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‘Untitled Prints’ makes fine art accessible

Robert-David Jones and his work

Robert-David Jones and his work

By Phreddy Wischusen
The Michigan Citizen

Robert-David Jones sold his first painting when he was eight years old and has been submerged in art as a painter, ceramicist and sculptor ever since. Now 29, the Detroit native is not only making work, he is curating shows as well. On May 10, Jones and Allison Kruske, a painter and photographer, will unveil “Untitled Prints,” an exhibition designed to simultaneously engage first-time art buyers and introduce local artists to veteran collectors.

Allison Kruske

Allison Kruske

Untitled Prints will feature works by 30 different artists, including: Detroiters Jones, Kruske, Chris Turner (sculptor of the Millenium Bell in Grand Circus Park), Cristin Richard and Justine Tobiasz; recent transplants Levon Kafafian and Anna Schaap; and Grecian-born, U.K. resident Ismini Adami, Peter Baader from Germany, and Klaus Pinter from Austria, among many others. Pinter is highly acclaimed internationally and has work in the MoMA’s permanent collection.

By showing only prints, instead of original or one-of-a-kind pieces, Jones and Kruske are able to feature high quality art that is still affordable to first time buyers. All of the works shown will be available for purchase for $50 or less.

“Collecting fine art prints is a great way to begin a collection that will increase in value,” Jones told the Michigan Citizen. That being said, Jones and Kruske both believe that personal attraction to a particular piece, not its possible future value, is the most important factor in selecting art.

For a new collector, being true to your own personal taste should go above all else. Like with collecting tennis shoes, you want your collection to stand out. Commitment to personal preference will take the collector and their collection far beyond trends past or present,” Jones says.

Work by Allison Kruske

Work by Allison Kruske

Kruske also believes the process of buying original art, as an “active consumer” is a practice in self-determination. Having a work in your home that speaks to you is lot more empowering, than having decorations that you think you’re supposed to like, she says.

The prints will be exhibited for one night only at Practice Space, a recently-renovated mechanic shop in North Corktown, now home to a Detroit-specific business think-tank/incubator.

Though the building still retains much of its original appearance — the smooth concrete floors, raw cinderblock walls, gargantuan metal garage doors, and the exterior paint that reads “Joe’s Auto Truck Welding and Repair” — University of Michigan artists have added a futuristic façade, which evokes fish scales from the outside, but allows light to penetrate the front room similar to sunlight viewed from just below the surface of the ocean — dappled, dancing and beautiful.

“The mission of Practice Space ‘to bring together entrepreneurs, creatives and the local community’ coincides with and supplements the ideas of Untitled Prints,” says Jones. “Serving as a collaborative work space with a design-focused, community-oriented residency program in place, and retrofitted for purpose, while maintaining its raw and mostly unembellished state, Practice Space is the absolute model venue for this exhibition.”

In a city facing all kinds of hardships, Jones says he sees “glimmers of light and feelings of hope. The future for art is incredibly bright.”

Learn more about the show at

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