The Art of Restoration Amidst Detroit’s Ruined Walls

Yvette Rock of Live Coal Gallery

In her ability to see a place for what it is and what it could be, Yvette Rock is unique among artists who in recent years have tried to capture the fall and rise of Detroit. It helps that the painter, collagist, and photographer lives there, with her husband and four children. "When I go and photograph buildings that are abandoned . . . I start thinking about who lived here and what happened," notes Rock, owner and director of Live Coal Gallery. "I know that someone was really affected by this. That there's a person who lost their home."
In her mixed-media installation "The 10 Plagues of Detroit," it's these people as much as Detroit's social and economic challenges that come to the forefront. And it's these people, says Rock, whom God has called to be "repairers of broken walls and restorers of streets with dwellings" (Isaiah 58). In this film, our first documentary shot on location in Detroit, Rock describes how the Isaiah passage informs her own work—and sustains her hope for the restoration of her city.


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