Art supplies on the go: Alumnus opens mobile art company “Jivehouse”

Finding art supplies on the go or later at night is going to get a little easier with the help of Detroit’s first art supply truck.

Sami Salameh, a Wayne State University alumnus, founded the mobile art supply company Jivehouse. As an artist who grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, Salameh had a passion for art at a young age. He developed the idea of creating an art supply business a few years ago in hopes of creating his own brand. Having trouble finding a location for his business, his wife came up with the idea of putting the art supplies into a food truck.

“The idea just stuck with me, and I went with it,” Salameh said. “Anyone can open a business. My goal is to create an idea a bit different, that I can put my heart into. With the idea of Jivehouse, that’s where my heart landed.”

Beginning the works of the project last January, Salameh explained that the goal of Jivehouse is to create an easily accessible and affordable art supply store, catering to all types of artists from graffitists, illustrators and comic book artists. Supplying a full line of name brand and high-quality art supplies, the truck will stock oil and acrylic paints, canvases and spray paint, along with everyday student needs like markers, pens and pencils.

“There are food trucks and art supply stores, but the combination of both is unknown territory,” said Dino Valdez, marketing director for Jivehouse and founder of the art and design collective Heavenly Dogs.

Becoming a mobile mural, the truck itself will also feature designs by local artists on a rotating schedule. The truck will be parked at various locations such as WSU, the College for Creative Studies and various art galleries.

Salameh said that part of Jivehouse’s goal is selling an affordable and diverse selection of art supplies.

“A good thing about putting art supplies inside of a food truck is it allows me to keep the prices down,” the owner said. “Our competitors are very overpriced, and they’re limited in what supplies they carry.”

He added, “We want to offer services that our competitors can’t provide like delivery and being open at later hours.”

The gallery show and fundraiser for Jivehouse took place on July 25 in an attempt to raise awareness of the launching of the art truck. With over a dozen artists donating their artwork, all profits from the fundraiser will go to obtaining a truck and purchasing art supplies. The company is also accepting donations through their website, jivehousedetroit.com with a goal of $40,000 that will be used towards the truck inventory.

Valdez, who handles advertising for Jivehouse, has seen great responses to the company’s concept.

“People are attracted to new and fresh ideas,” he said. “The innovative concept benefits anyone in the creative industry and in the metro Detroit area.”

“This is a way for me to give back to the artistic community and help other artists create and make a living off what they like to do,” Salameh said.

Being a psychology student who had a strong connection to the arts, Salameh found that his inspiration stemmed during his studies at WSU.

“Constantly being exposed to street art and seeing it every day on my way to class is really what solidified my love for graffiti,” Salameh said.

As Jivehouse plans the launching of the truck, Valdez said that the company is seeking artists’ feedback of the stock the truck should carry.

“We will be anywhere where art is accepted, wanted, showed or catered for events. Jivehouse will be wherever art is happening,” Valdez said.

For more information, visit jivehousedetroit.com and follow @jivehousedetroit on Instagram.

Contact Arts and Entertainment Editor Mayssa Masri: 248-924-7406 or mayssamasri.tse@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mayssamasri

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