Essay’d is a writing project that publishes 30 short illustrated essays about Detroit artists per year. The essays are intended for a general reader, and aim to broaden the audience for Detroit art. Having said that, even readers who consider themselves knowledgeable about art in the city will probably find much to interest them.
The writers choose the artists they write about. There is no suggestion that this is a systematic attempt to identify the “best” or “most important” Detroit artists, or even to define what those terms mean. As the project progresses, though, and more writers have become involved, it has taken on some of the characteristics of a survey.
The essays are also published annually by Wayne State University Press. You can obtain copies of Volume 1 (covering installments 1-30) here, Volume 2 (covering installments 31-60) here, and Volume 3 (covering installments 61-90) here.
Essay’d uses the writing project as a platform to organize exhibitions, events, artist talks, and workshops on art writing, publishing, and curating. The revenue from these endeavors, in conjunction with funding from various foundations, allow writers, artists, and editors to be paid.