detroit design festival

So the innaugural Detroit Design Festival has kicked off.....


Come see kem3D and other area artists and designers at Re:View Contemporary's TOMORROW Friday the 23rd in the  exclusive, yet temporary, 5th floor space, for the Re:Design event as part of the DDF.

Saturday, you can see a bit of my, and many other's creative processees at CCS in detroit, at the Creative Process happening

another cool thing to check out on Saturday, amonst everything else going on is the Center for Abandoned Letterhead

...and Sunday, wash it all down with a fine bier at the Tashmoo Biergarten




Its been a busy (and fun) summer having been helping out with many projects and events coming up. Some are fun Detroit things and some are art and design related things, but while I am looking forward to all them, I am also looking forward to getting back into the studio in earnest on my core mission of designing and building innovative furniture. More on that later, but for now, September and October are chock full -o- fun:

I have one piece among over 100 in The Actual Size Biennial being put on by the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit (CAID) at the Whitdell Arts Gallery in Mexicantown.

The 1st annual Detroit Design Festival will run between September 21st-28th with various art and design related happenings, shows, lectures and more. I will have work at the Re:View Contemporary Gallery's one night exhibit, Re:Design 2011, as well as at CCS' New Center Campus in the Creative Process exhibit.

The 10th Annual Tour de Troit rides on September 24th. I've been helping design flyers, posters, and t-shirts for this bike ride since 2006, its a great time, and we are planning on over 5000 riders this year! Registration including a t-shirt ends today, but you can still sign up for the ride unitl at least next week I believe.

Popps Packing will be having a fundraising event involving every Cub Scout's favorite project coming up in the beginning of October, that I'll be participating in, so keep an eye out for that.

Last but not least, the 3rd Annual Detroit Cornhole Tournament ("cornhole" for the uninititated, is essentially a beanbag toss game) Saturday October 1st,for which I had the pleasure of helping with the build out of 20 pairs of cornhole boards.

15 minutes remix - detroit in overdrive

As I said in the last entry, I was interviewed back in the spring for Planet Green's upcoming mini-series Detroit in Overdrive, which premieres tomorrow night, August 4th at 8pm.


What I didn't know then, was that all three episodes will be airing Thursday night back to back (each hour long episode starting at 8, 9, and 10) and that I will be in the third/last episode. I learned all of this last night at the world premiere of the series held at the magnificent Detroit Film Theater, put on by Planet Green and series sponsor General Motors, where they showed one episode of the series, which just happened to be the one I was in! I think the series is pretty well done, there are a few small misconceptions about Detroit in general that weren't exactly debunked (like the ol' no grocery stores in the city myth), but Its all really well intentioned anyways.

here is the official trailer for the series, I hope can tune in and enjoy the show


15 minutes

Re:view contemporary just finished a series of video interviews of all of their represented artists (of which I am one), which you can see here:

Re:View Andrew Kem from Jeremy Olstyn on Vimeo.



I was interviewed this spring for Discovery's Planet Green channel as part of a larger mini-series about Detroit called "Detroit in Overdrive" which premieres on Planet Green August 4th at 8pm, with the next two installments airing in the weeks following presumably (not sure which of the 3 parts I will be in). It will incredibly interesting to see how they put the series together, what else they show of Detroit, as well as how they put my story together, and what kind of exposeur it gets.

"Interlocker" opens tonight!

I'm really looking forward to the opening of my second solo show tonight at Re:View! It was ton of hard work getting it all together and I had a lot of help from friends and family. It would not have been possible without them.


So please, stop by and say "hi" tonight.


Re:View's website now has pictures of the show and my interview up as well.




a little primer on laminate bending

I've fielded many questions over the years on how I bend many of the elements of my work. While some are tension bent, the more drastic and complex bends are achieved through laminate bending. This is a process where several individual and flexible layers are glued up together, then draw over a mold using a vacuum bag setup. Below is a quick photo essay of the process:

p.s. the finished piece that this part is for, will be in my solo show at Re:View Contemporary Gallery May 14th

1) thin, flexible stock is the key. the thinner the material, the tighter the bend you can achieve

2) add glue between each layer

3) put loosely glued assembly over form in vacuum bag and turn on the vacuum pump. this will draw the elastic PVC bag and material tight to the form, harnessing the force of atmospheric pressure to clamp the wood. depending on the cure time of the glue, leave in bag for several hours at least, with the pump cycling occasionally to maintain vacuum

4) pull out the cured piece and form

5) with some light prying to break any adhesion between the part and the mold from glue squeeze out, pop the piece off the of the mold.

6) for round two, I added these nylon straps to get the assembly with still wet glue into position before the bag draws down.

happy new year, february

I've not been very diligent about updating the site, but there are lot of things going on behind the scenes to get ready for a productive 2011. Including, but not limited to, working on some better, more complete studio photography of my work.

