Monday, February 8, 2016

Leni Sinclair is Kresge Eminent Artist 2016

Congratulations Leni!

“Leni Sinclair both contributed to the social changes of the 1960s and ’70s and documented the movement’s fleeting moments for posterity,” says Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson. “Her photos capture the enormously deep and often raw emotional energies of the time – from love-ins to festivals, from intimate performances to protests. She had the uncanny combination of instincts, empathy, and skills required to capture the artistic essence radiated by performers from hundreds of stages and activists in hundreds of settings. And she showed us who those performers are when they’re away from the stage. Through her ceaselessly curious and probing lens, Leni Sinclair has built a riveting and expansive body of work that enables us to understand those times – particularly from a Detroit perspective – at a more profound and multifaceted level.”

Co-founder of the White Panthers and renowned for her photographs of jazz and rock legends of the 1960s and 70s and activism, Leni Sinclair has been announced as the Kresge Foundation’s Eminent Artist of 2016.

She was also a member of the Detroit Artists Workshop, and a co-founder of the Red Door Gallery — two institutions that helped birth the Cass Corridor artistic movement in the 1970s. But mostly she was the young woman with the camera shooting performers in Ann Arbor’s West Park or Detroit’s legendary Grande Ballroom.
“Leni didn’t just cover music,” said WDET’s Ann Delisi. “She covered the counter-culture in a way nobody else did at the time — and she did in our own backyard.”
Vince Carducci, a College for Creative Studies dean who writes and edits the online Motown Review of Art, thinks she’s sorely under-appreciated.
“Leni’s someone who should be better known than she is outside Detroit,” he said. “She is the primary photo witness of Detroit’s counter-culture in the 1960s and ’70s.” 


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