December 19, 2019 (Detroit)—This February, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) celebrates Black history and culture with activities of all ages in celebration of Black History Month, as well as other fun activities, such as the popular CatVideoFest at the Detroit Film Theatre, puppet performances, live music and more.  

On February 8, the DIA welcomes two Guests of Honor, Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí, both surrealist painters whose art channels the unconscious. In addition, a companion show of “Bruegel’s The Wedding Dance” opens February 15, titled “From Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Prints and Drawings from 1550 to 1700.” This exhibition features the sketches, prints and reference works from Dutch and Flemish masters of the 16th and 17th centuries.

General admission is always free for residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

The DIA thanks its sponsors for the following programs: Friday Night Live! is supported by the DTE Energy Foundation; the Detroit Film Theatre is generously supported by Buddy's Pizza.

Exhibitions

Guests of Honor: Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí on view February 8 through September 27, 2020

“From Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Prints and Drawings from 1550 to 1700” on view February 15 through July 26, 2020

“Kermit the Frog” on view through March, 2020

“Detroit Collects: Selections of African American Art from Private Collections” on view through March 15, 2020

Guests of Honor from the Musée du Louvre: “Jean-Antoine Houdon’s Portraits of Americans in the Age of Enlightenment” on view through May 3, 2020

“Michigan’s Great Lakes: Photographs by Jeff Gaydash” on view through May 3, 2020

“Bruegel’s The Wedding Dance Revealed” on view through August 30, 2020

Ongoing

General Guided Tours: Tuesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1 & 6 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of select galleries for an overview of the collection.

General and Family Guided Tours: Saturdays & Sundays, 1 & 3 p.m.

Enjoy a guided tour of select galleries or a family and kid-friendly tour.

Gallery Adventures: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

These family-friendly pop-up tours by DIA docents provide activities for children and the whole family. They take place in the French galleries on Saturdays and the Native American galleries on Sundays.

Gallery Games: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Families of all ages can enjoy free, take-away, kid-tested and approved games at the cart in Prentis Court next to Artie the Donkey.

Thursdays at the Museum: 1 p.m.

Special programs, including light refreshments, for adults 55+, including tours, talks, art-making, films and more.

Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4–8 p.m.

The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional and national competitions. People wanting to learn to play chess should arrive between 4 and 6 p.m.; open play (no teaching) is between 6 and 8 p.m.

Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Regular Hours: Fridays, 6–9 p.m.; Saturdays & Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.

Drop-In Art-making (for all ages): Regular Hours: Fridays, 6–9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.

Saturday, February 1

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Storytelling: La’Ron Williams 2 p.m.

Storyteller La’Ron Williams invites families of all ages to a fun presentation of folk tales from African and African American traditions and stories from his own life that teach important lessons about esteem, reliance and expression.

Sunday, February 2

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Storytelling: La’Ron Williams 2 p.m.

(see Feb. 1 for description)

Thursday, February 6

Thursdays at the Museum: Pop-up Tours of Detroit Collects 1 p.m.

This closer look at Detroit Collects focuses on the rich history of collecting African American art in the Detroit region by private collectors.

Friday, February 7

Spoken Word: The Art of Poetry 6:15, 7:15 & 8:30 p.m.

Spoken Word poets Sherina Sharpe, Michael Sheldon, and Nadine Marshall are featured in a unique performance inspired by the works of art they most love in the DIA’s Center for African American Art galleries.

Friday Night Live! Sphinx Organization: Diversity in New Music 7 & 8:30 p.m.

Detroit-based Sphinx Organization presents music written and performed by black and LatinX composers and musicians who have overcome challenges facing artists of color in the contemporary classical music world. This performance includes the music of composers Roscoe Mitchell, Tyshawn Sorey, George Lewis and Leroy Jenkins, among others.

Saturday, February 8

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Artist Demonstration: Stitch Collages with Najma Ma’at Wilson

Noon–4 p.m.

Co-founder of Detroit Fiber Works Najma Wilson will demonstrate and teach the meditative art of stitch collages, using basic stitching techniques and fun fabrics.

Sunday, February 9

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Artist Demonstration: Stitch Collages with Najma Ma’at Wilson

Noon–4 p.m.

(see Feb. 8 for description)

Detroit Film Theatre: Gone to the Village: Royal Funerary Rites for Asantehemaa Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II 2 p.m.

This powerful documentary follows the elaborate funerary rites for the Queen Mother of the Asante in Ghana. Leading Asante scholar Kwasi Ampene directs and narrates, featuring stunning footage of the rich cultural traditions of the Asante people.

Thursday, February 13

Thursdays at the Museum: Artist Demonstration: Decorative Fiber Art with April Shipp 1 p.m.

Local fiber artist April Shipp will demonstrate her process using painting, quilting and couching, an embroidery technique used to fasten threads and other material to fabric.

Friday, February 14

Hearts for Art All day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, visitors are encouraged to pick up a foam heart at any information desk and place it in front of their favorite artwork. The top three will be shared on the DIA’s social media channels.

Theatrical Readings:  A Portrait of Toni Morrison & James Baldwin by The Oliver Pookrum Theater Project 7 p.m.

