Like for most of us, this holiday season has been very different. In my case, it is the first time in 50 years that I have not been able to be with my family in Spain. We are a large Mediterranean family, and the last week of December is the only time of the year when we all get together.
Looking back over 2020, it is hard to describe the emotions that we have all felt in Detroit, nationally, and internationally. As the pandemic has advanced, sharply highlighting the inequalities of our society, we have changed the way we used to live.
Over the last few weeks, our team has been very busy and focused on installing the exhibition that we will open on November 15, "Detroit Style: Car Design in the Motor City, 1950–2020." Keeping socially distanced and wearing a facemask, I have seen the 12 cars, designed and made in Detroit, come into the building and maneuvered into the galleries.
Over the last couple of days Tony Drake, DIA volunteer manager, has shared with me a number of images showing many of our volunteers as DIA visitors enjoying our galleries. During the last months, I have seen Tony walking around the museum with his camera taking pictures of our staff on-site to keep us engaged and upbeat during these challenging times.
The DIA’s Lake Orion Partners in Public Art (PIPA) project is officially taking shape! This mural is a partnership between the Village of Lake Orion, their Downtown Development Authority, Orion Art Center, and J.S. Capitol Group.
A couple of weeks ago my wife, Alex, drove our daughter Piper to New York City, where she is starting college this week. While they were traveling, I spent a good amount of time thinking about the current year, the upcoming one, and the opportunities we have ahead of us. With the school year just started, one looks back at 2020 and has the impression that much of the time was devoted to managing a world health crisis and how we have adapted to it.
Over the past few months, important discussions in our country have expanded to include the cultural sector overall and art institutions in particular. The DIA has recently become part of this conversation – a conversation that I welcome and encourage. The role of the arts -- the role of the DIA – and its impact on social issues is a topic on which we have focused much energy, time and thought over the past several years and one that deserves even more of our attention in the future.
The DIA has partnered with CARE of Southeast Michigan for several years as part of its Community Group Program, experiencing art in the galleries and making their own art projects both at the museum and CARE’s facilities in Fraser.
This Friday, July 10, we will reopen the DIA for our members and tri-county residents and on July 15 to the general public. We wanted to do it this way to signal how grateful we are to Macomb, Wayne and Oakland counties for their recent millage renewal on March 10.