On any other Thursday evening, the lights and doors of the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery in Detroit would be dark and locked.
But on the third Thursday in February, the doors were open, welcoming the public to get an early look at Wayne State University’s MFA Thesis Exhibition while taking a peak inside the artists’ studios at the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History.
The gallery was just one of over 30 venues buzzing with a modest flow of patrons that night, which marked the inaugural Third Thursday. Developed by Art Detroit Now, Third Thursday is a special night each month when participating galleries and other venues in Detroit extend their hours to host special events.
“We want to get people out to these galleries, and really take down the barriers between the Detroit neighborhoods and art venues,” Milana Duthie, managing director of Art Detroit Now says. “It really gives galleries a way to experiment with things like one-night shows, and it gives people the opportunity to visit many different galleries in one evening.”
Art Detroit Now, an organization formed in 2006 by 11 leading members in Detroit’s contemporary arts community, is the same organization that started Detroit Gallery Week and DLECTRICITY. It serves as a representation of the contemporary art galleries in the greater Detroit area and also offers them an online location to post upcoming events.
“We all got together, and we said that we would keep meeting regularly to try to find a way to increase awareness of the great art and artists in Detroit,” says Marc Schwartz, chairman of Art Detroit Now.
Third Thursday is the group’s most recent endeavor, with hopes of expanding into more events and to additional Detroit locations.
“We’ve talked about doing all kinds of fun things in future months, like having musical entertainment or book signings — all different kinds of things to go along with the shows that we have up,” says Nancy Sizer, director of the Detroit Artists Market.
Third Thursday takes place the third Thursday of every month at participating venues in Detroit. For a list of participating locations and for more information, visit artdetroitnow.com.