Jennifer Quigley’s ‘Rolling Stone’ Building in Detroit
Artist Jennifer Quigley recently covered the facade of a building on Michigan Avenue in Detroit with a collage comprised of Rolling Stone magazine covers. "I've had a Rolling Stone subscription most of my life," says Quigley. "I first began collaging with Rolling Stone thanks to my disdain for the horrible wood paneling that was in my rec room in high school. I covered every inch of that torrential wood paneling with three years' worth of my Rolling Stone subscription collection."
Covering Every Inch
"The same thing happened with this building, which is on Michigan Avenue, two doors down from the old Tigers Stadium," Quigley tells Rolling Stone. "It was bought by a friend of mine who is waiting on his loan. He got it right before the economy tanked and there's a lot of small businesses in Detroit that cannot get their loans for renovations."
A Singular Vision
"My friend had this really crappy wood that was on the first floor of the building and it was very ugly. At first, he wanted a bunch of different artists to do something," says Quigley. "I looked it and was like, just let me do it and I'll collage it in Rolling Stones."
Honoring Rock City
"Rolling Stone magazine is a bit of a warm and fuzzy for me, nostalgia-wise," says Quigley. "It's a part of who I am, and I think it's reflective of what Detroit is: Detroit is rock city."
Luck of the Irish
"It took a day and a half of collaging," Quigley explains. "It was 34 degrees out and windy so I moved fast. I hit a wall that reminded me of hitting mile 15 during a long distance run. I made it through before the infamous St. Patty's Day parade, where a gaggle of white, drunk people gathered. "
Quigley made a point of highlighting some famous Detroit rockers who have graced the cover of Rolling Stone. "There's a larger Kid Rock," she says. "I do have a special little place for Meg and Jack White, and also the style of the music Detroit is known for. So a lot of rock, a lot of Motown – those things got emphasized."
The neighborhood immediately took notice of Quigley's project. "People have been literally stopping their cars in the middle of Michigan Avenue and then pulling over and getting their picture taken in front of it," she says. "I'm not even going to tell you what this batch of lesbians did in the middle of the St. Patty's Day parade to take their picture."
"There is a huge music scene in this area of the city, from the infamous Lager House to Corktown Tavern," Quigley says of the building's location. "Detroit is all about its music!"
Quigley has a lot of rocker friends – as well as a close connection to one classic Midwestern band. "I moved here from Nashville due to falling in love with Cheap Trick's sound engineer," says Quigley. "We broke up and he is now commonly referred to as 'My Cheap Trick.' Rick Nielsen wanted me to run off with him one night in Anaheim, California, and I should have."
Labor of Love
"I found a couple of books that had all the Rolling Stone covers, like the one that has Bob Dylan on one side and Jakob Dylan on the other side," says Quigley. "I actually cut the book up. I knew I was gonna need some smaller pieces to get into small places, or places where something doesn't meet up. I painstakingly cut out a bunch of those."