Friday, May 11, 2012

Service Frontroom

I came across something serendipitous tonight. Going to a friend's house at Marshall and Allen in Ferndale, I parked on the street by their house, and noticed that across the street there were lights on in one of the two seemingly abandoned, signless old storefronts, with real live people and what looked like wine, white walls, and black frames. So I hopped over after greeting my friend, and sure enough, art was afoot.

Kenny "Karpov-The-Wrecked-Train", as he's familiarly known around these parts, is a photographer of many things, and is artistically enthusiastically interested in Detroit people, culture, history. His series of Macomb Ballet Company dancers, in stark, well-composed black-and-white digital prints were hung tightly spaced in the small storefront, their tightness belying the grace of the content.

The space itself--a month-old community center called Service Frontroom--has an interesting grace about it. Well, more a romance. The floor's in need of repair, but I love floors that aren't repaired. There are patches of crumbled paint, but I love missing paint's revelation. An eight-foot American flag covers a short corner, and there's a pretty well-equipped kitchen behind the front room. The word "S E R V I C E" is hung on the wall in old-post-office manner and color. There are vegan snacks and Trader Joe's Wine on a table constructed of rough wood. I feel like this room was once full of fine time-pieces and hats, or like it was a building in Williamsburg that was teleported to Ferndale's "Secret Garden" sector.

I meet Corrine Rice after nibbling on a pumpkin spice cookie. She's happy about being co-operator of the bourgeoning collective space. There are a lot of plans for it, including, but not limited to, pop-up dinners, raw food classes, yoga, art shows, and health talks. Some events will be free, some not, some by donation. Rice knows that things like yoga and health information are really important and that people in this area often can't afford them, and wants to make sure the community part of the center doesn't get squelched. Rice herself is quite experienced with both cooking and teaching raw food techniques. I liked the sweets. 

For a more complete schedule and information on how to donate or become involved with the space (I have a feeling almost any talent can be used), visit their facebook and their Real Life Website. Visit them anyway. I know this place is brand new, (still waiting on occupancy permits) but it's worth checking out through whatever its evolution will be.