Detroit Dream Day with Artist Jova Lynne

The MOCAD curator’s perfect day is filled with art, artists, and tasty food
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Artist Jova Lynne's Day
Multidisciplinary artist, Jova Lynne is a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. // Photograph courtesy of Jova Lynne 

Jova Lynne’s work in the arts doesn’t stop after she’s clocked out of her job. In addition to her responsibilities as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the 31-year-old multidisciplinary artist is a co-founder of Bulk Space Artists Residency and Black Artists Meetup Detroit, offering a platform for marginalized artists to showcase their work and network with other creatives. “I think a lot about equity, and how we can support artists so that there’s more of a level playing field for everybody,” she says. Naturally, on her dream day in Detroit, the Highland Park resident would continue to champion the local arts community.

Trinosophes Coffee Shop
Trinosophes in Eastern Market offers baked treats from Warda Pâtisserie.// Photograph by Natalia Cotora

I would get up and probably drive to Trinosophes to get something from Warda Pâtisserie. I’d pick up a treat because their stuff is so yummy. And sometimes Trinosophes has exhibitions, so it’s a pretty cool place to check out. And then from there, I would go next door to the record shop, Peoples Records, and do a little crate digging. Trinosophes, 1464 Gratiot Ave.; 313-778-9258; trinosophes.com; Peoples Records, 1464 Gratiot Ave.; 313-831-0864; peoplesdetroit.com 

Once I’ve gotten my music and pastry fix, I’d probably go say hi to [Olayami] Dabls at the Mbad African Bead Museum. I’ve worked with him on some public programs, and I’ve known him for some time. He has an outdoor installations project and two galleries. There’s an outdoor, multi-lot installation, and then he has a gallery where he often shows local emerging or established artists, and then he has the bead museum. It’s a room just full of beads — it’s so colorful and vibrant. He’s usually in there telling stories, hanging out, and just doing his thing. Mbad African Bead Museum, 6559 Grand River Ave.; 313-898-3007; mbad.org 

I imagine myself driving over to Reyes Finn in Corktown. It’s a gallery that’s run by Terese Reyes and Bridget Finn, and they show really, really great emerging artists. It’s just a beautiful space and the people who work there are really knowledgeable. Reyes Finn, 1500 Trumbull Ave.; 248-839-5342; reyesfinn.com 

I’d then go to Simone DeSousa Gallery. The gallery has two spaces: one where emerging-to-established artists have formal exhibitions, and then she has another space called Edition, which is exciting because it’s usually craft-based artists who present work for sale, and it’s way more affordable. It’s a double whammy where you can shop a little bit, but you also get to have a really beautiful experience with art. Simone DeSousa Gallery, 444 W. Willis St.; 313-833-9000; simonedesousagallery.com

N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art is run by George and Carmen N’Namdi and they had an amazing Romare Bearden show [in 2018]. They’ve been in Midtown forever. It’s a good place to digest art and it’s really accessible. They have amazing public programs — I saw the singer Bilal there a couple years ago — and they have great talks. It’s a very energized and community-activated space. N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, 52 E. Forest Ave.; 313-831-8700; nnamdicenter.org

Eating and art are a big part of my life. So, after that, I’d go to Ima. They just opened a location on Cass and Warren, and they’re known for udon noodles. Then I’d go to Belle Isle. I’d hang out in the greenhouse because it’s warm there and it’s wintertime. I’d take in the beautiful botanical garden. Ima, 4870 Cass Ave.; 313-883-9788; imanoodles.com 

If I don’t go to Belle Isle, then I’d probably go to Schvitz Health Club. They have both a steam sauna and infrared sauna and a pool. And they usually have food pop-ups. So, if I’m going to Belle Isle, I’m going to see flowers and get warm. If I’m going to the Schvitz, I want to get warm, but also have some yummy food. Schvitz Health Club, 8295 Oakland Ave.; 313-724-8489; schvitzdetroit.com 

Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Evening programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit often revolve around music.// Photograph courtesy of MOCAD

Then I might go to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, which I know is super weird because I work there. I really like music, and they have awesome evening programs that are related to music and film most of the time. Even though I don’t have to be there for work, I just really like being there for them because it’s a different way to engage with art. MOCAD, 4454 Woodward Ave; 313-832-6622; mocaddetroit.org

If I’m still up for something later in the night, you can usually find me at Deluxx Fluxx. Originally a roving installation, it was part of an art exhibit that opened at the Brooklyn Museum before I moved here from New York. So that blew my mind. It was nostalgic in a way, because I went with my family to see that exhibition. The glow-in-the-dark aesthetic is something really cool, plus they bring really good DJs. Deluxx Fluxx, 1274 Library St.; 313-788-7015; deluxxfluxx.com 

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