The Oliver Pookrum Theater Project featuring NyRee Hardyway and James Abbett will perform dramatic readings of A Portrait of Toni Morrison & James Baldwin in celebration of the life and artistry of these American literary masters.

Friday Night Live! Dom Flemons 7 & 8:30 p.m.

Dom Flemons pays tribute to the music, culture, and the complex history of the golden era of the Wild West. This century-old story follows the footsteps of the thousands of African American pioneers who helped build the United States of America.

Saturday, February 15

Hearts for Art All day

(see Feb. 14 for description)

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Puppet Performance: String Theory Theater 2 p.m.

Baltimore-based puppet troupe String Theory Theater is composed of artist Dirk Joseph and his daughters. Together they tell stories of varied narrative styles with multiple puppetry formats. Their colorful design and wit poke fun at conventions to create funny and thought-provoking performances.

Detroit Film Theatre: CatVideoFest 2020 2, 4:30 & 7 p.m.

This popular film is back after its DFT debut last year! The all-new 2020 edition of the CatVideoFest is exactly what the name suggests, a hand-selected, curated collection of the most entertaining, inventive, hilarious and cutest cat videos of the year, together with some cat “classics” and some unique videos submitted directly to festival organizers. CatVideoFest, which sends a portion of each year’s proceeds to animal welfare organizations. Tickets are $9.50 for general admission and $7.50 for DIA members, seniors and students.

Sunday, February 16

Detroit Film Theatre: CatVideoFest 2020 1, 3:30 & 6 p.m.

(see Feb. 15 for description)



Detroit Institute of Awesome! Puppet Performance: String Theory Theater 2 p.m.

(see Feb. 15 for description)

Thursday, February 20

Thursdays at the Museum: Art Making: Mosaics 1 p.m.

Friday, February 21

Artist Panel: Artists and Mentorships: The Perfect Imperfect Picture 6 p.m.

Moderator Tylonn Sawyer discusses Artists and Mentorships: The Perfect Imperfect Picture with established, mid-career and emerging artists Hubert Massey, Gil Ashby, RaShaun Rucker, Nivek Monet, Horacio Hall and Elaine Cromie.

Friday Night Live! Monica Blaire 7 p.m.

Firmly rooted in the sound of early soul music and inspired by an unconventional sense of rhythm and melodies, Detroit-born and classically-trained singer and songwriter Monica Blaire has worked with such Motown greats as Marcus Belgrave, Sylvia Moy, and Ortheia Barnes and also collaborated with modern-day icons Carl Craig, PAJAM, The J Moss project and Vanessa Williams.

Saturday, February 22

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Jeghetto’s Workshop 2 p.m.

Visitors are invited into Jeghetto’s Workshop, where he gets lost in his imagination, creating unique puppets out of recycled materials. This production gives audience members a glimpse into this puppeteer’s process with projections, spoken word and hip-hop beats.

Sunday, February 23

Detroit Institute of Awesome! Jeghetto’s Workshop 2 p.m.

(see Feb. 22 for description)

28th Annual Alain Locke Awards 2 p.m.

The 2020 recipient of FAAAA’s 28th annual Alain Locke International Art Award is abstract artist Ed Clark who died recently at age 93. His friend and renowned Detroit artist Allie McGhee and Clark’s daughter Melanca Clark will speak about Clark’s art and career. The Alain Locke Recognition Award will be presented to Detroit artist Sydney James for her work as a visual artist and muralist.

A reception follows. Sponsored by Friends of African and African American Art.

Thursday, February 27

Thursdays at the Museum: Film: Bless Their Little Hearts 1 p.m.

Charlie Banks searches for steady work while viewing his chronic unemployment as a spiritual trial, only to find comfort for his wounded pride in an affair that threatens his marriage. This pioneering work of independent African American cinema was inducted into the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as a national treasure.

Detroit Film Theatre: My Brother’s Wedding 7 p.m.

This funny, heartbreaking and honest family drama from pioneering African American director Charles Burnett presents a portrait of a young Los Angeles man whose family obligations come into conflict with his still-forming plans for his own future. Also shown: rare short films by Charles Burnett.

Friday, February 28

Spoken Word: The Art of Poetry 6:15, 7:15 & 8:30 p.m.

Spoken Word poets Devin Samuels, La Shaun phoenix Moore, and Chace Morris are featured in a unique performance inspired by the works of art they love the most.

Author Talk: Yaa Gyasi 7 p.m.

Born in Ghana and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Yaa Gyasi is an enlightening speaker who captivates audiences with her sincerity and compassion. Gyasi's brilliant and relevant novels, Homegoing and its follow-up, Transcendent Kingdom feature histories and geographies that capture the troubled spirit of the nation. She holds a BA in English from Stanford University and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is a recipient of the National Book Foundation's 2016 "5 Under 35" Award.

Admission is free, but registration is required.

Museum Hours and Admission

9 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays, 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. General admission (excludes ticketed exhibitions) is free for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb county residents and DIA members. For all others, $14 for adults, $9 for seniors ages 62+, $8 for college students, $6 for ages 6–17. For membership information, call 313-833-7971.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.



Programs are made possible with support from residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.