Here's hoping you had a great Memorial Day weekend. In Michigan, where I live, and Ohio, where I spent much of the weekend, the weather was spectacular. I enjoyed most of the time outside celebrating fellowship with friends.

Do you know anybody born in May? How about anyone in military service? What about civil rights service? On the Sunday preceding the holiday we reserve to honor fallen and surviving heroes, I thought of America's Freedom Riders. Chiefly those born in May. If we are the land of the free because of the brave, they are certainly among the brave.

May Freedom Rider babies would include the following seven people. Daniel Stevens, born May 4, 1942, in Wauseon, OH; Alexander Weiss, born May 16, 1936, in Vienna Austria; Miller G. Green (pictured above), born May 19, 1943, in Bentonia, MS; Elizabeth Hirshfeld and Jerome Smith, born May 21, 1937 in Ithaca, NY, and 1939 in New Orleans, LA, respectively; Stephen Green, born May 2, 1940, in Muncie, Indiana, and Mimi Real (pictured below), born May 31, 1941, in Brooklyn, NY. 

I wonder how different it would have been for me today as a woman of color if they had not stepped up to challenge the status quo. And I know I should not be the only one thankful for their sacrifices and service.

We each have a voice, and ways that we are uniquely called to use it. Some in defiant demonstration. Others through poetic, creative expression.

While I'm here, I'm giving a shout out to several socially conscious Detroit area artists with very different approaches to creative commentary. I've been trying to keep tabs on these three folks, each one an artist worth knowing in their own right: Eno Laget, Ron Rodriguez, and Alana Carlson

Eno Laget has had sculpture and prints in exhibits continuously across the past several months. He was recently interviewed by Detroit Public Television for one of his pochoir prints of Rosa Parks. It had been on display at the Scarab Club during the Gilda Snowden Memorial Art Exhibit in March. You can see the DPTV American Black Journal video short of that interview here.

The equally prolific Ron Rodriguez currently has three sculptures in the Gold Metal juried Arts Exhibit at the Padzieski Gallery in Dearborn's Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. He's been awarded best in show for the sculpture category, for one of those pieces, titled "Is fairness too much to ask. It's not the first time he's received best in show. The Gold Metal exhibit will be up through June 11, 2022. Admission is free. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, but call ahead to ensure entrance to the exhibit.

Along with two other local artists, gifted painter Alana Carlson will have work on display in the Annex Gallery at 333 Midland in Highland Park, through June 12, 2022. The opening reception for this exhibit will be held Friday, June 3, 2022, 5-9 PM. 

ARTHAUSDetroit 2022

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