Hitchhiker of Joy Hakanson Colby
   It was a bright summer's day in 1999.  A handful of employees were on a smoking break, clustered around the front door of the "Gray Lady".  That's what the locals call the Detroit News Building at 615 Lafayette Boulevard.  Joy Hakanson Colby has been writing about art in the Michigan for over thirty five years and was a well known personality at the paper.  She retired. in 2008, signed the beam at the Scarab Club and moved to St. Louis.
So they puffed on, only mildly curious as I carried an odd-shaped piece of plywood from the roof rack of my 10 year-old, key-scratched Honda, set it up against a parking sign, and  positioned a compliant Ms.Colby in front of the board.  Wendy, one of the nicotine needy, was persuaded to stand a hundred feet down the sidewalk and, with a mirror, reflect the sun on my fat art pencil as I traced the shadow's edge of Joy's projected silhouette on the plywood surface.
After I cut the plywood and painted the Joy's likeness, I returned to the scene and took its picture.
I also took the wooden hitchhiker to the campus of Joy's alma mater, Wayne State University, including architect Minoru Yamasaki's MacGregor Conference Center, one of her favorite buildings in Detroit.. Few know that her degree was in painting,  but her talent for writing was recognized early.
 Joy's early mentor was Detroit News society page editor, Florence Davies.  In front of Florence's house in Grosse Pointe Park, a scene of fabulous parties in the 1960's, husband Ray is concerned about how two dimensional Joy has become. The critic checks out the new space on Woodward for this venerable non-profit with the "for profit" name.

C.C.S. students Alex Buffenn, Karen Ostipow and Chris Brown with Joy.
The Hitchhiker, a Duane Hanson simulacrum, and an art history student trying to sort it all out in Cranbrook Art Academy's Gallery. Roles reverse as young artists discover and herald  the writer in front of The Center for Creative Studies.
Joy Colby and the Detroit Institute of Arts with Rodin's Thinker.
Two thinkers observing the Detroit scene.

Colby's co-workers wondering if Joy will be sending the plywood to staff meetings instead.


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