Aretha by Kristin Beaver

April 18, 2024

Aretha Franklin by Kristin Beaver

The city of Detroit is the eternal beacon for arts and culture.  It is currently and has historically been recognized for excellence in all forms of creative expressions from theater, dance, visual arts, and music. However, most notable is the importance and deep impact that Detroit music has made all around the world.  It is the home for institutions such as the Motown/Hitsville, USA, The United Sound Studios and Third Man Records. The city’s commitment to promoting the arts is reflected in the Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, honoring the legend herself. This venue serves as a reminder of Detroit’s legacy as a cultural hub and continues to attract musical innovators.

Affectionately crowned the “Queen of Soul”, Aretha Franklin has become one of Detroit’s most iconic figures and profound muses. Her influence served as a pivotal inspiration for many, touching the lives of countless individuals across generations. This particular painting is a recreation of Aretha’s “Running Out of Fools” album cover, depicting her in white as she gently blends into the background, leaning on a white table, and becoming one with her music. Franklin’s invitingly gazes over her shoulder while radiating a sense of serenity against the backdrop of white.

Kristin Beaver, a 2009 Kresge fellow and graduate of Wayne State University’s MFA program is not only an artist but an esteemed educator who has garnered many awards and honors throughout her career.  Her work is defined by her stunning portraits of women that captures personalities and engage viewers. Beaver’s “larger than life” paintings invoke deep feelings as she often paints people from her personal life, imbuing sentimental value to her work. Kristin is inspired by vintage imagery, societal beauty standards, and a timeless quality in her work.  As a native of Detroit, Kristin sought to pay homage and respect to a Detroit legend through her art.

Written by Colleen Sikorski

Return to archive