STORIES

DETROIT DESIGN

Fall 2020

Partners in Art

A mother-and-son duo revive historic Detroit landmark | Photography by Theodore M. Schinkel
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For Linda Schinkel Rodney and her son, Theodore M. Schinkel, there were similarities between the Greek Revival style of the Moross House they are currently renovating and the visual aspects of their mixed-media Metalagram art, which put them on the map. Both share industrial aspects that are somehow refined, while the transition from the home’s urban interiors to the Secret Garden backyard connects the natural landscape to the organic elements in their work.

Said to be the oldest brick dwelling in Detroit, the historic house, built in 1840, once owned by the city and occupied by the Detroit Historical Society and Detroit Garden Club, was already set up as a live/work space. Schinkel Fine Art’s self-taught duo plans to keep it that way, with an apartment for Theodore and a studio space on the second floor, and a showroom on the main level.


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“The Historical Society told me that when the city owned the home they operated it as a museum,” Linda says. “They showed and exhibited Detroit memorabilia including portraits of Moross family members that originally hung in the home. The Historical Society still has those portraits in their storage. We also have artifacts originally dug from the backyard, when the Garden Club renovated the yard in the 1970s. The Historical Society told us they’d loan the portraits to us to exhibit in the home, which we likely will do in the future, perhaps for a special exhibit. We are inspired by the legacy of the home, which already had and will continue to have an ongoing influence on our work.”

As restoration and repairs continue (Grosse Pointe Woods’ Tamara Kessler & Associates is working with the duo), the showroom and studio remain open by appointment. “We bought the house to express who we are and to create a good ecosystem,” Linda says. Adds Theodore: “It had good bones and acts as a canvas for the art; they make an impactful pairing.”

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As Theodore explains, the garden likely has the oldest wisteria in the Midwest, according to the University of Michigan, and he and his mother hope to make it an even more prominent feature. “It’s an evolving art installation in itself,” he says. Outdoor space on the side of the house could house an additional gallery.

"We began experimenting, using our strengths, and came up with our 2-D mixed-media sculptures.     

-Linda Schinkle Rodney "

The mother and son communicate through their creations. “We want to empower, enlighten, and energize,” Linda says. “People feel connected to the home’s history, and art develops critical thinking and awareness. It helped Theodore, who struggled with literacy from dyslexia.” Their new charity, Conceptions Connect, works with schools and communities through art education and more.

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SHOWTIME Schinkel Fine Art is located in what is said to be the oldest brick dwelling (the Moross House) in Detroit.

Their 2-D mixed-media sculptures were born after Linda had been creating and exhibiting mixed-media photography and painting work, and Theodore had been working in the film industry. Theodore asked if Linda wanted to create works together. “Then we began experimenting, using our strengths, and came up with our 2-D mixed-media sculptures,” Linda says. During his downtime between gigs, their creative minds collided as they printed on aluminum, which has more dimension than paper or canvas with the potential for a variety of patinas, engraving, and more.

Inspiration comes from theater, music, museums, and human nature as the mother and son meld Old World techniques and 21st century technology for the art they say found them. Perhaps their artistic inclinations come from their familial ancestor, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, a prominent German architect and painter. Now they’ve found the perfect place with a personal connection: Linda was born down the street, and her parents met on Belle Isle. “It’s really a legacy statement for us to be in Detroit,” she says.


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Health, Happiness and Love

“Naked Beaus” found the picture perfect home amid the prestigious Anabelle and Robert Di Pilla art collection at their residence located in posh Turtle Lake, Bloomfield Hills, MI.

The Di Pilla’s, 2017 Co-Chairs of the Detroit Institute of Art FashBash, tell us how living with this Metalagram® artwork adds to their lives.

Anabelle says she sees and feels different stimulating sensations from the multi-layered artwork as lighting changes throughout the day. Given that Anabelle and Robert, like all of us, are at home a lot more these days, that’s a very good thing.

We’re thrilled with how “Naked Beaus” resonates with the Di Pilla’s and has an important place in their substantial art collection. This photograph, taken in Anabelle & Robert’s home, emanates with health, happiness, and love.

Summer 2020 and Derby For Kids


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This summer of great reflection is certainly memorable. We actively search for silver linings and there are many. Time is one of our greatest assets right up there with health. We’re finding more time for things we like best. These include exploring, creating and refining our art. While we have not been able to follow through with 2020 plans, we remain committed to creating  and exhibiting in our studio and showroom in The Moross House, the oldest brick dwelling in Detroit.

