A new exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts pays homage to Black Detroiter’s style and culture. The exhibit, “7 Mile + Livernois,” was created by Detroit artist Tiff Massey, the youngest artist to exhibit at the museum. Massey, a metalsmith and sculptor, shares the memories of her upbringing near Detroit’s 7 Mile and Livernois “Avenue of Fashion” corridor in her exhibit, the largest by a Detroit artist to appear at the DIA. She specializes in creating jewelry, installations, public art, and wearable sculptures. 

At the heart of “7 Mile + Livernois” is an exploration of identity, community, and heritage. Massey’s sculptures draw inspiration from the history of West African and Black American culture and style, reflecting also on the evolution of Detroit’s neighborhoods. Through her art, she invites viewers to engage with the art in public spaces. 

"Tiff Massey: 7 Mile + Livernois" exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit artist Tiff Massey’s “7 Mile + Livernois” exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. | Photo by American Black Journal

Massey’s exhibit has also sparked new collaborations with the DIA, which has led to the creation of new sculptures within the museum’s vast collection. Her artistic vision extends beyond the museum too, with plans for a new art and community space in the neighborhood that inspired her work.

Host Stephen Henderson talks with Massey about why she named the exhibit after the Detroit neighborhood where she grew up. They also discuss the meaning behind the large-scale sculptures she created to celebrate Detroiters, the Avenue of Fashion, and how Black people adorn themselves.

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