Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > Tiff Massey’s ‘7 Mile and Livernois’ Exhibition: A Detroit Homecoming at the DIA

Tiff Massey’s ‘7 Mile and Livernois’ Exhibition: A Detroit Homecoming at the DIA

May 2, 2024

Photo Credit: Justin Milhouse, via Detroit Metro Times

Michigan Chronicle
Miss AJ Williams

May 1, 2024

Detroit, often hailed as the blackest city in the nation, is a place where history, culture, and creativity intersect to form a vibrant tapestry of artistic expression. Under this rich cultural backdrop, artist Tiff Massey’s latest exhibition, “7 Mile and Livernois,” finds its roots.

Massey, renowned for her captivating artistry and innovative approach to contemporary art and craft, brings a deeply personal and profound exploration of her hometown to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The title “7 Mile and Livernois” is not just a geographic reference; it’s a statement of identity, a celebration of heritage, and a bold assertion of presence in the art world. This personal connection to her art is what makes her work so relatable and powerful.

In a recent interview, Massey shared the significance behind the title, stating, “7 Mile and Livernois is home, you know what another way to say that is black.” This deliberate choice reflects not only her connection to the area but also serves as a reminder of the historical context of spaces like these, which were not always welcoming to people of color. Massey’s decision to showcase her work at the DIA, a prestigious institution, is a powerful testament to the resilience and creativity of Detroit’s artistic community.

“7 Mile and Livernois” is not just an exhibition; it’s a homecoming, a tribute to Detroit, and a celebration of black excellence. Massey’s work embodies the city’s spirit, reflecting its resilience, creativity, and vibrant culture. As she puts it, “I’m representing for you guys. This is the largest stage that we can potentially have in the nation. Detroit and the DIA have been named top museums in the nation. And I take that very, very serious.”

Massey’s artistic journey has been anything but linear. A former science student with a bachelor’s in her back pocket, she found solace and expression in metalsmithing, a craft she was introduced to in high school. That initial spark has blossomed into a practice that redefines the boundaries of jewelry and sculpture. “7 Mile + Livernois” promises to be her most ambitious work yet.

Reflecting on her artistic journey, Massey says, “I think it’s impressive how the leaps I’ve been able to achieve… I mean, to see from then to now, I think is a very ambitious, impressive exhibition.”

The exhibition, which features a mid-career retrospective and Massey’s response to the DIA’s permanent collection, is a testament to her evolution as an artist. From her early days hustling and creating wearable art to this monumental exhibition at the DIA, Massey’s journey is one of ambition, dedication, and artistic excellence.

As “7 Mile and Livernois” opens its doors to the public, it invites us to see Detroit through the eyes of one of its own, to experience the city’s vibrancy, creativity, and soul. It’s a celebration of home, heritage, and the power of art to transcend boundaries and bring communities together. In Massey’s words, “I want everybody to pull up like bring everybody at least one time… showing out just a little bit for Detroit.”

With programming planned throughout the year, “7 Mile and Livernois” promises to be more than just an exhibition; it’s a cultural event, a celebration of Detroit’s artistic legacy, and a testament to the enduring spirit of its people.

Massey’s exhibition is a testament to the city’s rich history and vibrant culture. It celebrates Detroit’s resilience, creativity, and soul and reminds us of the power of art to unite and inspire. As “7 Mile and Livernois” takes its place among the DIA’s prestigious exhibitions, it serves as a beacon of hope and a celebration of the city’s artistic legacy.

Tiff Massey: 7 Mile + Livernois is presented by the Detroit Institute of Arts and will be on view from May 5, 2024, to May 11, 2025. Visit