Tag Archives: Public Art

19 Michael McGillis


Born Detroit, 1966 / BFA, College for Creative Studies / Lives in Royal Oak, Michigan

have suspected for a little while that Michael McGillis is a fulcrum between divergent layers of reality. How else to explain his uncanny ability to peel back the edges of our everyday world, to uncover hidden environments just below the surface? Taken as a whole, McGillis’s work could be seen as a kind of sculptural iteration of magical realism, where undefined or fantastic realities cohabitate within the everyday fixtures that are easily taken for granted. Whether outfitting nature with chance art encounters, like Wake (2006), or constructing immersive gallery installations that synthesize nature in a controlled setting, as with Reckoning a Peripheral Wilderness (2012), McGillis confesses to an “attraction to randomness” that draws him toward found and discarded materials as the foundation for these imagined realities.

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13 Scott Hocking


Born Redford, Michigan, 1975 / BFA, College for Creative Studies / Lives in Detroit

If James Brown was the hardest working man in show business, Scott Hocking is arguably the hardest working artist in Detroit. Even a virtual trip through the monumental site-specific installations, photographic studies, and gallery projects on his website is an exhausting business. But hard work can only get you so far, and doesn’t by itself explain how Hocking, alongside contemporaries such as Clinton Snider and Mitch Cope, has managed to develop an international practice based in, and often quite literally on, the city of Detroit.

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10 Nicole Macdonald


Born Detroit, 1978 / BA, University of Michigan / Lives in Detroit

Detroit and its environs have been at the forefront of Nicole Macdonald’s art since her natal street art forays in the late 1990s right up to her current, now seasoned pursuit of Motor City subjects. As filmmaker, tagger, collagist, painter, and muralist, her practice has segued from anonymous to public interventions, from local to national topics, and from inner to outward direction in subject, format, and ambition. Early on, for instance, to intrigue viewers, she described the imagery of her collages as “the best places you’ll never see,” whereas an expansive 2014 declaration professed: “The whole point is to reach people.  I’ve done a lot of things where it’s just for myself or a particular event. The intention [now] is I want all Detroiters to be interested and engaged.”

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