Terese Reyes and her gallery Reyes Projects contemporary gallery blends high-end East and West Coast art world experience with Motown creativity.
By Shelly Johnson
The “palpable potential” and “infectiously unique spirit” of the emerging Detroit art scene is part of the reason Terese Reyes blends her high-end East and West Coast art world experience with her love of art at her gallery Reyes Projects in Birmingham. Reyes is creating opportunities for emerging and mid-career artists, especially locals. “Detroit breeds a certain sense of pride and gives artists the space and flexibility other cities cannot offer,” she said. “Many artists here are either locals or drawn to Detroit because of its tenacious culture, infrastructure and history.” She said she believes “a driving force behind the art scene in Detroit is that the artists can sense immense possibility.”
Reyes worked in New York City for seven years after graduating with a BA from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in contemporary art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She held positions at Andrew Edlin Fine Arts and Marlborough Contemporary, both in New York, and is now incorporating her experience to blend the talents of local artists with many of their New York contemporaries. She said she wants to be surrounded by work that excites her and is both internationally renowned and regional in its dialogue. Reyes works directly with artists and tries to push them to create. A great example is the current exhibition by Detroit-based sculptor Marie Herwald Hermann (through Nov. 25). “I am drawn to Marie’s quiet compositions and installations,” Reyes said. “She has a particular knack for developing and pursuing new relationships between her work and the space in which it is presented.”
For example, Hermann lined the walls of a gallery with hundreds of thrown and handmade ceramic objects, working to redefine both the space itself and visitors’ relationships with it. Her compositions are magnetic and often yield intimate conversations that leave viewers forgetting they are surrounded by a hundred or more pieces.
Reyes said she’s excited to see how Hermann will transform the architecture and utilize the wealth of natural light in Reyes Projects. Artists Reyes has brought from New York are Tony Cox, Spencer Sweeney and Sadie Laska.
Reyes’ 4,600-square-foot gallery space is in the landmark Wachler Jewelry building in Birmingham. She sees a burgeoning cultural community in the town that is inspiring and supportive, and she wants to be a part of it. Her client roster is diverse, with both new and established collectors counting on her expertise. Mounting both solo and group exhibitions, she typically allows the work of the artists to dictate the tone of the presentation. On some occasions, she first chooses a theme and then selects a group of artists to interpret it.
“It’s amazing to see how a concept manifests with such a diverse array of mediums and art-making processes,” she said. The gallery reveals between five and eight shows per year. Exhibitions are often developed in collaboration with local patrons, artists and institutions, with the intent to diversify and strengthen Detroit’s thriving arts community.
Reyes is on the board at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) and regularly attends openings at local arts organizations as well as performances and other cultural programming throughout Detroit. Whether it be institutional leaders like Cranbrook Academy of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) or neighborhood galleries like Bahamas Biennale and What Pipeline, all are showing artists and activating projects that are representative of Detroit’s art scene.
Reyes Projects will be participating in the New Art Dealers Alliance exhibition in Miami Beach for the first time this winter. The gallery’s booth will feature a solo presentation by sculptor Marie Herwald Hermann.
For More Information:
100 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham
Get a look at the Reyes Projects and artist Marie Herwald Hermann during the SEEN Shop Local Holiday Pop-up.
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Reyes Projects, 100 S. Old Woodward, Birmingham. Free.