Gallerist,Misha McGlown runs the incomparable Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery on Detroit’s west side. McGlown had a small window to insert Detroit artists into a New York exhibition and auction opening on March 26, 2022 at the famed CHRISTIE’S New York, and she seized the moment. The auction is part of Christie’s Corporate Social Responsibility program and is a benefit for City College Center for the Arts (CCCA), where she has served as a curator of their Windows on Amsterdam Gallery since 2015. Sponsored by Investors Bank, the curated exhibition, 100 Years of Harlem: Resonating Around the World, celebrates the centennial of the Harlem Renaissance as a continuum of culture and creativity that has flowed from the enclave and endured since the 1920s. It features 24 visual artists, hailing from Harlem and around the world, many with ties to CCCA. McGlown introduced Detroit artists Jonathan Harris and Tyree Guyton into the mix, while also finding placement for emerging Detroit artist, Terrell Anglin, in the CCCA permanent collection.
A native of Detroit who lived and established her career in Harlem for a span of over twenty years, McGlown, who is also known as Omo Misha in personal and professional circles, remains a resource for a long list of New York artists and cultural institutions including the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling, the LeRoy Neiman Art Center, the NYC Parks Department, Columbia University and Harlem Community Development Corporation. Since returning to Detroit in 2018 to realize Irwin House Gallery with her aunt, Valerie Irwin, she feels it is part of her curatorial mission to create a bridge between these two “personally-beloved” historic communities. “Both are home to me,” she shares, pointing out the similarities in their indelible contributions to shaping black identity and culture in America. “Both Harlem and Detroit continue to breed and harbor exemplary talent, often against staggering odds, and both are undergoing major political and demographic changes that threaten to alter the cultural landscape,” she adds. “The arts have provided an opportunity for me to help bring these two worlds together and, hopefully, provide opportunities for artists to inspire and learn from each other in both places.”
While she presented several Detroit artists to the auction committee, Jonathan Harris and Tyree Guyton were ultimately selected, both on the merits and ingenuity of their work. Harris has since been thrust into the spotlight with his recent Critical Race Theory painting, while Guyton is internationally known for the Heidelberg Project, which is recognized as one of the most powerful art environments in the world. Both are going to auction for the first time. A work by emerging Detroit artist, Terrell Anglin, who landed his first exhibit with Harris at Irwin House Gallery in 2021, was also embraced by the committee and folded straight into the City College Center for the Arts permanent collection. Through exhibitions and residencies offered at Irwin Gallery, Misha also invites artists from New York and around the world to experience and contribute to Detroit’s robust creative community.
Other artists participating in the Christie’s auction include Francks Deceus, James Denmark, Uday Dhar, Noreen Dean Dresser, Lola Flash, Mira Gandy, Paul Goodnight, Stephanie Karen Gregory, Carl Karni-Bain (aka BAI), Julio Leitão, D. H. Caranda Martin, Tomo Mori, Donovan Nelson, Dawn Okoro, Charly Palmer, Larry Pierce, Jody Rasch, Faith Ringgold, Danny Simmons, Yukako, and Grace Y. Williams.
The online sale, powered by Givergy, will be open for bidding from March 26 to April 4, 2022 and works from the auction will be exhibited at Christie’s New York concurrently. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the contributing artists with the remainder earmarked for the City College Center for the Arts’ Youth Arts Empowerment Program, which each year serves more than 8,000 underserved youth in the Harlem community.
March 26 – April 4, 2022
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Christie’s New York
20 Rockefeller Plaza
Thursday, March 31, 2022
7 – 8 p.m.
To learn more, view the artwork and/or register to bid in the auction START HERE.
See photo gallery below. Photos courtesy Omo Misha