MOCAD Announces First Solo Exhibition by Detroit Artist Sydney G. James

The exhibition, ‘Girl Raised in Detroit,’ explores the definition of safe spaces and what freedom means to Black people. It will be on display April 14-Sept. 4, 2023.
The Westside Johnsons 2023 Acrylic on unstretched canvas with mixed media 120 in x 72 in304.8 cm x 182.9 cm. // Painting by Sydney G. James, courtesy of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit

This Friday, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit will welcome a new exhibition that will feature the works of muralist, illustrator, and cultural organizer Sydney G. James.

Girl Raised in Detroit, is the first solo exhibition for the Detroit native, and explores what safe spaces and freedom are for Black people and celebrates human resiliency and perseverance in the face of historical traumas.

Guests at the museum will explore these topics through large-scale paintings, which are framed and hung like African tapestries, and sculptures as she “redefines the relationship between artist and muse,” by working with family, friends, and other contemporaries to consider the deeper stories held within the artwork.

A stand-out piece in the exhibit is the installation The Westside Johnsons and her recreation of her grandparent’s ‘70s-styled living room, complete with a couch guests can sit on as they take in one of James’ largest paintings.

It will also feature four images of her likeness that hang from the ceiling, along with drawing easels and supplies for guests to create their own works with the perspectives they have about the art.

Girl Raised in Detroit will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, located at 4454 Woodward Ave. Detroit, from April 14 to Sept. 4, 2023. General admission is $10, free for students, seniors, and kids under 12.

The museum is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

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