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There’s a vibrant arts scene in Detroit, and it’s packed with talent. Photographers, painters, sculptors, mixed media artists, you name it — they all call Detroit home. They reflect our world’s afflictions and joy by encapsulating culture as they create it.
One such artist is photographer Asia Hamilton. In addition to her own work, she is the owner and chief curator of the Norwest Gallery of Art in Detroit’s Grandmont Rosedale neighborhood.
“I wanted to be able to provide a contemporary art space with a focus on African and African American art right here in the neighborhood so that people can experience it close to home,” Hamilton told Detour.
The gallery’s purpose is two-fold: support the community and support artists. Hamilton offers programs that are solely focused on pouring back into the neighborhood — like an interactive exhibition and scavenger hunt this fall focused on green stormwater infrastructure. She also nurtures a robust market to sell the work of dope artists.
Selling the art is key, as is honoring the price an artist places on their work. “Art is all different prices,” Hamilton said. “I just sold a piece that was $3,000. The other day, I sold a piece that was $100.” Those costs reflect multiple factors including the time it took to complete a work of art, the cost of materials used to create it, labor and the gallery’s commission.
“An artist has to consider all of those variables to determine how much they’re going to charge for a piece,” Hamilton said. “Now, how valuable it is for you to go into your home and see a beautiful piece of art, something that’s original, that’s going to evoke a mood every time you see it, that’s going to impress your friends and the people that come in to experience it — I think that’s priceless.”
The Norwest Gallery of Art is located at 19556 Grand River. Current hours of operation are by appointment only. Shop the Norwest 24/7 online at Artsy.
Here’s a list of Detroit artists who work across genres — and should definitely be on your radar.
April Anue is a fiber artist who creates portraits, sculptures and other works of art through the primary medium of fabric. Find April on Instagram @aprilanue.
Austen Brantley is a figurative sculpture whose works reflect his unique perspective on identity. Find Austen on Instagram @austenbrantley.
Asia Hamilton is a contemporary photographer trained in alternative processing to develop photos. Find Asia on Instagram @photo.sensei.
Bree Gant is a multidisciplinary artist and documentarian interested in ritual and mental health. Find Bree on Instagram @localblackartist.
Bre’Ann White is a creative director and photographer specializing in portraiture and editorial. Find Bre’Ann on Instagram @breannwhite.
Darius Baber is a model and visual artist whose recent works center on painting and photography. Find Darius on Instagram @dariusbaberartist.
Errin Graham Whitaker, aka ‘Lightheart’
Errin Graham Whitaker, who goes by “Lightheart,” is a self-described “360-degree” mixed media artist. Find Errin on Instagram @piecesoflightheart.
Ijania Cortez is a self-taught muralist and painter. Find Ijania on Instagram @Ijania.
Juniper Jones is a self-taught multidisciplinary visual artist and writer integrating oil, ink, acrylic, and pastels into their expressive style of painting. Find Juniper on Instagram @131.295.
Trae Isaac is a visual artist and designer integrating vibrant color and movement into his works. Find Trae on Instagram @traeisaac.