After two years on the corner of John Lodge and Warren Avenue the Artist’s Workshop (now known equally as Trans-Love Energies) has moved to the campus side of the expressway and will set up shop in a long-vacant former doctor’s office on the corner of Second and Forest.
The workshop, which had its original home in a house at 1252 West Forest, was founded three years ago this month by John Sinclair, Robin Eichele, George Tysh, Charles Moore, Jim Semark, Larry Weiner, Ellen Phelan, Magdalene Sinclair (then Arndt Martine Aligire, and a group of other neighborhood people). At the Forest Avenue headquarters the Workshop established itself through an eight month series of free Sunday afternoon concerts and poetry readings before the house was abandoned after being struck by fire on Memorial Day 1965.
The workshop was centered in the castle on John Lodge during the summer months of 1965 when the castle, long a home for Warren-Forest heads, was turned into a cooperative housing project by Sinclair and Eichele, and the concerts and readings were moved outdoors. The workshop settled into its present quarters (2 storefronts on John Lodge and Warren) in November of 1965, and the concert and reading series was continued there, along with the development of the Artists’ Workshop press and the Free University of Detroit, established in January 1966 and operative for only one semester.
The workshop merged with the newly-formed Trans-Love Energies cooperative, under the directorship of Sinclair and Gary Grimshaw, in the spring of 1967. The Artist’s Workshop Press, begun in 1964 with the weekly publication of Newsletters and worksheets printed clandestinely on the Monteith College mimeograph machine, has been the one consistent link with the past. It has continued to publish works by Detroit-based poets and writers, including first books by Sinclair, Tysh, Eichele, Semark, Jerry Younkins, Bill Hutton, J.D. Whitney, Ron Caplan, Tom Mitchell John Kai; also a series of magazines—Work, Change and Where, free poems and newspapers (Guerrilla, the Sun).
At the new location will be located the artists’ workshop press, The Pisces Eyes Poster Co. Detroit LEMAR (Movement to Legalize Marijuana), and Trans-Love Energies Unlimited of Detroit, as well as the 100 Camels Bookstore formerly on Plum street. The new building is situated in the middle of the Warren-Forest community and the Trans-Love people feel they will be better able to serve the community from their new headquarters.
The old workshop at 4857 John Lodge has been taken over by a group of artists and writers who will call their place the 21st Century Art Gallery. The press and Sufi office, and the Trans-Love living quarters above, will be taken over by the MC-5 rock band.