In the mean time, be sure to catch Graem Whyte's: Rebuilding a Future Mythology opening next weekend (a great place to bring your valentine) at Re:View Contemporary


"breakplane remix" table. available now at Re:View Contemporary's Design Store

kem3D for the holidays

Hi, its been a little while since the last update, for which I apologize, but I'll try and make up for it here with the announcement of some great events and shopping opportunities in the run-up to the holidays.

The Re:view Contemporary Gallery will be hosting RE:collect 2010, an invitational group show opening December 4th, in which kem3D will have two brand new pieces

This year’s works observe a size limit of 16” x 16” x 16” and include painting, sculpture, and mixed media. Participating artists include Adam Shirley, Andy Kem, Asha Vida, Brad Richards, Cal Navin, Cedric Tai, Chris Lujan, Coley McLean, Dennis Hayes IV, Dolores Slowinski, Donn Angel Perez, Emily Duke, Gilda Snowden, Ian Swanson, Jaclyn Schanes, Lisa Rigstad, Mark Dancey, Marcia Freedman, Megan Heeres, Robert Sestok, Simone DeSousa, and Susan Amstutz.

This event happens in connection with Midtown's "Noel Night".


Also, Re:view contemporary will be just one of many Detroit retailers and service providers to have a temporary holiday store in the Compuware building every Friday until the end of December. So there will be one more place, on top of Re:view's main gallery location to view and/or purchase work.

Boutique: a Compuware Gallery

other businesses represented include:

  • Bureau of Urban Living, a Midtown boutique that sells modern accessories for home and office;
  • Wheelhouse Detroit, Bicycle shop and rental on the Detroit Riverwalk selling bicycles and accessories
  • City Bird‘s well-curated handmade items
  • High-end urban wear from Rags
  • Stylish tees and hats from DSE @ Grand
  • Locally designed menswear from Wound
  • Independent book purveyor Leopold’s


Finally, the show "Alternative Designs: Contemporary Furniture", a group show of Michigan-based furniture designers at the Midland Center for the Arts will be up through December


kem3D @ PechaKucha Night Detroit

I will be speaking about my work tomorrow evening at the PechaKucha:Detroit event.

You are cordially invited to a special PechaKucha Night Detroit event in partnership with the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) on Tuesday, September 28th.

As part of the DC3's first annual month long Design in Detroit event, PechaKucha Night Detroit is hosting a special small scale version of the full event focusing upon creative uses for reclaimed materials.

Please join us at the newly renovated and highly anticipated New Center Park in Detroit's New Center. Cash Bar and kitchen generously hosted by Northern Lights Lounge. Rain alternative and afterglow location also at Northern Lights Lounge.

Doors open for mingle and refreshments at 6:00 pm.
Presentations begin at 7:20 pm.
Location: New Center Park
Afterglow: 10:00 pm at Northern Lights Lounge.

studio open house: october 2nd


kem3D will be having a studio open house event Saturday October 2nd from 4-10pm along with the many other artists, designers, and craftspeople at the Russell Industrial Center, which is but one event that is the culmination of the larger ArtDetroitNow Gallery Week.

hope to see you there!

kem3D is located on the third floor of building 2, 1610 clay ave, detroit.

NYIGF recap and upcoming exhibit in midland, mi

Participating in the New York International Gift Fair - Young Designer's Platform was a great experience. I met and had a great time with several other young designer's and recieved a lot of great feedback and advice from other exhibitors and retailers.

Listed below are the other people and companies that were part of the Young Designer's Platform, each with exciting ideas and products that I encourage everyone to check out.




also, coming up next weekend:

I will have work in an exhibit at the Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, MI running from September 11th through the end of the year called "Alternative Designs: Contemporary Furniture" to support an exhibit by furniture designer Peter Shire. The opening reception is Saturday September 18th and information about the exhibit can be found here.




tour-de-troit 2010

This is an event that I help out with every year, its a great time.

The Tour de Troit, set for September 25, is a bike ride that explores some of the city’s historic areas, takes in many of its most breathtaking sights, and provides bicyclists a unique opportunity to legally “take over” the streets of Motown. Last year’s ride attracted 2,000 riders!

The Tour de Troit is offering riders two options. The first — and primary — will be a leisurely ride of 30 miles with police escort. It starts at 10:00 am. The second option is intended for extremely experienced cyclists. It is a metric century (62 miles) that will not include police escort, starting at 9:00am. Both rides will be sweeper- and SAG-supported and start at Roosevelt Park, located at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 14th Street.

After the ride, there is food, drink and music at Roosevelt Park in the shadow of the Michigan Central Station!

Please visit for pictures of past rides and tons more info!

The purpose of the event is to raise awareness of biking as a mode of transportation, to publicize the growing greenways network in the region and to raise funds for the Corktown-Mexicantown Greenlink in Detroit, a project of the Southwest Detroit Business Association.

Register for the event at -