece set by Christian Najjar
Mary told me that she and her husband home schooled their three children and she is elated that each of her children are displaying pieces at the exhibition. According to Mary, design just seems to be in her kids' DNA. Mary's sister Shariah Butler was equally vocal in her admiration for her nieces and nephew, telling me "I love these kids!"

Shelly in Morning Glory - Marble & Bronze Casting by Alan D. Brown
"Beautiful" - Inkjet Print by Ginni Reiter
Student Andrew Langlois encouraged people to write on his art
I had a wonderful and educational time at the College of Creative Students Student Exhibition.  The exhibition is FREE and open for public viewing until May 27th and many of the design pieces are available for purchase if you see something that you love.

College for Creative Studies Student Exhibition
A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education
406 West Baltimore, Detroit
Public Viewing until May 27, 2011
Saturday - Wednesday 10am - 4pm
Thursday and Friday 10am - 8pm


Disclosure: I received media passes to attend this opening night event.

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