A look at Hamtramck’s cultural life

(Editor-at-Large Walter Wasacz writes a weekly column on life in Hamtramck.)

By Walter Wasacz

On Wednesday evening’s presentation by Interface Studio on the Philadelphia firm’s Master Plan for Hamtramck, mention was made frequently about arts and culture and how each pays big dividends to community life.

We can’t say it enough times: Hamtramck is naturally cool and endlessly attractive because of the activity of talented, productive people doing creative work on a high level.

Said another way, the kinds of work on display or performed in Hamtramck art spaces, bars and clubs are competitive with the best of what goes on anywhere in Detroit. And Detroit, as many art and music insiders will tell you, produces some of the strangest, quirkiest and original work on the planet.

Here are just a few of this summer’s greatest hits in pictures. A brief description for each: the tall, hairy electronic musician jamming on a board full of odd gear is Chris Pottinger of Cotton Museum, performing at the Painted Lady; the two electric, amplified sheep are part of an installation called “The Quantum Field” by Jon Brumit, Sarah Wagner and Christy Matson now up at Public Pool; and the musicians performing at 2739 Edwin are (left to right) recent Kresge Arts Grant winner Joel Peterson and James Cornish.

And then there is always more. This Friday (July 30), Popps Packing opens its summer show, Weasel Camp II, featuring art works by Andy Krieger, Mary Fortuna, Matt Hanna, Alison Wong and others calling themselves the Slippery Weasel Society. Music by the Space Band, Deb Agoli, Ben Teague and more. Popps Packing is at 12138 St. Aubin. The opening is 7-10 p.m. and is free.

Also this Friday: The Home Suite: Coming to Hamtramck, an ensemble performance organized by jazz pianist Bill Meyer, another Kresge Arts Grant winner who lives in Hamtramck.

It’s at the Gates of Columbus, 9632 Conant Avenue. Tickets for the show are $10 at the door only, but free to all Hamtramck residents with proof of ID. Showtime is 7 p.m.

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