Thursday, August 15, 2013


As the two followers of my blog may already know, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is in a precarious situation with the declared bankruptcy of the City of Detroit.  In an attempt to elevate this situation to the consciousness of reasonable people, Tyler Green (@TylerGreenDC on Twitter) has asked bloggers to share one of their favorite and perhaps lesser known pieces from the DIA through a project "A Day for Detroit"  via #DayDetroit on Twitter.  Unfortunately I'm a day late in participating, but I don't want it to be a day late and a dollar short for Detroit and am making the time to create a post.

What I want to share is an obvious choice for me; it is a large piece (room sized) from a show my mother (Greta Weekley), had at the DIA in the 80's.  I don't remember all the details of the show, the title or even exactly what year, but her installation piece of a dozen (maybe more) suspended sculpture like chairs was spectacular in the venue.  The piece was titled "The Seat of Reason"... how fitting for the charge to keep the DIA off the auction block.

The pictures I have are not very good as they were quickly taken with an iPhone camera recently - she has a few of these chairs on display in her living room.  Each chair represents something very personal to my mother.  The seats are constructed with printing plates, to which a corresponding framed print is displayed along with each chair.  Each chair has different finials, or perhaps better stated: footings.  Some of these footings are casters, fishing hooks, springs, film negatives, etc.  This part of the chair is what has always fascinated me the most.

I do remember coming home from college and watching my mother pour the concrete bases in the garage of her smallish Royal Oak home - some kids came home to a home cooked meal, I usually came home to this.  Whatever teenager angst I carried about my unconventional home life was completely forgotten when I stepped through the gallery doors at the DIA and saw my mother's work in it's totality -- it needed the space to come alive, it needed the DIA.

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