Detroit loses a great

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Without him, Detroit seems a little less worth it.

A little less jolting, less hungry; one person less connected to everyone.

There is a pall over the arts community, as word has traveled quickly that adored artist and musician Matthew Blake died from a massive heart attack early in the morning on May 10, while practicing drums at a studio in Pontiac. He was 43.

Over the years Blake performed in the rock bands Bogue and Misty, and with established artists in the jazz community, such as Skeeter Shelton. He is known for his work as a sculptor and collaborator on several important projects, including Detroit's Millennium Bell in Grand Circus Park, commissioned by the city and created with fellow artist Chris Turner in celebration of the new era. Blake worked as manager of Wayne State University's woodshop and exhibited extensively across metro Detroit, including shows at Oakland University Art Gallery and Susanne Hilberry Gallery. His wife Hazel Blake is an artist, equally beloved, who works at Susanne Hilberry Gallery.

In a tribute to Blake, "This Week in Art" presents a one-night exhibition of his work. Guests who would like to share work by Blake which they own can contact Graem Whyte at [email protected] or 313-832-2700. "This Week in Art" runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesday, May 14, at Motor City Brewing Works, 470 W. Canfield, Detroit; 313-832-2700.

A memorial gathering will be held at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 15, on the third floor of the Piquette Model T Plant, 461 Piquette Ave., Detroit. Please call Susan Hilberry Gallery at 248-541-4700 for further information. There is elevator access. Check for updated information.

If you would like to share a few lines about Matt, please write to Rebecca Mazzei at [email protected] by Friday, May 16.
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