MS. BETTY/Elijah Ford


$35 plus shipping

12.5″ x 18″

Screenprint. Signed and numbered edition of 100

Storyteller: Betty Billups

Artist: Elijah Ford

Elijah Ford is an oil painter currently living in Hamtramck, Michigan. The California Native received his B.A. in Painting from Cal State San Bernardino in 2011 and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts 2014. Elijah came from an artistic family, growing up with fine, beautifully rendered paintings by his father, Bruce Ford, in the ­home. He inherited remarkable draftsperson skills and has been developing his gifts since childhood. Elijah’s current work explores the relations of loving friendships, memory loss, and escaping through daydream.

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The Storyteller: Betty Billups

Ms. Betty is better known as “Granny” around her bustling house on the eastside of Detroit where her children and grandchildren feel at home long after they’ve moved away. It was the early 1970’s when she followed her sister Lizzie up north from a “one stoplight town” in Alabama. Long widowed and retired from Pitts Packing and Farmer Jack’s grocery store chain, Ms. Betty recalls when her block was full, and Chene Street was full of life. When the school closed there was nothing for kids to do but get into trouble. Many families moved away, but some stayed. Over the years she’s received offers for her house but she puts them in the trash. Ms. Betty stays in the house up the block from her sister, near the few neighbors who have stayed and look out for each other, and walking distance to the church where she serves lunch to the homeless each Saturday and the Reverend is renowned for his beautiful singing voice. There’s a new school that’s opened, so kids are around again. Her grandson goes there and the littlest will start in the fall. Beneath the ornately framed portrait, Ford reflects, “Ms. Betty is a mother of generations, unwavering lover of her home, and always had hope in Detroit.”

The Good Bones Poster Project lifts up beautiful lives being lived in Detroit neighborhoods. 12 different local artists share their unique take on 12 different neighbor-storytellers from one eastside neighborhood in a series of signed, limited-edition fine art screenprints. We’re amplifying a counternarrative about the resilience of the beloved community, through art and connection. Support us by buying posters as they are released each month, or advance-purchase the entire portfolio by clicking here

Proceeds of The Good Bones Poster Project fund a free multimedia outdoor performance at the Sophie Wright Settlement House in 2017, celebrating everyday stories of perseverance and evolution connected by one Detroit building. Good Bones is an AMP Sponsored Project and winner of the Knight Arts Challenge.

All Printing by One Custom City 

In stock