Meet Detroit’s Finest at Park West Gallery
Detroit is a city full of rich history, art and possibilities – a melting pot of cultures that include French, German, Irish, Hispanic, African-American and Asian residents.
Park West Gallery is celebrating the diversity, heart and soul of Detroit during its “Detroit’s Finest” series, showcasing Detroit artists Marcus Glenn, Tim Yanke and Dominic Pangborn from June 28 to August 16. Here is what the artists had to say about what drives them to create and showcase their art in the Motor City.
Marcus Glenn (June 28 – July 12)
Glenn is a figurative abstract artist that draws inspiration from music, especially jazz. He recognizes that his hometown has played a big influence in his art given its music heritage that continues to influence the industry to this day.
“The diversity here in the city, the fact that Park West is able to bring that diversity – you’ve got three artists from different backgrounds – and the essence of our paintings really encompass who we are, so you get to see the variety that our city offers,” he says. “It’s just a great experience to be a part of that.”
Like his hometown, Glenn celebrates diversity in his artwork. The floorboards seen in his art are often an assortment of colors, which Glenn says is representative of how God created life by making a variety of nature and man.
“That’s how we are in life – no matter what nationality you are, we all may experience the same problems in life,” he says. “But the good book says God is love, and with love in anyone’s life, love conquerors all things.”
Tim Yanke (July 12 – July 26)
Born and raised in Detroit, Yanke is proud to be from a city that is a melting pot of cultures. His abstract expressionist style may be inspired by America’s western culture, but his career as an artist began with the cars and music of Detroit, the latter dictating the movement and energy of his paintings.
“I was in the thick of the automotive capital, so that definitely triggered a lot of creativity and impulse to go ahead and draw cars and futuristic cars…and I think that is really where I honed in a lot of my skills for drawing,” he says. “The other ingredient is music – it’s a major component.”
He calls the artists of “Detroit’s Finest” the “Other Big Three” – a reference to the “Big Three” auto manufacturers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler – and though they may have different approaches, the artists all recognize the diversity they bring to the table. Many of his “Yanke Doodle” paintings, for example, are U.S. flags painted in different colors to represent the flags of different people who come to the United States.
“The multiculturalism of this city is exponentially higher than a lot of cities,” he says. “For me this is getting back to the roots, back the stomping grounds – it’s pretty cool because this is where it all began.”
Dominic Pangborn (July 26 – August 16)
Pangborn was born in Korea and adopted at the age of 10 by a Michigan family. He attended university in Chicago, but eventually called the Detroit area his home, saying he loves the Midwest for its seasons. His artwork ranges from abstract to photo-realism paintings, or his eye-popping “Art in Motion” works.
Pangborn compares the “Detroit’s Finest” show to how students will take a project and find their own interpretations. In that respect, he says the exhibitions provide collectors three different perspectives and approaches to art, all from local artists.
“I’m always enamored to see how another person views things,” he says. “Obviously, the three of us would have a totally different perception.”
Not only is he fascinated by other artists, but by the stories and thoughts of collectors. Pangborn says he looks forward to speaking with art lovers, and events like the exhibitions are a perfect chance to do so.
“I don’t want to sit up in a cabin in the woods and paint, I want to be among the people and get their stories and how their words will inspire me to paint the next one,” he says.