New Art Exhibit Inspired By Curtis Mayfield’s Music Explores Race and Identity

“Makings of You” opens on Friday and runs throughout Memorial Day Weekend in Highland Park.


Click the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. CultureShift airs weekdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on 101.9 WDETFM Detroit Public Radio.

A piece of iconic music from 1970 is informing a three-day art show in Highland Park this weekend.

The exhibition is called “The Makings of You” and it draws inspiration from Curtis Mayfield’s song of the same name from his 1970 album “Curtis.” The art show opens on Friday, May 24th at the Annex Gallery at 333 Midland.

CultureShift’s Ryan Patrick Hooper speaks with Hannah Morris, the curator of the show and the founder of the art-focused non-profit UHURU.

Morris says Mayfield’s song was “about self-empowerment. Providing that encouragement for people of color, at that time, to really remember who they are, where they came from, and where they were going. Some of the themes [of the art show] focus on identity, becoming and transformation of self.”

The exhibit utilizes visual arts, performing arts and healing arts, according to Morris. 

Detroit-based artist Justin Jones is one of the artists whose work will be on display at the Mayfield-inspired exhibition.

“I thought a lot about what it looks like for me to call upon myself and what spaces do I exist in,” he says. My artwork “is based, very much so, in fluidity. Sexual fluidity. Gender fluidity. I pretty much have curated a narrative amongst a lot of different androgyne people of color in my work who are finding themselves [and] defining their bodies.”

More info and tickets available here

Click on the audio player above to learn more about an art exhibition coming to Highland Park inspired by Curtis Mayfield’s song, “The Makings of You.”


  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.