Artrain - delivering discovery
National Medal for Museum and Library Service


Current Programs

After retiring its train museum in 2007, Artrain is now applying its methodologies to cultural offerings of all kinds: visual and performing arts, science, history and culture. Artrain Delivers Discovery by utilizing a variety of methods including specially designed mobile museum units, new technologies and updated community-building programs to reach people in Michigan, throughout the United States and for the first time in 2012, Canada.

Artrain is known for developing quality art and cultural programs in partnership with outstanding cultural institutions interested in sharing their treasures with an extended audience. Past partners and lenders include the Smithsonian Institution, the Detroit Institute of Arts, NASA, the National Air and Space Museum and the Heard Museum. Artrain has exhibited many of the world’s finest artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Mary Cassatt, Dale Chihuly, Willem de Kooning, Robert Indiana, Jacob Lawrence, Dan Namingha, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and James Wyeth. Artrain’s exhibition Native Views: Influences of Modern Culture received the NEA’s distinguished designation: American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of American Genius.

Artrain is currently working on the following programs:

Infinite Mirror: Images of American Identity - Now on Tour!

Infinite Mirror features 63 multi-media works by culturally diverse artists from across the United States. The central theme of Infinite Mirror is the use of portraiture and figuration as symbols for emotional and social ideas. Exhibition artwork uses portraiture to depict circumstances and experiences of multicultural populations in present-day America. The artwork is personal, reflective, autobiographical and of a high technical quality, creating an exhibition that is both visually beautiful as well as socially relevant. The exhibition includes the work of first generation Americans and emerging new immigrant artists that examines issues and themes of race, gender, religion, history, politics and family. Included are such internationally renowned artists as Luis Jimenez, Tomie Arai, Elizabeth Catlett and Faith Ringgold.

Infinite Mirror is realized through the collective efforts of Artrain, Inc., International Arts & Artists and a group of independent curators: Blake Bradford, director of education, Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia; Robert Lee, executive director, Asian American Arts Center, New York; and Benito Huerta, associate professor & director, University of Texas at Arlington Gallery.

Remaining Tour Schedule:

Washakie Museum & Cultural Center, Worland, WY
February 6, 2014 – April 5, 2014

Foosaner Art Museum, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL
May 16, 2014 – August 17, 2014

The Richard E. Peeler Art Center, DePauw University, Greencastle, IN
September 12, 2014 – November 25, 2014

CriticCar Detroit: Giving Voice to Creative Detroit
CriticCar Detroit is a mobile arts journalism venture centered in Detroit, Michigan. Created by journalist Jennifer Conlin and produced by Artrain, CriticCar traverses the city, stopping by arts and cultural experiences ranging from concerts at the Filmore to dance performances in lofts to gallery walks and bookbinding classes. The 3-4 person team films short interviews with audience members and creatives, using an iPad to record their reviews of the performance or event they just experienced. The videos are edited and uploaded to Youtube within 24-48 hours so that the participant, venue—anyone—can share and learn about Detroit’s arts and cultural scene. Select videos are also featured on Detroit Public Television’s weekly Detroit Performs series.

CriticCar was started in 2012 with a National Endowment for the Arts and Knight Foundation Community Arts Journalism Challenge grant. Concerned that “space and thought dedicated to arts criticism is shrinking in all traditional news publications. These media sources no longer…provide sufficient dialogue on the local arts scene that is the cornerstone of the economic revival of cities such as Detroit,” the idea of CriticCar was born. CriticCar strives to enliven arts journalism and infuse cultural criticism with excitement by inviting citizen critics—from first-timers to experts—to express their views on cultural events in Detroit.

CriticCar Detroit YouTube Page
CriticCar Facebook Page

Joybox Express Mississippi River Ride: Coming in 2014

Artrain, Inc. is pleased to announce that it is adding Mr. B’s Joybox Express to its roster of projects. Mr. B’s Joybox Express was created by the renowned jazz and blues pianist Mark “Mr. B” Braun to bring attention to and raise awareness of the positive effects of arts and athletics. Artrain will produce Mr. B’s Joybox Express Mississippi River Ride, a 2,000 mile piano-bicycle trek down the length of the Mississippi River, in 2014.

Starting in Lake Itasca, Minnesota, the headwaters of the Mississippi, Mr. B and fellow musician riders plan to ride 2,000 miles reaching New Orleans in about 90 days. Along the way they will be hosted by cities, towns and villages where they will present community concerts as well as in-school music education programs to immerse students in the history of jazz and blues. Focusing on cycling, the Joybox physical activity programs will promote bike safety, skills and endurance-building programs. With Artrain’s guidance, communities will be encouraged to organize group fundraising Joybox Express ride-alongs for the novice or experienced rider – all with the intention of raising funds for local youth arts and athletic programs.

You may download the Joybox Express Brochure here. (.pdf 4MB)

Anyone interested in becoming involved with or having the Mr. B Joybox Express Mississippi River Ride stop in their community may contact Artrain at 734.747.8300 or by email at

Paths to Peace: War of 1812 Arts Legacy Project
Artrain is now international! The multi-year Paths to Peace project involves students from the United States and Canada and includes program sites on both sides of the border. Commemorating the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Paths to Peace is a project that, through the cultural arts, interprets the war and the long-lasting 200 years of peace between nations that were once at war – Canada/Great Britain, First Nations/American Indians and the United States – from multiple perspectives. Artrain is partnering with the National Park Service Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and, in Canada, The Chatham-Kent and Windsor Essex – 1812 Southwest Ontario Region, the City of Amherstburg, Ontario, Fort Malden National Historic Site, Parks Canada and Six Nations Legacy Consortium.

Paths to Peace aims to provide a life-long learning experience while educating future generations about an important piece of North American history that is fairly unknown to both American and Canadian residents. Through international dialogue students learn about one another’s history and cultures and are given the opportunity to appreciate the very real differences in national interpretations of historical events. Students connect to concrete historical sites, the social and cultural milieu of the time and the war’s outcome of 200 years of peace.

The 2012 Paths to Peace project kicked off when students from the Windsor and Amherstburg, Ontario schools traveled across Lake Erie by boat to meet and spend the day with students from Bellevue, Ohio at the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial (PVIPM) in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Students enjoyed getting to know each other while engaging in artists’ workshops and activities presented by War of 1812 content specialists from Canada, the United States and First Nations/American Indians.

After returning home, students keep in touch through classroom internet connections arranged by Artrain to share what they are learning about their respective community’s ties to the War of 1812, artists/craftsman of the times, peace movements and international relations. Throughout the year, students meet with their artist mentors to explore various art forms – visual, media, performing and literary – and create work reflecting their observations and interpreting their experience as they incorporate period art and craft. Paths to Peace culminates when students meet again, this time in Amherstburg, Ontario, to continue their education at historic Fort Malden and present their artworks to their international counterparts. Paths to Peace will repeat through 2015.

For further information on any of these programs, to donate, or volunteer to help, please contact our program director, Shoshana Hurand at