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The Scarab Club Honors Legendary Art Curator and Gallery Owner Dell Pryor during ‘Beam Signing Event’

Dell Pryor, prominent curator and gallery owner honored by the Scarab Club with signing of the beam ceremony

The Scarab Club has honored curator and gallery owner Dell Pryor during a beam signing ceremony. The beams of the Scarab Club’s second-floor lounge have become a living artifact, evolving over the years with the addition of each artist who adds their signature. Artists are invited to sign the beam as a means of honoring their significant and lasting contribution to the arts.

“The tradition of signing the lounge beams at the Scarab Club began shortly after the building was completed in 1928. It has been called “signing the guest book” and the honor was bestowed upon artists and patrons with local, national and international reputations. Dell Pryor added her signature to the hundreds of notable artists and designers, that include signers such as Norman Rockwell, Diego Rivera, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as Nancy Mitchnik, Charles McGee, Margaret Bourke-White, and Gilda Snowden. We could not be happier to bestow this honor on Dell Pryor,” said Mariuca Rofick, board president at the Scarab Club.

Dell Pryor will be the first female and Black gallerist to be invited to sign the beams at the Scarab Club. Ms. Pryor is recognized and celebrated for her profound impact on Detroit’s cultural scene. Originally trained as an interior designer, she soon became known for championing local artists in her gallery spaces. From a first space in Eastern Market, to a long residence in Harmonie Park, her eponymous galleries showcased local and national visual and performing artists. She moved her gallery to its current location on Willis Street and founded the Spiral Collective, a group of creative businesses, which set the stage for the dramatic changes in the Cass Avenue environs.

“The beams of the Scarab Club are a record of many of the important artists and art professionals that have influenced the arts in Detroit. The signatures remind us of the rich heritage of our artistic community. Dell Pryor is one of the pioneering gallerists in the city. For decades, she has created space for many artists to showcase their talent and has been a catalyst for creative practice. Her signature on the beam at the Scarab Club recognizes her critical work and immense talent,” said MaryAnn Wilkinson, executive director at the Scarab Club.

“Dell Pryor is well known to artists and patrons of the arts in Detroit. As a curator her gallery spaces have had a significant cultural impact in the city for decades as she tirelessly showcased both new and established artists. Not many gallerists have had this kind of staying power in the city of Detroit. We admire her passion and devotion to the city and its artist community,” Rofick added.


Photograph: Dell Pryor, photographed by Jeff Cancelosi

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