'Sampled' goes behind the scenes of artist's studios

Behind the Cave walls

Jul 29, 2015 at 1:00 am

Cave Gallery has hosted many interesting art exhibitions since it was founded by some College for Creative Studies students in 2007. While the original founding members have moved on, Cave — which consists of artists studios and a gallery — continues to live on with a fresh crop of artists.

The gallery's latest exhibition is Sampled, a collection of work and works in progress created by Cranbrook graduates Corrie Baldauf, Lynn Bennett Carpenter, Annica Cuppetelli, Carrie Dickason, Jessica Frelinghuysen, Megan Heeres, Rod Klingelhofer, and Jeremy Noonan. We spoke to Frelinghuysen, who also has a studio at Cave, about her work for the show, why she moved to Hamtramck from New Jersey, and about the trend of New York Times trend pieces about Detroit.

Metro Times: How did this new show come about?

Jessica Frelinghuysen: I proposed it to a few members of Cave, along with one other member who is a Cranbrook graduate. The rest of the people there were interested in having a group show from local people, because they usually have people from out of town having shows here.

MT: What is the show about?

Frelinghuysen: The premise of the show is we're a critique group. We're constantly talking about work and how our work is evolving. What we've presented isn't necessarily a finished piece. It's more about the process of a studio, and how we make work. Some people are showing finished work, and others are showing works in progress. There's going to be some tables there with ephemera from people's studios on it as well.

MT: How did you wind up at Cave?

Frelinghuysen: I went to Cranbrook and graduated in 2006. That's how I originally came to Michigan. I moved to Hamtramck in 2009, and I got a studio at Cave in 2011. It's a good family. We're all friends with the founding members — they've since moved out of state to grad school or gotten jobs somewhere else. So everybody in Cave right now is the second round of artists.

MT: What drew you to the space?

Frelinghuysen: Well, the cheapness of rent. But also the community that was there, having that ability to have a dialogue about your work as you're working on it. Our main goal is to show interesting work that maybe isn't necessarily being shown in Detroit. We're not in it for the profit, because we're not selling anything!

MT: What have you been up to since graduating?

Frelinghuysen: An adjunct at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor since 2009. I maintain a studio practice. I just had a solo show at Michigan State University in the spring. I had a show at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh last year. It's a little bit of studio and teaching — to keep my eye on the trends and also have access to other facilities!

MT: What are you showing in Sampled?

Frelinghuysen: I just got back from a residency in Santa Fe. That was mostly an idea-generating residency. I have a multimedia studio practice. I do paintings, but those paintings eventually might get turned into installations that people can participate in, like large-scale tents or domes. Mostly I'm interested in communication and how people interact with each other. Right now I'm working on a suit that will germinate plants from my body — a hydroponic gardening suit.

MT: We're sure you've seen the New York Times articles, about the trend of artists moving from Brooklyn to Detroit. In your experience, having been in the scene for a few years, do you think that it is fair to say that it's a trend?

Frelinghuysen: That the articles are a trend, or that people are actually moving here?

MT: Both, I guess.

Frelinghuysen: I lived in New York in grad school. The ability to have the space that I have for the amount of money that I have it would not be possible there, and also have time to work on my work. Like Patti Smith said — she keeps saying that all artists should move to Detroit and not New York now, that Detroit is what New York was like in the '70s. There's some truth to it. I think once people get into it though, they have to realize that Detroit is not New York.

I think if I had moved back to New York, I wouldn't have gotten as much interest or exposure with my work as I would as being in Detroit, because there is so much interest in Detroit right now. I'm sure I wouldn't have shown at the Mattress Factory if I was a New York artist. I wouldn't have been making the same work.

Sampled has an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 at Cave Gallery in the Russell Industrial Center; 1600 Clay St., Detroit; cavedetroit.com; no cover.