NewsBlack History Month

Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club, a space for artists, art collectors to connect

Posted at 7:20 AM, Feb 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-07 07:31:36-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — What started out as furnishing their home quickly turned into a passion for the fine arts. Now, David and Linda Whitaker have over 300 pieces of art in their home and their collection will soon be honored by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

It's a breath-taking experience. Walking inside of David and Linda Whitaker's eastside home.

Every wall, corner and door is adorned with art.

Portraits, sculptures and antique furniture — everywhere for your eyes to see.

The Whitaker's have been art collectors and supporters of the arts for decades in the City of Detroit through hosting fundraisers for non-profits supporting young artist and art programs in the city. And, frequently opening up their home to tours.

“There are days when people come up to us and say, you know my husband is David Whitaker... We've been to your house and it motivated us to go home and now we are going to collect this and were going to do that,” Linda said.

David, a Detroit city official and Linda, a former educator and principal for Detroit Public Schools are also founding members of the Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club, a weekly safe space for artists and art collectors to connect.

“We have people who come in from all over metro Detroit to come in and show and exhibit their work,” one attendee said.

Each artist gets two minutes to share two pieces from their collection.

“Not too many places outside of the City of Detroit have this type of community,” said James Morris, a Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club member.

The crowd, a mixture of young and seasoned by design — allowing room for mentors to teach the next generation about the business of art.

“One year, they said, “Oh, this is Mrs. Whitaker, she's our art mom” and I was shocked,” Linda said.

It’s that same nurturing spirit and dedication to art and to the community that is being recognized by the DIA with the Whitaker's to be honored with the Alain Locke recognition award on February 25.

“Detroit has a lot of artists, a lot of creatives. I mean, look at Motown. It's in our DNA. It's in our history. So, this is just natural," Linda said.

Linda said her home is just one of many in the City of Detroit that have beautiful art collections like hers.

If you're an artist or curator and you want to get involved in Detroit’s art scene, join the Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club by visiting their Facebook page here.