Art gallery and coffee shop nears opening date in Dearborn

Metromode Media

DEARBORN — In theater, the term “black box” refers to a flexible performance space. In engineering, there are inputs and outputs; you put something into the black box, and out comes the product.

Somewhere where those two worlds meet, theater and engineering, is Ray Alcodray. The Dearborn resident has spent three decades in professional and community theater, and recently retired from a career in engineering and IT work.

Now his focus is on a 4,800-square-foot space on Monroe Street, in what’s soon to become the Black Box Gallery.
Alcodray is renovating and building out the soon-to-be art gallery and coffee shop. He’s planning a June 22 grand opening.

“I was born and raised here and I’ve always been very keen on our city,” Alcodray says. “There’s a lot of history with Henry Ford, with being a center of innovation. A lot of people from here have that same attitude. It’s a work ethic.

“I’ve always been an innovator myself, whether in engineering or theater. This is another opportunity to do just that.”

It’s with that work ethic that Alcodray is doing much of the construction himself; he had to delay the interview because he was in the middle of applying a fresh coat of polyurethane.

Much as in the theater world, Black Box Gallery will be a flexible space. Alcodray plans on showcasing an array of art styles, from paintings to sculptures, and anything else that fits.

He has three bottom lines, he says. The gallery must make enough money to stay open; the items displayed must have high artistic value; and the Black Box will be an ethical organization, upholding the standards of the community and treating artists fairly.

In addition to the art gallery will be a coffee shop, featuring specialty drinks and baked goods.
Black Box Gallery is at 3700 Monroe St. in Dearborn.

(This story was reprinted from Metromode Media. It also is available at: