Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead is a permanent artwork by the late artist Mike Kelley. Located on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, it is a full-scale replica of the home in which Kelley grew up: a single-story, ranch-style house in the Detroit suburb of Westland. Kelley, who died in Los Angeles in 2012, sought to ensure that the Mobile Homestead remain relevant to the cultural interests and concerns of its local communities. In that spirit, the home was designed with a detachable facade, allowing it to be driven to neighborhoods throughout the city, offering public services during its travels.

MOCAD’s Department of Education and Public Engagement works with local organizations and individuals to make the ground floor of the Mobile Homestead a flexible community center providing space for projects, events, gatherings, conversations, and installations that are created by, and in service of, a diverse range of people. 

Rather than projecting ideas out into the world, the Mobile Homestead invites the community to contribute ideas, while visitors to the house are encouraged to suggest events, projects and exhibitions. If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved with Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead, stop by or drop us a note at: mobilehomestead@mocadetroit.org.

CURRENT EXHIBITION

ProjectArt Detroit presents
Gradient Colors

On view February 1 – April 21, 2019

ProjectArt Detroit presents Gradient Colors, a vibrant art installation that delves into an infinite world of color through the exploration of hue and light.

The immersive installation – featuring art created by ProjectArt’s students and teaching resident artists: Alphonso Cox, Cyrah Dardas, Candace Dove, Michelle Happala, Nick Pizana, M Pofahl, and Fatima Sow – is comprised of 2D and 3D multimedia works that highlight the importance of positive teacher-student relationships and the use of color psychology to facilitate youth development.

Gradient Colors captures ProjectArt’s mission to empower youth and community through art-making and mentorships. ProjectArt partners with the nation’s public libraries, enhancing their role as cultural hubs through artist residencies by offering free after-school visual arts to youth in under-resourced neighborhoods taught by socially conscious local artists.

Jessica Allie, ProjectArt Director and curator of Gradient Colors, developed the concept for the project by reflecting on the collaborative nature of ProjectArt and the ripple effects of the program that extend beyond the class. Drawing inspiration from Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color. She looks to explore color theory and pedagogy as it relates to not only students and teachers at ProjectArt but the creative community in and around Detroit.

ProjectArt connects to the core values of the Mike Kelley Mobile homestead, which is the headquarters of MOCAD’s Department of Education and Public Engagement. The homestead works with local organizations and individuals to create a flexible community center providing space for projects, events, gatherings, conversations, and installations that are created by, and in service of, a diverse range of people. Rather than projecting ideas out into the world, the Mobile Homestead invites the community to contribute ideas, while visitors to the house are also encouraged to suggest events, projects, and exhibitions.

Artist in Residents Library Activations
M Pofahl (Elmwood Branch) – February 2nd, 3-4 pm
Alphonso Cox (Campbell Branch) – February 9th, 4-5 pm
Nick Pizana (Parkman Branch) – February 23rd, 4-5 pm
Bree Gant (Main Branch) – March 9th, 2-3 pm
Candace Dove (Edison Branch) – March 16th, 3-4 pm
Michelle Happala (Sherwood Forest Branch) – March 23rd, 1-3 pm
Fatima Sow (Knapp Branch) – April 6th, 2-4 pmApril 6th, 2-4 pm

UPCOMING EXHIBITION

Nicolas Lobo:
Wellness Center

May 10 – August 4, 2019

Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead at MOCAD presents a new series of works by Nicolas Lobo (b. 1979, Los Angeles; lives in Miami) in a solo exhibition entitled Wellness Center. Miami’s identity as a resort city built atop a crumbling ecology
 is a source of rich contemplation for Lobo’s research-intensive process. His work often focuses on points of friction within the urban milieu, from informal markets—transnational multi-service shops and relics of the leisure industry. In recent work, the Miami-based artist has focused on ways in which the human body extends into the socioeconomic, spanning between individual and collective space.

Wellness Center is conceived specifically for Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead at MOCAD, in which Lobo, concerned with the tension between labor and leisure imagines wellness and healing from a variety of collective harms; presenting a prototype for utilities of a new kind.

Nicolas Lobo: Wellness Center at Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead is organized by Amy Corle, Curator of Education and Public Engagement. Generous support is provided by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Nicolas Lobo: Wellness Center is funded by The Ellies, Miami’s visual arts awards, presented by ArtCenter/South Florida. Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead is commissioned by Artangel in association with MOCAD, LUMA Foundation, and Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, with the generous support of the Artangel International Circle. Support for Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead is provided by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and the MOCAD Leadership Circle.

