Space and Time: Ten Years of the Salt-Mine
Works by Simone DeSousa and Coley McLean
October 18 – December 13, 2008
Space and Time: Ten Years of the Salt-Mine is a collection of new and older works created at Salt-Mine Studio by Simone DeSousa and Coley McLean. The exhibit reflects on the Salt-Mine as an essential component of the artists’ lives and work, as well as their contribution to the art community and their continuing relationship with the city of Detroit.
Back to the Salt-Mine…
Salt-Mine Studio began in 1998 as a collective of five artists just out of school and looking for a working studio space to share. The Studio started at the Russell Industrial Center when the RIC was still little known in the art community, and included just a few scattered studios surrounded by warehouses.
Salt-Mine co-founder Coley McLean discovered the space at the RIC, and acted as the unofficial leader of the collective, which also included co-founder Simone DeSousa. Coley shared her passion for the city of Detroit with the others, as well as her fearless drive to create the best studio an artist could want or have. The RIC, with its vast empty warehouse surroundings, provided a limitless space just waiting to be transformed into that perfect studio environment.
The name Salt-Mine Studio is a reference to both Detroit’s salt mines and the idiom “Back to the salt mine,” an expression for returning to work.
The collective quickly reduced to just Simone and Coley, and Salt-Mine became the sole work territory for both over the past ten years. While Coley’s familiarity with the city of Detroit helped lead them to the studio space, Simone’s introduction to the city began at Salt-Mine, and Detroit became an important source of inspiration in her work.
On the surface, Simone and Coley couldn’t seem more different. The two work with completely different media and approaches, yet together went on to create this dynamic working space and resource to the arts community. They realize the significance of being part of the transformation of the city, and have embraced all the challenges that come with working in a city in transition.
The founding artists’ shared work ethic, driven by a deep commitment to the quality of their works, and passion for Detroit has allowed Salt-Mine to continue to evolve and expand. The Studio now occupies a 4,000 square foot area on the 2nd floor of Building #2 at the Russell Industrial Center, and houses a painting studio, a fully equipped metal shop, and a small art foundry.