Detroit Life: A Photography Exhibit

This exhibit of photography by Detroit photographers explores “Detroit Life “. Ten photographers  present works ranging from black & white to hand-tinted, landscapes to celebrity shots. Please join us for an uplifting view of our city and its people. Through July 25, 2015.

about the photographers

IFOMA stubbs

Ifoma (pronounced EE-Foo-Mah) (Cornell ) Stubbs has been known in the Detroit area primary for his photography and photographic art, which has been shown at local galleries, fairs and art exhibitions over the past 25 years.  Ifoma also worked with the City of Detroit as a photographer during the Archer and Kilpatrick administrations. His noted photographic Marcus Garvey Centennial documentary exhibited at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African History and Dusable Museum in Chicago.  He has participated in several solo and group exhibitions which has included The African World Festival, The University Arts festival and the Comerica TasteFest to name a few.  His photographs have been published in Black Enterprise magazine, Ebony, The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, Michigan Chronicle, Michigan Citizen, MetroTimes and other publications.

Akilah Williams

Akilah started taking pictures of the world around her at a very young age. She received her first camera from her father in elementary school and this small gift turned into a lifelong career. Her true potential and talent emerged while still in high school.  Akilah first exhibited her work in the Detroit Public Schools Student Art Exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2006 and 2007, and this experience launched her into the world of fine art. She attended the University of Michigan School of Art and Design and graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Brain, Behavior and Cognitive Science. In the fall of 2012 she went on to attend the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University. How did she go from art school to medical school you ask? It's simple. The camera is modeled after the eye. Akilah loves photography and science so why not combine the two fields? Presently she continues to learn, develop and refine her craft today as a fine art photographer and as an ophthalmic photographer.

john osler

"I was born in Detroit surrounded by art. I was the son of an illustrator and an art teacher. Educated as an engineer, I left the field and grabbed my chance to be in commercial art. It was a great period to be in advertising in Detroit. I had a chance to work with world-class illustrators and photographers for 35 years before I quit my career in order to paint.

 For the last twenty some years I have enjoyed the freedom to spend time with my subjects until they have taken life on my canvas. In my travels I am never without a camera. Photography was always part of my life since my father let me use his darkroom. It still is.

 I have published a book of photographs of Detroit’s jazz musicians. DETROIT JAZZ was published in 2013."

idris nia

Idris Nia is a photojournalist whose work has appeared in such publications as Washington Post, Metro Times, and Real Detroit. He is a graduate of the Howard University School of Communications and Michigan Technological University Graduate School of Rhetoric and Technical Communication.

His skill of photography coupled with his love of music and culture has resulted in many album covers, publicity photos, and performance shots, particularly in the jazz and reggae genres. Being based in Detroit has given him intimate access over 35 years to the local scene.

terrance ashworth keith

Terrance Ashworth Keith is Detroit born, bred and educated and a proud graduate of University of Michigan and University of Detroit Law School. However, his passion is photography. He describes himself as self taught and has been perfecting his craft for the last twenty-five years. While many believe that Michigan is a wonderland because of the beautiful lakes, Terrance has always believed that it is the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets that set the
background for all that is heralded about the Great Lake State. He hopes that the beauty of
the Detroit River and Michigan shines through to you as well.

charlene uresy

All of her life, African-Cuban-American artist Charlene Uresy, has been inspired and impelled by colors, shapes, music and food.  These basic elements are fundamental to her art and approach to life.  For over twenty years, the simplicity of traditional art has driven her creativity.  Enjoy her work.  It's the product of a dynamic artist,a skilled photographer, a sensitive person, who employs traditional elements of a culture to bring new meaning and enjoyment to today's world.

amy gillespie

Amy Gillespie is a lifestyle and commercial photographer. Her passion for photography and art started at a very young age. She studied Visual Communications at The Art Institute of Seattle, then continued her education earning a Bachelors of Science in Marketing and an MBA. She pursued a corporate career, working in sales and marketing for a little over a decade before realizing the corporate world couldn’t possibly provide the artistic outlet she desired. She started her own photography business five years ago, and she hasn’t looked back.

Amy’s style and asthetic is clean and contemporary with a twist of humor. She loves nothing more than creating images that make people smile, laugh or become inspired. Her favorite subjects to photograph are people, places and things. She has an innate love of travel, to cities as well as remote locations. The first city she started photographing was Detroit. Her love of the city continues to grow and change as the city continues to evolve. You can read more about her and see her work at:

Leni Sinclair

Born and raised in the former East Germany, Leni Sinclair arrived in the United States in 1959 and settled in Detroit. While studying geography at Wayne State University in the early 1960s, she helped organize the Detroit Artists Workshop and began documenting the cultural and political history of the era with her camera.  She soon discovered the thriving Detroit jazz clubs and by mid-decade, she also found herself amidst an explosive “Michigan Rock” scene, working with emerging artists such as the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, and Bob Seger while also serving as part of the lighting crew at the legendary Grande Ballroom. Leni possesses a genuinely iconic collection of photographs documenting the political and cultural transformations taking place in Detroit and Ann Arbor from 1965-1975.

 Her intense love for music has led Leni to photograph literally thousands of musicians over the subsequent decades, covering jazz, blues, rock, reggae, African music and more. Her photographs have appeared in newspapers, magazines, books, and on album and CD covers, both in the U.S. and internationally. In 1984, with author and jazz historian Herb Boyd, she published the Detroit Jazz Who’s Who that features nearly 400 photographs of Detroit-based musicians. In 1995, she moved to New Orleans where she documented hundreds of musicians, Mardi Gras Indians, street parades, and music festivals, including the celebrated New Orleans Jazz Festivals before returning to Detroit in 2000.

 In 2009, Leni had her first major museum exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, and in 2012, she and Gary Grimshaw co-authored and published Detroit Rocks! A Pictorial History of Motor City Rock and Roll, 1965 to 1975.  From Coltrane and Sun Ra to Howlin’ Wolf, Hendrix, and Aretha Franklin, Leni Sinclair’s images present not merely five decades of music photography, but an essential portrait of American culture.

barbara barefield

Barbara Weinberg Barefield’s photography spans a 40-year journey in Detroit and immersion into the lives of many of widely-acclaimed stars of jazz, classical and world music. Side-by-side with her husband, composer/guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, she has helped to present hundreds of concerts at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Jazz Festival, Palmer Woods Music in Homes, and worldwide, all the while with her camera at hand. 

A former New Yorker, her work has been widely exhibited and published in her book “Jazz Space Detroit,” a collaboration with writer Her Boyd, and supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts. While art director at the Detroit Free Press, she was mentored by Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Tony Spina, who taught her the mastering of hand-tinting photos. Her photos have appeared on record and CD covers, and in many publications, including The New York Times, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, MetroTimes, LA Times, People magazine, and others. 

Also a sculptor, her ceramic artwork has been included in juried shows at the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum, and at the Michigan Ceramic Art Association exhibit at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. A graduate of the University of Michigan College of Architecture and Design, Barefield is the former Art Director for the Detroit Free Press Sunday Magazine and for the United Auto Workers Solidarity magazine. A community activist, she has shared her photos to promote the city of Detroit, her Palmer Park area neighborhood, and numerous peace and social justice organizations.