Image: Nicolas Lobo, Triple Rose Mask Residue Test (Rose water hydrogel, gooseberry hydrator, Cannabis pain creme, double phalaenopsis), 2019. UV ink on aluminum, 12×18 in. Image courtesy of Nina Johnson Gallery.

Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead is a permanent art work by the late artist Mike Kelley, located on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. It’s both a public sculpture and a private, personal architecture – based on the artist’s childhood home on Palmer Road in Westland, a neighborhood which primarily housed workers for the Big Three auto makers: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

In a largely disinvested city with many abandoned houses and dilapidated buildings, Mobile Homestead enacts a reversal of the ‘white flight’ that took place in Detroit following the inner city uprisings of the 1960s. It does so at a time when the city is exploring new options of renewal by assessing its singular post-industrial conditions in an attempt to articulate a new model for American cities.

The sculpture, which almost exactly replicates the vernacular architecture of working class neighborhoods in the American Midwest, brings the suburbs back into the city, and as it travels – on specific missions – the mobile home performs various kinds of community services, establishing a permanent dialogue with the community that houses it.

MOCAD’s Department of Education and Public Engagement programs the ground floor of Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead as a community space, as Kelley intended. It is home to projects, events, gatherings, conversations and displays that are created by and for a diverse public, and is intentionally unaffiliated with the Museum’s exhibitions and public programming.

The Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead is commissioned by Artangel in association with MOCAD, LUMA Foundation and Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts with the generous support of the Artangel International Circle. Support for the Mike Kelley Mobile Homestead is provided by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

The Mobile Homestead was featured on WDET, learn more and hear the story here.

Keep even more up to date with Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead on Facebook and Instagram.

On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the trailer portion of Mobile Homestead, which constitutes the front of the house, made its maiden voyage from its new home in Midtown Detroit to return to the original Kelley home in the suburbs.

On its way down Michigan Avenue, one of Detroit’s main arteries and passageway to the western suburbs, the mobile home passed through some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods such as the old Irish area of Corktown; Dearborn, the home of the Ford motor company, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (Ford’s personal collection of homes and structures associated with great Americans such as Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Rosa Parks); Inkster; Wayne (where Kelley attended Catholic school); and finally Westland where the former Kelley family home still stands.

Mike Kelley also produced a video documentary that focuses on the people and communities who live and work along Michigan Avenue. The videos, entitledMobile Homestead Christening Ceremony and Launch, September 25, 2010; Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland; and Going East on Michigan Avenue from Westland to Downtown Detroit will exhibit at MOCAD, May 11 through July 31, 2013, along with documentation materials, which reveal the process of realizing this major art work.

Mobile Homestead will be fully completed in spring of 2013, when the mobile home will be attached to an altered reconstruction of the Kelley home, to function as a community space.

Mobile Homestead is artist Mike Kelley’s first public art project anywhere and the first major permanent installation of his work in his hometown. This project is also the first commission by Artangel in the United States and has been produced with support from the LUMA Foundation and in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Mike Kelley: “Mobile Homestead covertly makes a distinction between public art and private art, between the notions that art functions for the social good, and that art addresses personal desires and concerns. Mobile Homestead does both: it is simultaneously geared toward community service and anti-social private sub-cultural activities. It has a public side and a secret side…”

Click here for an Audio interview with artist Mike Kelley and Artangel director James Lingwood.

Mike Kelley at the Mobile Homestead
Photo of artist Mike Kelley at the Mobile Homestead Christening Ceremony and Launch, September 25, 2010. Photo courtesy of PD Rearick

At the core of Mike Kelley’s vision for Mobile Homestead’s ground floor is community engagement. In its permanent location behind MOCAD, Mobile Homestead integrates into the neighborhood as a clubhouse. Rather than projecting ideas out into the world, Mobile Homestead is about inviting the community’s ideas in.

Visitors are encouraged to suggest and participate in potential events or projects to take place within Mobile Homestead. If you have an idea you want to pitch, you can email us, but the best thing to do is drop by for a visit!

Comments, suggestions, or questions? What do you want to say to us? Email mobilehomestead@mocadetroit.org

Mobile Homestead
4454 Woodward Ave
Detroit, MI 48201
Phone 313.832.4944

Mobile Homestead  Hours
Friday – Sunday: 11AM – 5PM

Accessibility
All of Mobile Homestead‘s entrances and public areas are wheelchair accessible.  A wheelchair is available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Service animals are welcome at Mobile Homestead.