The Children’s Foundation is hosting the Fourth Annual Derby for Kids. This fundraiser coincides with the Kentucky Derby, re-scheduled from early May to September 5. Funds raised at the event support a pediatric brain cancer research study with Dr. Jeffrey Taub and Dr. Rajen Mody at University of MI, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Hurley Hospital of Flint. Schinkel Fine Art donated “Little Green Boat” Metalagram® shown above, with wood frame and linen liner. You can get involved and support this ground-breaking work by bidding in the Online Auction at: https://e.givesmart.com/events/gOg/.

“Little Green Boat” was inspired by an iconic boat in Leland, MI. We were boating at sunset and came upon this setting. The natural lighting enabled us to uniquely catch the hard edge reflection in the water. See how the Metalagram® process accents and adds life to this artwork. One wonders where the owners went after docking at this site poised for a contemplative experience. We’re wishing a late afternoon of delight!

Schinkel Fine Art studio and showroom are currently open by appointment. We are taking all covid-19 safety precautions to ensure safety of our visitors, customers and workers. Please contact me at linda@schinkelfineart.com or call/text at 248.417-9097 to visit SFA at The Moross House. Let us know if we can do anything for you. We’d love to hear from you and Happy last days of August!

Metalagram® at the Four Seasons Miami
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“Linda and Theo, I love my new artwork! I’m so glad it was installed early 2020 in my new Miami apartment at the Four Seasons. Frequently my visitors remark about how your artwork, in particular, makes them feel. The energy you put into your work and the story behind this Metalagram® resonates through. I’m so happy to have this artwork as part of our collection.” Connie S., Miami, FL June 2020

Inspiration from Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Karl Friedrich Schinkel, 1781-1841, during his lifetime was the most prominent artist in Germany.
He is an ancestor. Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s prolific artistic legacy greatly inspires our artwork.

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Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s “Rock Arch”, left is rooted in our “Night Vision”, right.
Karl influences our works in many ways, as he was a visionary, light years ahead of his time.
In 1992, the Art Institute of Chicago had an Exhibition of Karl’s works. It was the first Exhibition of
his works in the United States. The majority of Karl’s artwork was in former East Germany. The
wall needed to came down in 1989 in order for his works to travel to the United States.

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Shortly after that time, the Art Institute of Chicago commenced
organizing the Exhibition. This is how we learned of our familial
relationship with the leading artist, set and furniture designer
and architect. All family members in the US, only about 50,
were invited to a day filled with lectures, celebrations and the
Exhibition. Theodore, all of impressionable six years old, and
Linda attended.


When we acquired the historic Moross House in 2016, the
oldest brick dwelling in the city of Detroit, we became more
aware of historic influences on our works.

As often the case, the family surname was anglicized and the
Germanic Schinkel spelling became Shinkle. Despite the
tediousness of name changing, we now use Schinkel in honor
of our foremost artist ancestor, Karl Frederick Schinkel.


Why Mind Matters

Connectedness begins with one’s mind. It leads, inspires, and challenges one to make a mark, leave a footprint and connect with the world and all that’s in it.
Mind Matters
distills this message visually, thus communicating with viewers.

The diverse elements included in this work include: photographing the Port of Miami globe at the darkest hour of the night, coloration in concert with the Visual Director at Escada (the German women’s luxury brand), compositing in a woman’s face and head - specifically the area where gray matters resides - masterfully creating the work with our hands by sculpting the metal, then printing and painting.

This Mind Matters Metalagram® embodies the soul of our work beckoning one to seize the day in a way that truly matters, not only in one’s mind but also for mankind. Mind Matters has been and will continue to be on a yearlong Solo Exhibition at Escada boutique, in Scottsdale, Arizona September 2017 – 2018. If you’re in Arizona or going there experience "Mind Matters" while you can!


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Mind Matters at Work

Mind matters in the creative process. As an artist duo, we create artworks that speak to our souls. These are our innermost thoughts populating our thinking and feelings. We communicate these through our artistic medium.

In our work there are two individuals creating and communicating together. Collectors are curious how one voice can be created from two. Basically, how two can equal one. Here’s a quick explanation: we begin with a discussion of shapes, images, and color that resonate. Then we decide whether we have an image to work with. If yes, we build upon what resonates and decide how best to visually communicate this. Often we have what we need to begin. If no, we make additional raw material. Sometimes we intentionally stage a scene. Other times we head into the field to photograph shapes, both negative and positive, scenes and places. We then use all of our senses to harmonically become one with our work.

“Mind Matters”, recently exhibited at the DiPilla Showhouse, complimented the dress Linda selected for the Showhouse Event. Linda explains her decision to wear this dress as one she made subconsciously. It wasn’t until Linda stood by “Mind Matters” and looked at the image someone snapped, that she understood how deeply her mind matters to their work.

See the adjacent image. You decide if “Mind Matters” and Linda’s dress harmonically telegraphs the duo’s alignment with feelings and the way their minds matter.