Ferndale’s New Billboard: Know Your Carman Miranda Rites

Ferndale’s New Billboard: Know Your Carman Miranda Rites

(C. Proxmire, The Ferndale 115 News, Aug. 1, 2012)

“Everyone has a right to be beautiful.” That’s the main message of the new billboard on the side of Steven B’s Barber shop on Woodward.  It’s called “Your Carmen Miranda Rites” and it’s a collaborative project between photographer Judy Eliyas and Performance Artist Sue Carman Vian.

Eliyas owns Judy Elias studios at 611 E. 9 mile and has been a proud Ferndale resident since the 80s. When longtime friend Sue Carman Vivian of Royal Oak approached her about doing the billboard she thought it was a great idea.

The billboard is a project of the Lemberg Gallery, also in Ferndale.  And according to Eliyas there is a several month waiting list and a rigorous application process. The ladies applied over a year ago and were finally selected.

“I’m a photographer who uses theatrical performances, and she is a very whimsical performance artist who is likened to Carmen Miranda, a famous dancer from the 50s,” Eliyas said.  “Carman is very quirky and she wanted to do a play on words with Carmen Miranda and Miranda Rites.  It’s us sort of blending our art together.”

Eliyas does both commercial photography and fine art photography, often using herself as a model and conceiving different characters, using makeup, costumes and lighting  to create dramatic effects. 

Carman is a visual artist who stages multi-media, live action projects with film and music.  Her work has been supported by Marygrove College and the Detroit Institute of Arts.  In addition to enriching the world with art, Carman taught elementary school for 30 years.  Her work can be viewed at www.suecarmanvian.com.

To go along with the billboard, Eliyas and Carman made a flier, which is available in an information tube at the base of the giant sign.  It says:

KNOW YOUR CARMAN MIRANDA RITES

You have the right to sit down when you eat

You have the right to to take part in real things

You have the right to be smart

You have the right to create your own culture

You have the right to redo your daily life

You have the right to appreciate your local artists

You have the right to look at art

You have the right to take part in the unpredictable unfolding of a more equitable society

You have the right to struggle for your future

You have the right to get back to nature

You have the right to chew with your mouth closed

You have the right to go to the Detroit Institute of Arts

You have the right to know what style you like

You have the right to you know have style

You have the right to not feel intimidated by art

You have the right to look at art with your eyes not your phone

You have the right to express yourself

You have the right to speak face to face

You have the right to read books

You have the right to feel beautiful

 

To learn more about Lawrence Street Gallery, check out http://www.lawrencestreetgallery.com//

For more on Judy Eliyas and her work go to http://www.judyeliyas.com/.

For more art stories go to http://oaklandcounty115.com/category/arts/.

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