Meet Red Bull Arts Detroit’s Newest Brood of Resident Artists

This gang of girls explores everything from Afro-Americana to the queer Caribbean experience to YouTube conspiracies.

From left: Pamela Council, Claire Lachow, Kearra Amaya Gopee

It’s showtime. Under the guidance of Red Bull Arts Detroit, Pamela Council, Claire Lachow and Kearra Amaya Gopee have been creating independent art works which are now on display. Red Bull Arts Detroit supports the production of new work by both emerging and established artists, and three times a year, creatives are chosen to participate in a three-month residency program.

During the residency, artists are provided housing, studio space and a $12,000 stipend; they also have opportunities to engage with Detroit’s vibrant and passionate arts community while creating a new body of work.

At the end of the three months, the public is invited to share in the fruits of that no-doubt soul-exposing labor. The Red Bull Arts Detroit Resident Artist Exhibition opens July 19 and runs until Aug. 25

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Pamela Council: Kitsch Fountains & The Black Experience

A recent graduate of Columbia University, Pamela Council offers her own cheeky take on Americana, black girl magic and the culture. Pictured is a kitsch fountain filled with 800 gallons of Big Red pop (Red Drink: A BLAXIDERMY Juneteenth Offering).

For this exhibition, Council presents a new fountain to become a part of her ongoing installation, BLAXIDERMY Playland. It’s called BLAXIDERMY Pink, and the fountains at play are filled with Lusters Pink Lotion. Also a part of the exhibition is a cat’s cradle installation. Cue the nostalgia. It’s supported by field hockey sticks and silicone panels that reference sneaker outsoles.

“BLAXIDERMY Pink is a healing space and dedication to my 14-year-old self,” Council says. “This fragrant and welcoming space is an offering of gratitude for tweenage resilience.”

Kearra Amaya Gopee: Queer Experience in the Caribbean

This past spring, Kearra Amaya Gopee traveled between her home country of Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica to explore a queerness that connects Caribbean bodies and landscapes.

She captured images, and then printed them onto untreated aluminum sheets, meant to rust over time. Tutorials on Radiance transcends the physical body to explore the environments of queer people in the Caribbean.

“These islands have thriving underground public queer communities which has brought the question of visibility into play,” Gopee says. “With them in mind, I consider the questions that arise when we prioritize visibility: How valuable is visibility in our communities? What are the benefits of a queer body becoming legible in a region that is still struggling with traces of a colonial past which manifests itself in a hostile present for bodies deemed unnatural or antithetical to the projects of nationhood and tourism?”

Claire Lachow: Memes, YouTube and the Physical World

Claire Lachow’s work blends the physical and digital, referencing in her work Baroque art, video games and memes. For the Red Bull Arts exhibition, she releases a new video work meant to respond to YouTube flat earth conspiracy theory uploads.

“Two-dimensional maps of the earth inevitably distort certain areas. Cartography enacts the priorities of the powers making the map. The most commonly used map projections carry a colonial legacy, centering Europe and distorting the relative size of all land masses in comparison,” Lachow says.

And with Skins, a new series of acrylic sculptures, Lachow recreates digital 3D models in physical space.

The Red Bull Arts Detroit Resident Artist Exhibition opening reception is Friday, July 19, 4-6 p.m. The exhibition is open regularly Thursday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. until Aug. 25

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