Local Axis: Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum

Museum Tour

Wednesday, August 5
12:00 pm

Red Bull Arts is pleased to present LOCAL AXIS, an abstract study in movement, sound, and time. The video series connects three Detroit artists with three of the city’s most influential cultural spaces, curators, and artists to explore these spaces through an intimate, experimental lens that weaves together artistic practice, ancestry, and Detroit history. The pilot episode will feature multidisciplinary artist and dancer Bree Gant in conversation with curator Olayami Dabls in a moving exploration of the Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum, an expansive collection of outdoor installations encompassing almost an entire city block. Deconstructing traditional interpretations of museums, art and time, they reconsider conceptualizations of the magic and material that define their very building blocks.

STARRING | Olayami Dabls, Bree Gant
MOVEMENT DIRECTOR | Celia Benvenutti
CREATIVE DIRECTOR(S) | Paige Wood, Katy Dresner
EDITOR | Katy Dresner
MUSIC | "Overthrow", Sounds of Red BullSPECIAL THANKS | Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum, Olayami Dabls, Scott Campbell

PAIGE WOOD is an award-winning filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and creative consultant. Inspired by the supernatural, the surreal, and all the too real, Paige is a 2020 Kresge Artist Fellow, an alumni of Firelight Media's 2018-2019 Impact Producer Cohort, as well as a 2019 Sundance Institute | Knight Foundation Program fellow.

BREE GANT is a multidisciplinary artist and documentarian interested in ritual and mental health. Their practice emerges from self examination and social documenting, often in the forms of photography, film, and installation.

OLAYAMI DABLS has worked as a visual story teller using a wide range of materials for more than 45 years. His work uses references from African material culture to tell stories about the human condition. Using iron, rock, wood and mirrors, Dabls found that these four materials are primary building blocks that speak universally to all cultures.  16 years ago Olayami Dabls came to the corner of Grand River and West Grand Blvd with a vision to create a space for his community to understand the immense power of their African heritage.

Over 20 years ago Olayami Dabls came to the corner of Grand River and West Grand Blvd with a vision to create a space for his community to understand the immense power of their African heritage. Dabls, the founder and curator of MBAD African Bead Museum, created the project with the intention to use art for its original purpose in Africa. Instead of using art for entertainment or to make money, he uses art to stimulate emotional and cultural healing.    

Occupying almost an entire city block, the Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum houses 18 outdoor installations as well as the African Bead Gallery, N'kisi House and African Language Wall. Born of his own visual cosmology, Dabls' MBAD African Bead Museum is a quiet revolution that sparks a vital conversation with global and local audiences.

With support from foundations such as the Knight Foundation and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Dabls continues to build and expand on his mission. Working with Los Angeles/Detroit based architectural design firm Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects and Allied Media Projects,  Dabls is in the process of renovating the museum’s three townhouses and a separate neighboring building with the end goal of being able to provide indoor programming during the colder months. Dabls envisions the townhouses holding rotating exhibitions of African material culture, as well as a space for an artist’s residence on the second floor. We encourage you to visit the MBAD African Bead Museum website for more information and the chance to donate to the museum and its expansion, but more importantly, we encourage you to visit in person if able!  

Support MBAD African Bead Museum at http://www.mbad.org/support