A shot of the installed “StreetKraft” exhibition  at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak illustrates  glass artists’ gritty, urban and mundane  interpretations of the street. The show  runs through Saturday, Sept. 15.

A shot of the installed “StreetKraft” exhibition at Habatat Galleries in Royal Oak illustrates glass artists’ gritty, urban and mundane interpretations of the street. The show runs through Saturday, Sept. 15.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley


Habatat Galleries presents edgy ‘StreetKraft’ exhibit

Glass pieces center on street, graffiti theme

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published September 4, 2018

 Polish glass artist Kalina Banka’s “6/7” — hand-painted stained glass in a metal box — will be on display in the “StreetKraft” exhibition.

Polish glass artist Kalina Banka’s “6/7” — hand-painted stained glass in a metal box — will be on display in the “StreetKraft” exhibition.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

 “Construction Worker,” a piece featuring silkscreen, acrylic gouache on paper, wood and glass, by SWOON, the moniker used by Caledonia Curry, of Brooklyn, New York, is part of the show.

“Construction Worker,” a piece featuring silkscreen, acrylic gouache on paper, wood and glass, by SWOON, the moniker used by Caledonia Curry, of Brooklyn, New York, is part of the show.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

ROYAL OAK — The latest exhibition at Habatat Galleries, which is on display now through Sept. 15, takes a turn from the more conservative collections for which the location is known.

“StreetKraft,” curated by College for Creative Studies head of glass and Ferndale resident Kim Harty, explores the gritty, urban and often mundane world of the street. 

The exhibition features 17 artists from throughout the United States and as far away as Japan, Poland and Australia, whose techniques include kiln-forming, glass blowing, flame-working and neon.

Harty said “Kraft” refers to the use of glass as a craft material, but that the German word “Kraft,” which translates to “power,” also fits the theme of the show. 

“I wanted to do something that would be a good fit for this time and place in addition to all the street art in Detroit,” she said. “One of the things that is really fun about this show for both the artists and the viewers is a lot of the work is overt and in your face.”

An overflowing trash can made of glass and mixed media, by artist Matt Eskuche, is a focal point of the exhibit, and Harty said artists did not shy away from politics.

“Stacy Lynn Smith made gravestones of cities that are going to be underwater due to climate change. ” Harty said. “Carmen Vetter has fallout and biohazard symbols in her work.”

Harty moved to the area five years ago from Missouri to join the staff of the College for Creative Studies. She said Habatat Galleries invited her to curate an exhibition last summer, and she chose artists whose work aligned with the street theme.

“Some of the artists I knew already, some were in Habatat’s stable, and some were new to me that I discovered through the research process,” Harty said. 

She added that several artists created new pieces specifically for the show.

She said the artists’ works range from humorous to “deadly serious” interpretations of the street.

“The show is really accessible for people from all different backgrounds, whether you know a lot about art or have never been to a gallery before,” Harty said. “It’s really visual, really fun, and I feel like it could be enjoyed by a really diverse group of people.”

Aaron Schey, Habitat Galleries spokesman and West Bloomfield resident, called the show “a breath of fresh air” that is innovative and indicative of the future of contemporary glass art.

“I think it’s spectacular, the idea that these artists are taking materials and using creative ideas to make some work that really makes you think,” Schey said. “It’s very contemporary and on the edge of where glass art should be. It’s not the beautiful pieces that sit on a shelf like Grandma always had.”

A digital catalog will supplement the exhibition.

Habatat Galleries will hold a free preview party of “StreetKraft” for the public from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8. Habatat Galleries is located at 4400 Fernlee Ave., near West 14 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.

For more information, call (248) 554-0590 or visit www.habatat.com.