323 East 2 Year Anniversary

Friday, June 11
(Also on 6/12 and 6/13 )

by Travis R. Wright

When the door at 323 East Fourth St. in Royal Oak opened two-years ago, it revealed a hip visual art, jewelry and clothing boutique featuring droves of youthful creators from Detroit and elsewhere.

There were CDs for sale and some books of locally produced poetry too. With gentrification seeping through the suburb's once-subversive downtown, Jesse Cory's lime green art shop was a much-needed addition. It brought some funk back.

A set of turntables became a characteristic aspect of the boutique's terrain, and 323 East booths became a staple at area fests.

Eventually, the narrow structure began hosting art openings like a proper gallery, particularly after hosting a show by lowbrow king Glenn Barr. Audrey Pongracz, Kill Taupe, Ron Zakrin, David Foox, and Mark Arminski have had substantial openings here, and more than 100 other artists have seen their works on its walls.

In collaboration with CPop and Y-Arts Detroit, 323 East is hosting a three-day arts throwdown to celebrate its second year. The weekend will also serve as a book launch for Kobi Solomon's My First Graffiti Coloring Book.

Artists including Arminski, Tom Thewes, Matt Eaton, Shades, Randy Chabot, Foox, Sintex, Malt, Mike Doyle, Drew Kups, Megan Harris and Solomon himself, among others, will offer artistic interpretations of the alphabetized (A is for Aerosol) pages in which Solomon executed his book.

For the third time, 323 East will undergo an external overhaul as it becomes the canvas for "a 72-hour mural" created by area street artists.

And there'll be barbecue too! Celebration on Friday, with live mural continuing Saturday and Sunday, at:
323 East Gallery, 323 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 866-756-6538;


Information about the Book

From Album, B-boy & Caps to X, Youth & the Zone, "My First" Graffiti Coloring Book includes 26 different styles of black & white graffiti outlines to color in however you like.

Each 17"x11" page is a full composition with poetry, characters and letters that can stretch out for miles. more...

Download a free sample page

"This book happens to be a finely crafted and beautifully illustrated piece of literature... in spite of being created by a graffiti artist."

OBJEX ATCHA (publisher)

"Painting something that defies the law of the land is good. Painting something that defies the law of the land and the law of gravity at the same time is ideal."

BANKSY (Wall and Piece)