Motor City Cribs

The cool cinderblock walls of artist Chris Turner’s home in the Islandview neighborhood near Belle Isle smell of industrial lubricants and solvents. This one-time tool-and-die shop sports two downstairs bays — one serves as Turner’s sculpture studio, the other his painting space and a makeshift rehearsal room for his music.

See, this guy Turner plays drums with Paik guitarist Rob Smith in the band Dark Red. The long concrete walls make a perfect echo chamber for Smith’s wall of psychedelic guitar textures. Turner hopes to turn this space into a recording studio as well.

Upstairs above the studios, nestled in old concrete, sits his surprisingly cozy apartment. As nighttime crickets chirp in nearby fields, it’s easy to imagine this is 1907, not 2007. The bucolic industrial setting’s sweet for the multi-talented Turner to tune in and, uh, drop out. He says, “I love it. I’m right by Belle Isle and no neighbors!”

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