Editor's note: The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University provided the following texts to Resource Library. If you have questions or comments regarding the source material, please contact the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum directly through either this phone number or web address:
Street Sense: Celebrating 20 Years of The Heidelberg Project
February 8 - May 24, 2008
The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum will host Street Sense: Celebrating 20 Years of The Heidelberg Project, an exhibition that opens Friday, February 8, 2008 This special exhibition documents and commemorates the 20-year history of the provocative and internationally recognized neighborhood art project known as The Heidelberg Project, created by Detroit artist Tyree Guyton. Included in the show are his preliminary sketches for Heidelberg installations, historical and contemporary photographs of the project, works of art by Guyton which reflect the free-spirited energy of The Heidelberg Project, and sculptural works from the Project itself, on special temporary loan for this exhibition. (right: Tyree Guyton, photo by Gregg Campbell)
For 20 years, the Heidelberg Project has been an engaging presence on Detroit's east side. This signature work by Guyton is a symbol of hope and an object of praise, as well as a locus of controversy. Through its tumultuous 20-year history, the Heidelberg Project has remained a thought-provoking and stimulating presence for Detroiters as well as visitors from around the world.
In 1986, responding to the deterioration and decay of a once-vibrant Detroit and his own neighborhood, Guyton became inspired to use art to change the world. Since then, the African-American artist has worked on his Heidelberg Project -- a colorful and energetic environmental art project meant to transform the deteriorated neighborhood where he grew up into a place with an atmosphere of hope and possibility, with its brightly colored sculptures in vacant lots, and painted abandoned houses adorned with discarded objects from the inner city. Guyton's vision is centered on using art to transform an environment by stemming urban decay, displacing crime, and rebuilding the dignity and hope of a community.
"Tyree Guyton has become one of Michigan's most celebrated contemporary artists," said Marilyn Wheaton, Museum director. "The Heidelberg Project is Detroit's third most frequently visited tourist attraction." (left: Sculptural works from The Heidelberg Project exhibition at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum)
Street Sense is the first major exhibition focusing on the Heidelberg Project's 20-year history, creating a fresh opportunity to examine and interpret the many facets of Guyton's urban art, and to reconsider its ability to transform environment and encourage multicultural dialogue.
The February 8 opening and reception to meet the artist begins at 5:00 PM. It is open to the public; admission is free of charge. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP at (989) 964-7082. The exhibition runs through Saturday, May 24.
The Street Sense: Celebrating 20 Years of the Heidelberg Project exhibition was funded by the Joyce Foundation in Chicago and was at the Elaine L. Jacob Gallery at Wayne State University from Sept. 28 - Dec. 14, 2007. From here the show will travel to other museums in Michigan.
Tyree Guyton and Heidelberg Project Director Jenenne Whitfield, will give a lecture about The Heidelberg Project in SVSU's Rhea Miller Recital Hall Monday, March 24 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to this free lecture to hear the perspectives of the artist about the Heidelberg Project and its implications for understanding the role of art in society. Attendees will also have an opportunity to respond, ask questions, and lend their comments.
Readers may also enjoy:
Come Unto Me: The Faces Of Tyree Guyton is a 30 minute 1999 HBO documentary chronicling the efforts of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton to revitalize a devastated neighborhood with colorful art and sculpture based on junk and other discarded objects. Directed by Nicole Cattell.
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