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Works of award winning Wayne State art students show history of Detroit, see them at Detroit Artists Market

Robbie Aaron. Mask 4

If you’ve ever wanted a piece of art by an up-and-coming artist who depicts the history of Detroit in his or her work now’s your chance. The works of 12  award-winning Wayne State University students will be on exhibit and available for purchase beginning Friday, March 6 and running through April 9 at the Detroit Artists Market. They will be shown along with the works of distinguished WSU alumni and faculty members.

The young artists who received a John F. Korachis Scholarship Awards are Rachelle Baker, Allan Bennetts II, Dominique Chastenet de Gery, Darice Cobb, Robbie Aaron Collis, Ian Decker, Alion Dervishi, Sunshine Durant, Lea Faoro, Judith Feist, Horea Georgescu and Audrey Zofchak.

“During the studio visits, we discovered several common themes in the work of these artists,” says John F. Korachis, chairman of the Scholarship and Exhibition Committee. “One common theme among these emerging artists was their strong identification to the City of Detroit in context of its history, from the height of America’s industrialization, the subsequent economic downturn, all the way to its recent renaissance.”

Artist Chastenet de Gery

Chastenet de Gery, Detroit Esplanade

Cobb_Count, The Rings

Darice Cobb, Count The Rings

Some used photography and some charcoal. One focused on the river and another on the post-industrial nature of the city.  Whether they used the river to show a link to the history or tried to capture a unique beauty in charcoal, Detroit was always front and center. One artist used rich, dark charcoal to capture the romanticism of Detroit that is “often overshadowed.”

Another winner created a bright tapestry of found items such as old clothes, toys, photos, tools, masks and figurines. The artist said this was a way to preserve stories.

Another student artist utilizes photography to tell many past and present stories of the city.

One of the big things noticed this year was printmakers.

One print didn’t seem to have a conclusion. When asked about it the artist, who had a strong European background, said his personal inner landscape is changing so frequently it causes him to break away from the traditional rules.

“Notwithstanding, the lack of rules and the “unfinished look,” the work seems to express its own creative power with the capacity of transformation,” says Korachis.

Another printmaker created a special image by combining mediums including relief, monotype, collagraph, infolio and serigraph while experimenting with other media such as color, pen and ink, graphite, collage and sewing. All of this created a type of three- dimensional artwork.

Another artist was strongly influenced by fashion, comic art and, interestingly enough, also the baroque and renaissance periods.

Allan Bennetts II, Dan

Allan Bennetts II, Dan

Ian Decker, Flight

Ian Decker, Flight

Robbie Aaron. Mask 4

Robbie Aaron. Mask 4

“The artistic diversity of these young artists remains evident throughout the studio visit process where the high quality and strong artistic expressions continue to explore memories, seeking to capture different moments in time, sometimes mending these moments together in a fragmented form infused with color and light,” says Korachis.

The student finalists of the John F. Korachis Scholarship Awards were chosen by the Detroit Artist Market (DAM) scholarship committee. The selection process began with an open invitation to Wayne State University art students and concluded with individual studio visits and interviews with the scholarship finalists. The recipients of the scholarship awards were chosen for their originality, dedication and exceptional art work.

The member’s preview at the DAM gallery is March 6 is from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  A public reception is from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The DAM gallery is open from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.  For more information on the exhibition, please contact DAM at 313-832-8540 or via email at

The Detroit Artists Market is located in the Detroit Cultural Center at 4719 Woodward Avenue.  It is three blocks south of The Detroit Institute of Arts and one block east of Wayne State University.  This event is free and open to the public.  Parking is available in the lot directly behind the DAM Gallery.  Visit online at

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