Detroit’s Guardian Building gets high-end glass store

Michael H. Hodges
Detroit News Fine Arts Writer

Shopping in downtown Detroit just got more intriguing.

Epiphany Studios of Pontiac, which sells fine-art glass, has opened a handsome pop-up store in the Guardian Building that will be around at least through the holiday season.

You’ll find the 300-square-foot, brightly lit store just beyond Pure Detroit in the Guardian’s spectacular upper lobby.

“If it goes well,” said Epiphany owner and glass artist April Wagner, who launched her gallery in 1997, “we’d like to stay through the end of the auto show (in January). The building gets a lot of tourists, and we’d like to give them a really good impression of Detroit.”

Wagner, who created all the work on sale, says items range from $10 - $4,000, but adds that there are a lot of small pieces at the bottom end of the price range.

“Right now we have our seasonal pieces — glass pumpkins in a variety of sizes and colors,” she said. “We’ll transition into ornaments for the Christmas season.”

Wagner’s also got functional items.

“We’ve got a bunch of different drinking glasses, as well as coasters, wine holders and wine decanters,” she said. “Whatever you like to drink, we make something for it.”

Wagner went out of her way to make the tiny store cozy.

“We’ve curated it like a home setting,” she said, “so people can imagine having these pieces in their home. We’re trying to break down that barrier you sometimes have in galleries, where things seem too austere to actually live with.”

The Epiphany store not only adds to the growing sophistication of downtown retail, but follows in the wake of other high-end suburban galleries, like Birmingham’s David Klein Gallery or Wasserman Projects, that have either moved downtown or opened up branches.

For her part, Wagner’s delighted to have an outpost in Detroit’s most exotic skyscraper.

“We’re thrilled to be in the Guardian because it’s such a beautiful space,” she said, “and really speaks to what crafts people can offer the community. And even though the building is eclectic traditional,”Wagner added, “I think our contemporary work makes for a nice juxtaposition.”

The pop-up is open Thursday - Saturday, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., though visits during off hours can be arranged by calling the gallery.


(313) 222-6021

Twitter: @mhodgesartguy

Epiphany Studios Pop-Up Gallery

Upper lobby, Guardian Building, 500 Griswold, Detroit

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Thursday - Saturday

(248) 745-3786