Public service remains a foundation throughout stephen garrett dewyer’s career as an artist, part-time professor and now candidate for State Representative of Michigan House District 4. stephen strives to work on behalf of a politics that does not take the public for granted and that looks beyond the limits of the possible. stephen hopes he can bring the politics and expertise necessary to public service in order to best serve the district by running for State Representative.
Born and raised in Metro Detroit, stephen attended public schools and benefited from a strong focus on art in his education. stephen’s parents worked in the automotive industry in Detroit to support their family and send him and his brother Nick to what were then some of the finest public schools in the United States. After graduating high school, stephen moved to Baltimore, MD to earn his B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). While at MICA, stephen served as Vice President and then President of the Student Voice Association Academic Affairs Council (SVAAAC). As President and Vice President of SVAAAC, stephen advocated for a progressive tuition rate for students based on financial need. In 2009, stephen moved to New Haven, CT to further study art as a profession by earning an M.F.A. from Yale University. While at Yale University, stephen served as a Senator on the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, obtaining funding for the Yale University School of Art Open Studios and participating in GESO (Graduate Employees and Students Organization) demonstrations.
In 2011, stephen moved to New York City and participated in many of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations and continued his art practice. After seeing the affectations of gentrification in New York City, stephen saw potential in Detroit to grow in a different, more equitable way.
stephen returned to Detroit at the end of 2011 to pursue his art and academic career at the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art & Design, Wayne County Community College District, Oakland University and the University of Detroit Mercy. stephen exhibited a number of solo exhibitions and soon became interested in combining greater politics with his art practice.
In 2013, stephen co-founded the journal of art and cultures ∞ mile (infinite mile) to help bridge the gap between art and politics through critical inflections on the art and cultures in Detroit from Detroit. The monthly journal gained critical acclaim, won awards and helped give local representation to art and cultural happenings in Detroit. Over three years, ∞ mile published 94 essays and interviews, 51 artist projects, 26 reviews, 27 works of fiction or poetry, involving 78 contributors. ∞ mile discussed some of the more difficult topics facing art and cultures within and outside of Detroit. Almost all of the ∞ mile contributors spent a significant amount of time in Detroit, a qualification meant to give representation to the diversity and nuance of the city that can only come from living in the area for some period of time. The journal remains free and open to the public at www.infinitemiledetroit.com.
stephen enjoys working-out, dating and participating in Detroit life and culture when not working on organizing, art and teaching.