Artist John Sims looks at his childhood neighborhood in 'Sorrento: Portrait of a Detroit Block'

click to enlarge John Sims. - Courtesy of Irwin House Gallery
Courtesy of Irwin House Gallery
John Sims.
Last year, Detroit’s Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery opened its doors earlier than originally planned following the death of Aretha Franklin, who grew up nearby, in order to mount an exhibition dedicated to her life. Artist John Sims, a curator for that first show, is wrapping up a stint as the gallery’s first artist-in-residence, which is also inspired by the neighborhood he grew up in — in this case, Sims’ west side neighborhood at Sorrento Avenue and West Chicago Street.
The three-part multimedia project, which is described as “Sims’ deeply personal response to the decay and desolation of his home street,” includes a visually enhanced “VideoPoem” (the poem is included in M.L. Liebler’s Respect, also featured in this week’s issue), a print installation that mimics the experience of walking down the block, and a book.

Closing reception from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8; Irwin House Gallery; 2351 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 313-932-7690; irwinhousegallery.com. Admission is free. On view through Jan. 5.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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