Looking for America: Detroit

Hosted by the Detroit Historical Society, Looking for America: Detroit is free and open to the public in the Community Gallery of the Detroit Historical Museum from July 18 to October 6, 2019. The exhibit is co-located with the Centennial Exhibition of the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit.



Jul 18 - Oct 6, 2019


Meet the Artists

Kia Arriaga

“Only just a dream...”
3’ x 3’ x 5’ mixed media installation (ofrenda)

Noura Ballout

“Coming Home”
36” x 24” chromogenic print


“I am having a hard time answering this question. To be an American as a brown, trans, queer person is to be Othered, to be a target. To be an American today is to live in fear.”

—NOURA BALLOUT, on what it means to be american in detroit


Elton Monroy Duran

“We the People”
12’ x 8’ masonite mural 

Bree Gant

16” x 24” archival photo print and 2’ x 2’ material culture installation

Ghana Think Tank

“American Riad”
3’ x 3’ sculpture


“Having a place to call home, regardless of race, religion, national origin or citizenship, gender expression, or sexual orientation is the promise of America. And it is a promise we intend to keep.”

—ghana think tank, on what it means to be american in detroit


Arturo Herrera

“My Name Is The Name Of The Republic”
14” x 11” (each panel) oil and acrylic on engraved wood tryptic

Chido Johnson

“Wish you where here”
Postcard installation curated by Chido Johnson and Elizabeth Muusha, Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare

Hiroko Lancour

“Dual Citizenship”
34.5” x 52” hand-dyed cotton and silk thread

“Bicultural Happi Coat”
6 min. 1 sec. running time


“I have noticed prejudice and resentment directed toward Japanese, especially during the U.S.-Japan trade war of the 1980s. [But] the diversity and vibrant culture of Detroit inspired me to become an artist, and I am grateful for that.”

—hiroko lancour, on what it means to be american in detroit


Manal Shoukair

“Days of Juice”
12” x 14” photograph, solid bronze, and dried pomegranate

Miroslawa Sztuczka

36” x 36” mixed media on canvas


“After living here for eight years, I can proudly see how the cultural and ethnic diversity of all the residents of Detroit gives this magnificent city its strength and power.”

—Miroslawa Sztuczka, on what it means to be american in detroit


Gracieuse Xavier

“Ti Swazo” (English - “Little Bird”)
36” x 36” mixed media on denim

View the digital community collection, part of the Tenement Museum’s Your Story, Our Story project.

Are you a Detroit resident?

Do you have a tradition, food, place, or object that relates to the experience of being American in Detroit? Add a brief story and make yourself and your community a part of the Looking for America collection.

Text LFAMERICA to 414-11 or visit the collection here to get started.