You are prompted all the time to “buy local” or “shop small,” but what if you could do this in Detroit and check off another box, which is to spend your dollars in a way that provides a revenue source to a worthy cause? There are many companies that have done this on a large scale and made it successful, and the DIA Museum Shop is no exception (well, maybe not on the LARGEST scale). To facilitate its success, the shop offers several incredibly unique items designed with creativity and love by Soul Studio, a non-profit that hosts open studio space and a gallery for adults, 18 years or older, with special needs.
When Carlie joined Soul Studio, she made friends with Ted who is hard of hearing. As they got to know each other, Carlie wanted to communicate better with her new friend. She said, "I didn't know how to say, ‘I love you,’ but I knew I could paint it." This is how her “I Love You” piece was inspired.
I Love You
Artwork by Carlie Suris
Sweet stories like that lead to partnerships with Friendship Circle, the organization in West Bloomfield, Michigan, that makes Soul Studio possible, and that we here at the DIA Museum Shop have several pieces from artists working alongside Carlie.
Through educational programming driven by each artist’s creative impulses, participants are supported in a variety of art media including painting, drawing, ceramics, weaving, sculpture, woodworking, photography, and digital arts, and are inspired to develop careers as contemporary artists. The goal of Soul Studio is to provide every individual with special needs the support, friendship, and inclusion that they deserve; we found this very similar to the DIA’s goal to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art. We look forward to recognizing these masterpieces in worldwide art galleries and museums for generations to see!
Soul Studio at The DIA Museum Shop
Come in to visit us at the museum’s shop and amongst other eye-catching goodies showcasing designs by Soul Studio artists, you’ll find both giftable and personal favorites, like this smart-looking notebook that serves as a great gift for a teacher!