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Ian John Solomon

Here and Now


Ian John Solomon (1997) is an interdisciplinary artist from Detroit, Michigan. After receiving his B.A. in broadcast journalism and a stint as a congressional reporter in D.C., he found his love for community activism and storytelling required a more expansive modality. Ian's interdisciplinary lens based practice explores themes of self, queer identity, ancestry, community and ecology. Deeply motivated by environment, Ian uses land as foundation and guidance for artistic expression and questioning.


Ian has exhibited and won awards across Michigan and Ohio, including being awarded a Red Bull House of Art grant twice. being a 2023 Summer Fellow at Ox-Bow School of Art and a 2024 Cranbrook Art Museum Purchase Award Nominee. Ian receives his Masters of Fine Art Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in May 2024.

Beyond his artistic practice Ian founded Amplify Outside, a Detroit based organization Amplifying Black outdoor recreation and is the host of a DPTV-PBS Great Lakes Now Segment "Ian Outside". 

Artist Statement

I have a practice of investigating and embodying environment. As a journalist, I fact find from patterns ecology and spaces offer. As an artist I seek a deeper understanding of self, community, desire and ancestry through connecting with the spaces I inhabit. Using self portraiture, collage, sound and craft I bring spiritual explorations of space, ecology and being into the tangible. 


Instant film has become a staple of my practice. The instant development of film creates an image object directly impacted by the very space it archives, making it an artifact of the environment itself. Self portraiture empowers me to place myself within space and imagine new ways of personal being. I utilize collage to dissolve the barriers of connection subjects and spaces face allowing ideas and entities to be seen in entirely new ways. Sound invites a deeper, more immersive communication and collaboration with spaces while hand crafted objects with organic materials function as adornment, totems and bridges between body and land. 


My art practice is in tandem with a community practice of introducing Black Detroiters to Michigan’s natural spaces. I founded the organization Amplify Outside with a mission to deepen my communities connection with the natural world around them. While this organizational mission at times faces logistical restrictions, my artistic practice facilitates limitless re-imaginings of a personal, communal and ancestral bond to land.  

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Based in

Detroit, Michigan

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