February 18, 2020

DLECTRICITY Site #7: The N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art

One feature of Detroit that makes the city recognizable internationally is its arts community. Its innovative, daring, inquisitive and prolific art scene can’t maintain those adjectives without the individuals and organizations that form its foundation. One of those places is the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, and we’re happy to again include it in our footprint for DLECTRICITY 2020!

George N’Namdi is a pioneer in the Detroit gallery scene and has been on the DLECTRICITY curatorial committee since its inception. In 1982 N’Namdi launched his family-based G.R. N’Namdi Gallery; he later expanded his holdings to include galleries in Chicago and in New York City. N’Namdi’s son, Jumaane, managed the Chicago gallery and now oversees a Miami Gallery. He has exhibited the works of artists Hughie Lee Smith, James VanDerZee, Allie McGhee, and Barbara Chase Riboud. The N’Namdi Center’s mission is to spread appreciation of the arts and enlighten through the arts, and it sees to it by upholding a diverse exhibition program and immersing activities such as yoga and dance into its agenda.

The N’Namdi building complex includes a pedestrian alleyway that leads directly to another major DLECTRICITY site, MOCAD. This passageway provides opportunity to present luminous works of art that engage with passersby. Just off the alley is the N’Namdi Movement Center, a space that typically hosts movement-based classes but also welcomes artwork for DLECTRICITY. Additionally, the building provides a great exterior wall that faces Woodward where wall reliefs can be exhibited, or media-works can be projected. In the past, the front glass windows of the gallery space have been projected from the rear, and the interior of the space has made room for small performances. The N’Namdi Center has shown artists Jeffrey Chiplis, Michaela Mosher, Jasmine Murrell, Scott Reeder, and Vagner Whitehead in the past for DLECTRICITY.

Many thanks to George N’Namdi and his Center for Contemporary Art for their continuous contributions to DLECTRICITY!

Vagner Whitehead at the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, DLECTRICITY 2012
Side view of the N’Namdi Center