• Squash House, Sound House
    Jon Brumit & Graem Whyte
    Power House Productions

Jon Brumit, Drum solo, 2011, Detroit. Courtesy of Power House Productions.

Our neighborhood suffers from an abundance of houses. Two artists have been invited to rethink the role these unused building structures play in the neighborhood and how their art repositions these houses as active sites of engagement. Jon Brumit will incorporate sound and space; Graem Whyte will utilize sport and sculpture to reinterpret everyday architectural spaces. Using contemporary art as a transformative device, each artist will independently investigate and challenge where and why we make art, and for whom. These projects will enrich work previously developed and implemented in this Detroit neighborhood since 2008, including that by the artists Swoon, Ben Wolf, Monica Canilao, Richard Coleman, RETNA, Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop, and Design 99.

Jon Brumit is currently employed with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) as the curator of public engagement.  As such, he is responsible for inviting guest artists to participate in the DEPE space residency and ongoing museum programming, focusing on building relationships between artists and the community.  Brumit has created a number of original sound compositions during his time spent at Sound House. These works are featured in four videos currently on display at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale.  Brumit also had a sound installation on display at the School of the Art Institute's Sullivan Gallery as part of the exhibition Detroit, USA: Material, Site, Narrative.

In his solo exhibition this fall at Oakland University Art Gallery, Graem Whyte developed four large-scale sculptures using the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as his starting point.  The show title, Remain Calm, illustrates Whyte's brand of playfulness and poetics in creating new forms and contemplative future narratives.  Graem was also one of the invited artists participating in Detroit's first outdoor light festival, Delectricity. He and his partner, Faina Lerman, continue to develop their exhibition and residency program known as Popps Packing and have expanded the project to include nearby properties named the Northwest Territories. This past year, they hosted six artists including those hailing from Germany, Croatia, The Netherlands, and Los Angeles, as well as Detroit.  Their program includes installations, both temporary and permanent, as well as music performances and community events.

Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert continue to work as collaborators under their studio name, Design 99.  In October 2012, they were awarded the first Art Prize Juried Grand Prize for their installation Displacement (13208 Klinger) which carries a monetary award of $100,000.  Two of their video works were also featured at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale as part of an installation in the Arsenale.  And Power House Productions was represented at the Biennale as one of the banners making up the exhibition titled Spontaneous Interventions at the United States Pavilion.

Power House Productions (PHP) is an artist-run, neighborhood-based, nonprofit organization.  Incorporated in December of 2009, our mission is to develop and implement creative neighborhood stabilization strategies to revitalize and inspire the community. Our programs incorporate a broad array of activities ranging from marketing vacant properties to creating public art installations. Strategies include integrating artist's live-work spaces within the existing cultural resources of the community and inviting artists to visit for extended periods to research and propose projects. In just a short few years, PHP has brought over twenty-five artists and designers into our community to work, learn, and observe.

It is our belief that through the skills and talent of artists and designers and their long term work in the community, a new kind of neighborhood will emerge—one that is creatively and actively enjoyable, safe, and sustainable for all.