What intrigues me about this city is its’ grittiness. I have vivid memories of my life as a young boy living on Ilene Street and 7 Mile in Detroit. My grandfather, Charlie, owned a drugstore at Oakland and Clay. I spent countless hours and days at the soda fountain counter, amusing myself drawing pictures on white paper torn from a big roll used to wrap up purchases. I remember the smells and sounds of the city, simple times playing with friends in the alley. That old drugstore is now a liquor store. An architectural remnant of raised brick letters across the building‘s facade reveals a clue to its’ past, spelling: “Charlie the Pencil Man.”
I also remember the riots, the tanks and the continuing turmoil over the years. As I matured as an artist and architectural photographer I looked for different subjects to capture for my artistic expression. For many years I had no desire to explore this city. Then I returned to school at CCS (now College for Creative Studies) in the late 1980’s and began to feel that pull again. Off and on since then, I have been compelled to photograph Detroit. I choose my images based on their graphic quality and my desire to preserve architectural memories. I enjoy “collecting” images other people may not notice, often unusual perspectives, and presenting them, like treasures, for viewing. . . or maybe just to show my story of Detroit.
Gene Meadows is an architectural and fine art photographer with his own firm, Meadows & Co. His fine art photography, (in private, corporate and museum collections, including the Detroit Institute of Art and Toledo Museum of Art), has been exhibited in numerous group, as well as solo shows including CAR pARTS, Cranbrook Intimate Space, and Chiaroscuro, Eastern Europe. Gene’s images have been published locally, as well as in Architectural Record, Metropolis, House Beautiful, Echoes and Land Forum.