Artist Spotlight: Emerging Artists at the Detroit Scarab Club, Interview with Joseph Ferraro

Artist Spotlight: Emerging Artists at the Detroit Scarab Club, Interview with Joseph Ferraro

Originally published with

The venerable Scarab Club hosts Real Detroit’s “Emerging Artist” shows. The Scarab Club is directly behind the Detroit Institute of Arts, and it is housed in a beautiful Northern Italian Renaissance style building. It is an artists’ club, gallery, and studio space that has been around since 1907. Historically, it has attracted the foremost figures in the arts (in fact, there is a ceiling beam on the second floor that has been signed by, among others, Marcel Duchamp, Diego Rivera, Norman Rockwell, and John Sinclair).

Its current exhibit, for one night only, will showcase emerging artist Joseph Ferraro’s shadowbox art. His exhibit will be in conjunction with the Dr. Sketchy Art Class hosted by Dizzy Dames burlesque maven Lushes Lamoan, located on the first floor.

Other monthly shows in this series included:
January 19 – Cheryl Willard of Spilt Sugar (Photography)
February 16 – Brett Sullivan (Photography)
March 15th – Natalie Jane Estep (Fine art)
April 19th – A.Owen Layne (Photography)
May 17th – Benjamin Eliasz (Oil)
June 21 – Marianne Audrey Burrows (Oil)
July 19 – Lily Arnett (Photography)

The Scarab club started the Emerging Artist program in January of 2012. Scarab Club Board Member *VATO* (a veteran artist in Detroit) curates the program, which spotlights metro Detroit artists . The Scarab Club explained that it “is using this program to help the community see and appreciate art that they may not have the opportunity to see or know about. Budding artists need exposure, need to be cultivated and supported, and this program hopes to do so.”  The Scarab Club went on to note that this program “also helps entice new membership to the Scarab Club, since the century-old non-profit has opened doors for many artisans over the years, and being a part of their regular showcases can be win-win since it also adds new blood to the mix, and a fresh perspective on today’s art.”

The Scarab Club sets aside the third Thursday of each month for the selected Emerging Artist to have a solo exhibit. In 2012, there have so far been 7, with Joseph Ferraro being number 8.  TheDetroiter will try to spotlight other emerging artists through this program.

Joseph’s exhibit opens tomorrow, Thursday, August 16, from 6 to 10 p.m.

Joseph has been working in the Detroit community for about 20 years. He explains that he has “a strong background in crafts, and object making has always been very important to [his] process.” He also notes that he has experience on the technological side of art making, and he was an early adopter of digital photography.

Here are a few questions we had for Joseph about Detroit and the Scarab Club.

TheDetroiter: How has your experience been working in and around Detroit?

Joseph: The Detroit community has always played a central role in my work. It began in the 90′s when I was part of a performance art group that explored Detroit’s vacant spaces. My studio is in a long standing artists studio space: The Pioner Building which was established in 1994. Recently with a general renewed interest in Detroit there has been more opportunities to show work.

TheDetroiter:Why Detroit?

Joseph: I consider Detroit my hometown. Detroit artist’s are a close knit group who support each other. There has always been opportunity to try new things in this community.

TheDetroiter:What work will you show at the Scarab Club?

Joseph: I am showing my unique version of an old idea. I take the traditional idea of a showbox where you are showcasing an object or image and take that to a new level. Through creating this work, my intent is to draw the viewer in to share in the re-living of my memories.

TheDetroiter: How has your experience been with the Scarab Club?

Joseph: The Scarab club has pretty much let me do anything that I want, with a few rules regarding the space. Their support comes in the form of freedom.

TheDetroiter: What is next?

Joseph: Sleep, then The 12th annual Pioneer Building annual open house the first weekend in October, then I co/produce a show that features introspective artwork and performance vignettes, DAMNED V on the 25th, 26th and 27th of October. I am also collaborating on a show with a fellow Detroit artist and currently looking for a gallery to host it.

If you want to see more of Joseph’s work (besides going to the show tomorrow), click here.

Fleeting, 2011

Fleeting, 2011

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