For over three years, local businesses in Ypsilanti have collaborated with local talent in creating a monthly, self-guided art walk the first Friday of each month, sometimes with a set theme, as well as free art activities and musical performances.
About 19 stores took part in Ypsilanti's monthly art walk. The Taproom, a local bar, offered free music from 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Cultivate Coffee and Taphouse featured an open mic and a curated readings from authors, Aaron Burch and Matthew Kirkpatrick. Go! Ice Cream held a pie throwing contest in honor of their season ice cream pies, and a magician performed outside. The Mix, an upper-end fashion store, showcased Michigan-themed photography by Jennifer Wooley and Kate Jackman, spanning three years. "The Ugly Mug" featured Jermaine Dickerson, and his comic-book themed art.
Jermaine Dickerson is a Freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator, with artwork and stickers for a fan-fiction series that he is planning to write the series will feature “Lil’ Diana,” aka Wonder Woman as not only a little girl, but a woman of color.
Among his drawings on the art table in front of him was the popular female protagonist, Fiona, from the animated show, Adventure Time, as well a superhero of his own, he calls a mix between Wonder Woman and Superman.
Dickerson is also passionate about his new superhero program at Ypsilanti High School, a program where students will have the opportunity to create their own comic books.
“The comic books will feature them as a superhero. To really help them find empowerment and [create] a character driven story that’s about their life. So I’m really encouraging them to invest and you know really reflect on their owns fears.”
Dickerson helps the teenagers with the creation process, even bringing on panelists and speakers.
“Hopefully by the end of the program if they have a comic book in hand then they feel like they’ve done something great for themselves.”
Dickerson is looking for comic book donations to help give the students more of a diverse background for their own comic book stories.