I was saddened to hear recently that super-talented local artist Abigail Newbold is moving away from Detroit, but I was so glad to look over her awesome installation "Home Maker" (2011) at MOCAD several times during the brief ARTX Detroit show there. Check out this incredible bike-pulled covered wagon that was part of her installation:
I'm ashamed to admit that I spent a few weeks last summer trying to build a covered wagon for the dog to pull, so I was extra impressed by the craftsmanship and beauty of Abigail's wagon. My son was extra impressed by the toy pistol in the holster. This installation also included a toolkit and materials with which anyone could build a simple home.
In contemporary Detroit, where insulting terms like "urban pioneer" and "urban explorer" get thrown around pretty casually, and the national media latches on the idea of Detroit as a post-industrial, almost post-apocalyptic city where urban farming is the de facto "positive" story, the creation of tools for surviving (and even weapons---for defense. . .or hunting?) for an art exhibition is pretty interesting.
And in the end, not that crazy considering some of the things you actually do see on the streets of Detroit.
Abigail's work has been moving in this direction of modern-yet-rustic installations for a few years, but when we first got to know her she was making beautiful modern quilts. She even spent an evening at our house teaching and talking to my wife about how to quilt. One of her custom quilts appeared in Dwell Magazine on our friend and neighbor Toby's bed:
We treasure the piece of this beautiful quilt that we bought a few years ago:
We're sorry to see her move, but we'll look forward to seeing what she does next.