rtists Ramen One and Nick Pizana bonded over their similar childhoods. They both grew up loving comic books, video games and graffiti art, and those shared influences are reflected in their art.
“The first time I met Nick, it felt like a kindred spirit,” Ramen One says.
In 2013, Ramen One, Pizana and co-founder Maggie Nguyen formed a multimedia arts collective called Heavenly Dogs. The group’s 16 members each have diverse visual art specialties and skillsets, including graphic design, web design, murals and illustrations.
“We all have a shared common interest for social justice,” Ramen One says. “It’s mostly a philosophical understanding where we are in social class and politics.”
Pizana and Ramen One were both part of the ninth cycle at the Red Bull House of Art, where they met current members Brach Goodman and Shaina Kasztelan. The entire group often works together to put on art shows as a group and individually.
“There’s a lot that goes along with putting on an art show,” Pizana says. “We all kind of help fill in the blanks for each other. Everyone pitches in.”
Though their last group exhibition was in 2014, Heavenly Dogs has done events with Detroit Design Festival like the Design in Motion Battles that blended cars, graffiti and sketching to showcase Detroit’s underground design talent, and most recently with hands-on graffiti demonstrations at this year’s Detroit Design Festival Youth day at the Dequindre Cut.
“It’s a cultural revolution, how art is affecting the city. I want to make sure the voices of the local artists are being heard,” Ramen One adds. “I want locals to still feel like this is their city.”