Painting of the 4731 building exterior by Bryant Tillman

Painting of the 4731 building exterior by Bryant Tillman, who has a studio in the building.

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4731 Gallery

4731 W. Grand River
Detroit MI 48208

The gallery is on the first floor of the build­ing, and there is also a coffee shop on that floor. The higher floors are mostly for artist studios. Very recently this gallery was re­fash­ioned as the cen­ter of the Grand River Creative Corridor (GRCC), a base for mural artists to paint murals on nearby buildings, mostly on Grand River Av­e­nue. The GRCC also has set up boards on lawns for more outdoor painting.

The gallery was founded by Ric Geyer in 2000. For a few years, Bryant Tillman was the artistic director. One would think that Tillman winning the Kresge Fellowship in 2013 would have made him more valuable to the 4731 man­age­ment, and that said management would have done everything they could to keep him on as artistic director. But now the gallery is with­out an artistic director, rudderless, func­tion­ing as a rental gallery for which the rental fee prob­a­bly does not guarantee any basic gallery in­fra­struc­ture (e.g., proper lighting for the art­work). Given the current state of things, art­ists con­sid­er­ing renting this gallery should seriously con­sid­er whether renting a generic space might be more cost-effective.

Upcoming exhibitions

I'm not aware of any formal exhibitions at 4731 coming up. I believe, as of 2022, that this gal­lery has been permanently closed for almost a decade.

Past exhibitions

On August 27, ??? 2014 ????, there was an exhibition of Little Free Libraries that were painted by the following artists: Andy Krieger, Mary Fortuna, John Sauve, Eno Laget, Debora Grace, Mitchell Schorr, Rashaun Rucker, Fa­ti­ma Sow, Loretta Bradfield, Jesse Kassel, Ndu­bi­si Okoye, Barbara Barefield, Kelly O'Hara, Pam Shapiro, Michael Conger, Donna Conger and Adam Genei. According to the an­nounce­ment, "the reception has been generously spon­sored by ... Support has also been provided by Linkage Design." And really, it couldn't happen at 4731 otherwise.

The list of exhibits prior to the Little Free Li­braries is quite long. I will attempt to com­pile it at some point. Highlights include the anti-war show, Laerrus and an im­pres­sion­ism show. Each year he could Tillman hosted a painting invitational. It seems like there's only been one exhibit in the post-Tillman period, something with Red Bull artist Paolo Pedini and his friends.

Mario Moore exhibited at 4731 a few times long before he became famous.

External links


Actually, there was a whole bunch more of those at, with the one listed above just being the most recent. The 4731 topic page at had a lot more; perhaps an archive of those articles will be made available in the future.

There is one news item from 2014 that we won't be providing an external link for be­cause the re­port­ers left out some ex­treme­ly important de­tails. This is about the mural on a building close to 4731, visible from the parking lot. It was orig­i­nal­ly painted by a former 4731 studio holder who goes by "Sin­tex." Wealthy artist An­drew Pisacane (who calls himself "Gaia" for some reason) painted over Sintex's mural some­thing ex­treme­ly inappropriate and of­fen­sive. Pi­sa­cane's mural was sup­pos­ed­ly de­signed to me­mo­ri­al­ize Vincent Chin, the victim of a hei­nous hate crime.

But Pisacane's true purpose was to dem­on­strate he knows more about world history than every­one else, and his mural therefore also included Ludwig Erhard, Sun Yun-suan and Hayato Ike­da, three men who had nothing to do with Chin's murder and whose inclusion in the mural could eas­i­ly be interpreted to mean that Pi­sa­cane is making excuses for Chin's killers.

Sintex then erased Pisacane's offensive mu­ral, revealing the original mural, and then pro­ceed­ed to paint a new mural on top of that. Soon 4731 money man Derek Weav­er put out a state­ment to the press in order to spin Sintex's deed as some sort of crime against Chin's fam­i­ly. This statement was repeated uncritically by the local me­dia, with no one daring to ask wheth­er a family that lost a loved one to a hate crime would care at all that some privileged kid's mural was painted over.

There has already been so much criticism of Sin­tex already, most of it automatic and un­think­ing, that any more of it would be re­dun­dant. It almost goes without saying that Sintex no longer has a studio at 4731. As for Pisacane, he has made vague prom­ises to come back and redo the Chin mural. If he does return, he had better come with a different attitude, one more in­ter­est­ed in honoring Vincent Chin's mem­o­ry and less interested in stroking his own ego.