Andrea Eckert: Making Art Accessible for Detroit Neighborhoods

Andrea Eckert: Making Art Accessible for Detroit Neighborhoods


My name is Andrea Eckert. I graduated in
2003 in Studio Art. I’m co-director of Holding House, which is a community art space in southwest Detroit. Core City is the actual name of this area. The
residents that are here have been here a long time. Adrienne Dunkerly and I went in on this building in the fall of 2013 tax auction. When you buy an auction property, you buy it sight unseen, and it was as rough as you can imagine. There was no heat and there was no electricity
so we started to just go slowly by clearing it out, figuring out where the
main holes were in the floor, and where it was okay to walk. The more I was in
here the more that the neighborhood kids, specifically, would come around and see what was
going on and seeing if they could help. We realized that it really could
function as much more than a studio. I thought that the best way to introduce
myself was reach out to those organizations that do serve right here. So we started
reaching out to different nonprofit service organizations in the summer of 2014,
and have done programming since. All of the exhibitions that take place at
Holding House are professional emerging local artists. The show that’s up
currently, “Masked”, has been paired with Alternatives for Girls, and they’re
making actual masks in response to the content of this show. Alternatives for Girls started as an organization to respond to girls and young women at risk
for sexual exploitation, homelessness, and running away. We’re known as part of a
resource for the girls and women of Detroit. The masks that the women will
make during the workshop series will also be included in the closing
exhibition as well. This is it for Core City I would say in terms of the
community art spaces. People that come in here from these different organizations, it’s their first time being in an art space. Seeing that is really fun. There’s a lot of really strong, community
minded people here in the creative culture in Detroit. Five or ten years from now I’ll have built lasting relationships around the city. It’s what I want my kids to see my work being. Seeing the potential of what you can
organize is important for me for them to see. I’ve realized that outside of
printmaking or outside of painting this is something that I’m making. I honor
that as part of my studio practice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *