Detroit Industrial Gallery with Tim Burke – Detroit Portraiture

Detroit Industrial Gallery is Detroit Art, Tim Burke style!

Detroit Industrial Gallery founder Tim Burke by Detroit Portraiture
What is old, is new at Detroit Industrial Gallery

Dig This! Nestled in the center of The Heidelberg Project is Detroit Industrial Gallery. At first one might think it was a part of the Heidelberg Project, but make no mistake, Detroit Industrial Gallery is a stand alone art gallery. The brain child of Detroit street artist and sculptor Tim Burke, Detroit Industrial Gallery is easily identifiable among the other art in the area by the bright yellow house that the gallery resides in and around.

Tim Burke by Detroit Portraiture
Detroit Industrial Gallery founder and artist poses with one of his creative sculptures

The art is mainly sculptures created using found objects, many with historical Detroit ties. Burke describes his artistic style as “Modern Art. Some people call it Outsider Art, because I haven’t been to art school. I had two guys standing here looking at these burnt timbers about six years ago and one guy says “They don’t teach that at Pratt!” I said, What’s Pratt? He said “It’s where we teach. Just one of the most prestigious art schools in the nation, located in New York.” So, I’m going to let others talk about my work and hone in on that. Like, I have professors from Pratt saying “They don’t teach you that in Pratt.” In other words, this is something innate for me and it’s from my feeling nature and just doing it. And so, I said I wish I had gone to Pratt and they said “No! With what you have going here, going to school would have ruined it. You wouldn’t have been able to do what you do. Keep doing what you do!”

Detroit Industrial Gallery by Tony Lafferty
Sculptor and fellow Detroiter Tim Burke

When asked how he thinks Detroit art stacks up to the rest of the world’s art, Tim said “Wow! We have a lot of great artists here.  In regards to street art, we are at the top of that here in Detroit. I don’t know about graffiti. I haven’t been to New York to see their graffiti. Or I haven’t checked out graffiti in the other states. I have checked out the fine arts and modern arts in museums, but not on the street. So, I would be biased to say, ours is the coolest or the best so far. And it’s growing as well.”

Since Tim brought up graffiti, I thought it fitting to ask his take on the often controversial art form. Tim replied “If it’s good graffiti? Yes. If it’s bullshit graffiti, tagging my initials, opinion, or tagging wars and such…that’s bullshit! I am totally against just going up and tagging up a building someone else owns!

For recommendations on places to see some cool Detroit art, with a chuckle Tim says “Other than my own? I really like Dabls’ African Bead Gallery and the DIA.”

Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions and letting me take your portrait Tim.  Glad that you are a Detroiter through and through.