Eastpointe artist Elijah Carpenter’s digital character creations are among the artwork included in the Eastpointe Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission’s virtual art exhibition.

Eastpointe artist Elijah Carpenter’s digital character creations are among the artwork included in the Eastpointe Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission’s virtual art exhibition.

Image provided by Elijah Carpenter

Eastpointe art exhibition goes digital

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 2, 2020


EASTPOINTE — COVID-19 has prevented many events from moving forward this year, but the Eastpointe Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission is moving its annual art exhibition to a virtual format so that people won’t have to miss it.

Each year, the commission highlights the work of Eastpointe artists through the show. Commission Chair Alysa Diebolt said it was something they wanted to ensure still moved forward even if a public event was out of the question.

“The Eastpointe Art Exhibition was sort of how the commission got started, so it’s sort of an inaugural event for us. This would have been our fourth year,” she said. “With COVID, we couldn’t host it in person this year, but we really wanted to find a way to still do it because it’s so important to us.”

Instead of an in-person art show, the commission is putting together a video on its Facebook page that will show people the recent work of several local artists.

“It’s going to be a video on the art commission’s Facebook page. I’m putting it together myself,” Diebolt said. “It’s going to be a slideshow of images with the artist’s name and the title of the piece of work as well as what medium it’s in. All of the artists are Eastpointe residents.”

Among those featured in the show is Eastpointe artist Elijah Carpenter. He was very happy to see the art show moving forward despite the challenges.

“Last year I took a job with the city of Eastpointe and I was made aware of the Arts and Cultural Diversity Commission. I submitted a piece at a previous art show, so I submitted one this year. I’m really excited,” Carpenter said.

The exhibition can be viewed at www.facebook.com/CityofEastpointeArtsandCulturalDiversityCommission.

More than two dozen artists will be included across a variety of mediums.

“We’re expecting more than 25 submissions from artists,” said Diebolt. “We have both acrylic and oil paintings featured in the show, there’s photography, mixed media and glass as well. One thing we’ve been able to do this year that we haven’t been able to in the past is have a platform to portray digital art such as Elijah’s.”

Carpenter described his piece as an exploration of character development.

“I am submitting one piece. It is basically something I really like to draw and make art of. Last year my piece was more symbolic, but this is more about character design and development,” he explained. “It’s two characters I created of one character from different dimensions in conflict, so it’s something fun.”

The video went up the evening of Oct. 1. As a Facebook post, it will remain on the page permanently.

“People would be surprised how talented people are in a small city,” said Carpenter. “I was impressed at the art show last year at how much skill was on display. If you want to be inspired or just see something interesting, they should see what Eastpointe has to offer.”

Carpenter also said that in troubling or uncertain times, art can be a lifesaver.

“I’m all for pursuing art and culture. I like that they’re promoting art and local artists and encouraging people to explore their talents,” he remarked. “It’s a fun and relaxing thing for a lot of people. This show was all digital, so it was easy to submit a digital piece to without having to pay to frame it or anything, so it was a good fit for me.”

Diebolt said continuing to encourage the arts in the time of COVID is a challenge, but they hope this virtual exhibition will help hold people over until they can provide more public programs again.

“We’ve been brainstorming some ideas to continue to bring arts and cultural diversity projects to the city, keeping in mind the health and safety of residents,” she said. “We have to make that our priority and it means we have to be a lot more creative.”

Both Diebolt and Carpenter said people should be very impressed with what will be on display through this virtual project.

“It’s awesome. I think the best thing about the exhibition in this virtual format is that it’s accessible,” said Diebolt. “It shows off that we have so much creative talent and such diverse creative talent across so many different mediums. I love being able to show off all of that talent.”