Atom Kaiser, a Detroit-based artist, has opened a public art gallery in Ferndale, called Atom Art, featuring a collection of his abstract paintings, and eventually work from other artists.
“The gallery is something I’ve always wanted to do … the idea is to sort of reach out and let other aspiring artists have a place to show, too,” Kaiser says.
Kaiser is opening the gallery in partnership with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, a non-profit organization based in Brighton that provides resources, treatment, and support for those affected by brain injuries. He says 20 percent of all proceeds from Atom Art’s ribbon-cutting event on April 16 will be donated to the association.
Kaiser suffered brain damage from an automobile accident in 1995, struggling with memory issues and concentration problems. He says he felt inspired to paint, which became a catalyst to his healing. Kaiser heard about the Brain Injury Association of Michigan several months ago and felt the organization presented a great opportunity for a partnership.
“I felt ‘Wow, what a great charity for me to support,’ especially because its near and dear to me (because) I’m a survivor,” he says.
The 3,000-square feet gallery, located at 522 E. Nine Mile Rd. at the corner of Paxton Street, currently features 15 works of Kaiser’s art.
“I left the space sparse because I want people to be able to use it for different things … I don’t want (the artists) to be limited by the fact that there is a wall in the middle of the gallery,” Kaiser says. “I think we are planning early June (to begin displaying other artists’ work) and then it will be quarterly shows.”
Kaiser says the Brain Injury Association and the gallery are also in future discussions regarding art workshops and classes.
“There’s a project that they are doing with masks … the thing with traumatic head injuries is that you look the same, but you’re completely different inside, so the idea was to let people make masks to show how the feel inside and it got a terrific response … so I’ve offered up the space for them to work on that.”