Monday, December 12, 2022

briX Magazine and a Brick of Art


A few weeks ago I peddled the old Schwinn over to Joe Cunningham's quilting studio on Market Street in San Francisco to catch up with a fellow Flintoid. He handed over the ultimate Flint artifact, a "brick" of postcards created by Michigan artists for briX magazine. With its lowercase b and uppercase X, it was a publication that was pushing the boundaries of art, ideas and punctuation in eighties Flint. A self-described "collection of art & ideas," it was published thrice yearly by the Art Army Press for project ARTSOURCE/Greater Flint Arts Council.

"In this issue of briX we decided to invoke the adage: 'A picture is worth a thousand words,'" wrote Guest Editor Christopher R. Young. "To do so we changed the magazine format to that of a series of postcards to be packaged as a unit in the form of a brick. This not only provided a workable and convenient format, it also gave us a clever visual pun, a unifying theme to rally our imaginative energies around."

(Does everything, even art, have a tinge of militancy in Flint, where it takes an "art army" to "rally" our imagination?)

Here are a few samples from the collection that definitely capture the mood and feel of Flint in the midst of its free fall.

Thom Bohnert, Flushing, Self Portrait, 1988

Kenneth A. Hannon, Flint, From the series Greetings from Flint, 1988

Madeleine Barkey, Flushing, Untitled, 1988

Kenneth A. Hannon, Flint, From the series Greetings from Flint, 1988

Pat Keating, Grand Blanc, Fish: It's only art, 1988

UPDATE: A photo of the elusive briX Magazine, courtesy of Tim "East Side" Lane.

1 comment:

  1. Brix, Kwāsind, East Village Magazine, Flint Voice, McCree Theatre, Bückham Alley Theatre, Bückham Gallery, Left Bank Gallery, Friends of Modern Art Film Series, FIA, Cultural Center, WFBE and the like gave Flint a cosmopolitan edge that other Rust Belt cities didn't seem to have nearly as much of. This vibe continues today.

    When you tell someone you're from Flint they mention water, GM, crime, Michal Moore, or the like. An appropriate reply is "yes, but have you checked out its art scene?"


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at