Showcasing expressions of justice is always relevant in Detroit. Local artists have created inspired political and social works of the past or present as another impetus to honor the capacity of art to move places and people to action. Calling it Catalyst, Riopelle will host the event at their groundlevel space in Eastern Market, open to the public on March 13th.

“Political and social movements are often long difficult struggles to transform the world,” said Ian Matchett, Riopelle artist. “However, there are moments within history when this long process seems to telescope, when society seems to contort and previously submerged contradictions rise to prominence. To quote Lenin, ‘There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks when decades happen.”

Riopelle was founded by six local artists in 2014 as a small collective and private studio space. This exhibition particularly is driving the movement to new heights and redefining what is possible.

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“A turning point is reached that is both the culmination and the vindication of the long work that has taken place before it; often it is an unforeseen or seemingly typical event that sparks this shift. A single spark rapidly transforms a field of grass into a prairie fire, a moment into a movement,” said Matchett.

In addition to providing a workspace for artists and designers, Riopelle is home to several small companies, including Prankster Press, a letterpress and fine art print shop run by Lyz Luidens and James Reich; Wedge Detroit, a community focused design firm run by Dylan Box; Matthew Jenkins, a furniture designer and photographer; and Gratiot & Riopelle, a type foundry focused on preserving historical lettering run by Jessica Krcmarik.

The show will open to the public on March 13th at 7pm at Riopelle, and most work will be for sale. For more information visit the Riopelle Website and RSVP via Eventbrite or Facebook.

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