Mobile Spiritual Renewal Center

Low Budget Mystic 

Factory Life - Three Sisters Project Information

Factory Life - Three Sisters Project


I am still loving my 1998 Cadillac Deville! In August 2019, I am gathering stories from people affected by the three General Motors assembly plant closures: Hamtramck/Detroit Assembly, Oshawa Assembly (near Toronto, Ontario), and Lordstown Assembly (near Youngstown, Ohio). My project is focused on optimistic messages in difficult times with an emphasis on “best of” stories from current/former employees: Best times? Best coworkers? Best vehicle produced? I intend to speak with GM executives, union leaders, workers, management, designers, engineers, local businesses, churches, regional historical museums, and universities. I am only interested in constructive, positive, promising and affirmative messages. The final film/book/exhibition will include stories of pride, humor, love, and devotion. My research won't be all roses. While collecting stories, I will document the dismantling of the U.S. manufacturing centers and the dark times of the American Labor Union as well as chronicle the complicated contemporary manufacturing ecosystem. In order for my small project to have validity/balance, I need the voices (data) of GM management. GM executives' "best of" stories are a valued viewpoint as well as give perspective on the harsh realities of the free market. 

I will return in 2020 to record interviews in 4K video, chronicle the region with AR/VR video and continue gathering highly curated content. I am NOT producing ruin-porn or vilifying executives or glorifying the suffering of people while they are in a vulnerable space. My family was deeply affected by plant closures (Shatterproof Glass Company) of the 1980’s in southeastern Michigan. We lost everything. Now, thirty years later, I intend on gathering as many positive stories as possible and archive present-day testimony for future generations. 

I view myself as a reporter, film maker, visual artist and a proud son of a factory worker. While driving my 1998 Cadillac Deville through the American Rustbelt, I listen to echoes of the past while contemplating the future. Through my previous six vision quests, I have produced photographs, drawings, paintings, videos, sound recordings, collages and installation works which are exhibited in museums, contemporary art centers and galleries.

This is my seventh Vision Quest project:

  • Summer 2012, I purchased a 1992 Jeep Cherokee and retraced the Trail of Tears from New Echota, Georgia to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. 
  • Summer 2014, I followed the footsteps of General George Armstrong Custer from Monroe, Michigan to Little Big Horn, Montana in my 2005 Pontiac Montana. 
  • Summer 2015, I was accepted to the Jentel Artist Residency and drove from Savannah, Georgia to Sheridan, Wyoming.
  • Summer 2016, Retraced Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac's 1701 journey to the establish the city of Detroit, Michigan. In my 1998 Cadillac Deville, I drove 7500-mile trek from Savannah, Georgia to Detroit (around the Great Lakes) to Quebec City, Quebec. 
  • Spring 2017, I was invited to participate in the LoKo Festival of the Arts in Potsdam, New York. From there I traveled to Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, SUNY New Paltz, and the lovely city of Detroit as well as The University of Illinois Champaign Urbana with additional stops in Nashville Tennessee. During my travels, I was invited by General Motors (GM) to tour the Detroit Hamtramck Assembly facility (location of where my 1998 Cadillac Deville was assembled), GM Heritage Center and allowed access to the GM archives. 
  • Spring 2018, I was an invited visiting artist/scholar spending several days on Valparaiso University campus and was artist in residence at Michigan Legacy Art Part in Thompsonville, Michigan. While on the road, I did extended projects to Chicago, Indianapolis and Detroit.
  • Summer 2019, I am installing a sculpture at the Michigan Legacy Art Park in Thompsonville Michigan and traveling to Hamtramck/Detroit Assembly, Lordstown Assembly and Oshawa Assembly to collect “best of” stories about factory life. 

  • If you can assist in my odyssey, I would appreciate the support.
  • For project updates, follow my Instagram: olszewski_art

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Artist Bio


Olszewski is not one to seclude himself in his studio and has been organizing vision quests/spiritual journeys in his 1998 Cadillac Deville. Along the way, he created site-specific, interactive installations and invited total strangers to write their darkest secrets onto his “canvases” – protective car covers that Olszewski then transfigured into objects resembling ceremonial animal skins. 

The Mobile Spiritual Renewal Center


I am a Board Certified, Low-Budget Mystic-aka-Self Appointed Mixed Race Messiah aka The Godson of Dr. Funkenstein, traveling through North America in my 1998 Cadillac DeVille. The vehicle is my avatar and exemplifies the spirit of the American Rustbelt and has a direct connection with my father and grandfather. Cadillac is a romantic symbol of American luxury, style and elegance, and the DeVille is one the last remaining vehicles assembled in Detroit (the Motor City), Michigan. 

The Mobile Spiritual Renewal Center is self-contained project carried inside the vehicle. The project acts as a soft monument or a mobile message board to connect with the local populations I will encounter throughout my journey. In recent collaborative projects, I have constructed a Caution Tape Medicine Wheel around the DeVille where people can write messages on strips of colorful fabric. After a few hours, the “Caution Tape” is covered with favorable messages and the Medicine Wheel transforms from a relatively negative message (“caution”) to a positive bulletin board. When the journey is complete, the vinyl car cover(s) and caution tape will serve as the foundation for my visual exploration and used in professional gallery/museum exhibitions.

I encourage each individual with whom I come into contact to decorate, contemplate, make marks, draw, write and/or simply spend time with the project. At the beginning of the trek, the project is a blank canvas, and each mark, sticker, dent and repair serves as a testament to the rich cultural dialog of the journey. This project is the convergence of years of dedicated research into multicultural identity and the positioning of Native American artists in a contemporary context. It is also a means of transitioning my theories about cultural identity into a tangible body of work.  

As a displaced Northerner living in the American South, I am finding connections to my Northern, post-industrial roots and the fragments that have led to the demise of the once-great modern industrial city of Detroit. This project is the fifth installment in my on-going investigation into cultural identity and the ever-changing contemporary landscape.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Special thanks to the Thomas Allen Davis Charitable Fund, Anthony Bagnoli for rebuilding the 4.6 liter Northstar and Gerald Olszewski for financial assistance. 

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