Creative. Whimsical. With a hint of inspiration, innovation and renaissance. Grab your walking shoes, because Detroit’s newest art gallery will take you on an outdoor tour of the central business district.
Large-scale works of community art created by some of the city’s most talented makers are on display right now, waiting to impress visitors and inspire residents. For the past five years, Community Arts Moving Projects Detroit (CAMP Detroit) has been recruiting local artists to capture the spirit and future of our great city. This year, with the help of Opportunity Detroit, six energetic art creations have found a home downtown before taking up permanent residence in locations such as Woodbridge Community Garden, Lincoln Street Art Park and Lafayette Greens. So grab a map and a group of friends, and get ready to see the future of Detroit!
Head toward the Federal Reserve plaza, and you’ll find YEAH YOY, Foch – a tree trunk and stretch lycra sculpture designed by Louis Casinelli and Andrew Thompson. Take a minute to lounge on the base (which, by the way, was sourced from the Foch neighborhood on Detroit’s east side), and socialize while enjoying the playful lighting and people watching.
For an abstract nature lesson, walk over to the trees lining Chase Tower and check out Dystopian Disco: Sonic Crystals. Bethany Shorb and Kip Ewing designed these revamped disco balls with patterns found in nature, like cell division and animal prints. Your senses will go into overdrive when you realize that these designs were created by a unique subwoofer painting process, which records sound waves onto the crystals, effectively allowing the viewer to see sound. How’s that for Detroit innovation?
Being so close to Campus Martius, you might be tempted to enjoy a drink and sticky bun from the Beach Bar and Grille. After lounging with your feet in the sand for a bit, make your way over to Pharos3. Together, the color, light and rhythmic progression of cubes, designed by local talent William Tyrrell, are meant to recall the features of a lighthouse.
Across the park at 1001 Woodward is stop number four: Reflection Portal. Prepare to be transported to a surreal form of reality while walking underneath this mirrored archway. John Rizzo hoped to raise the awareness level of everyone walking through his creation by reflecting the unnoticed surrounding skyline and crowds back to viewers through a complex and colorful system of mirrored Plexiglas. Spending a few minutes with this piece will give you a taste of what the renaissance is all about: showing people a side of Detroit that they never noticed before, and altering their perception of the city in a positive way.
Right outside of the Compuware building are two vibrant and quirky pyramids, The Good-Time Light-HeartedLean Peaks. The creative team (Alan Sedghi, Ellen Rutt, Patrick Ethen, Rachel Mulder, Eiji Jimbo and Simon Anton) designed these prisms for reclining and leaning on during the day, and transforming into the light of the party at night (literally), pulsing to the audio from neighboring stages.
The final stop on your self-guided CAMP Detroit tour is in Cadillac Square, where you have the chance to influence and control the artwork. Ernst: King of Cats is a life-sized interactive marionette that can be made to dance ordo whatever you please in a hilariously entertaining manner that only a giant cat-man is capable of. Sean Hages created something that everyone can be a part of, an experience unimaginable in any traditional art gallery. Come out to the central business district and see for yourself – these pieces are truly and uniquely Detroit.
PDF Version of artwork and map – Download