Saturday, April 7, 2012

Detroit’s Heidelberg Project

The Heidelberg Project is artist Tyree Guyton’s two-block artistic creation in downtown Detroit. Guyton and his grandfather began the project in 1986 by adorning Heidelberg Street with colorful, symbolic, and intriguing everyday discarded objects. Its purpose: “Using art to provoke thought, promote discussion, inspire action and heal communities.”
Detroit is famous for its urban decay and inner city abandonment. The Heidelberg Project is a reminder of the spirit and imagination of the Motor City. The project is about inspiring people to think outside the box and taking a stand to save forgotten neighborhoods; it is about healing communities through art. The project strives to provide a bright vision for the future of Detroit.
Artistic city projects are cropping up all over the country—the Watts House Project in Los Angeles, the “Before I Die” artwork in New Orleans—as artists work to strengthen community through interactive street art. These projects are a testament to the power of art to heal and inspire entire communities. Not everyone, however, appreciates this form of art.
The Heidelberg Project, for example, has already suffered the demolishment of several of its houses. Twice the city has tried to destroy this two-block work of art. Luckily, it is now a protected landmark. For over 25 years the Heidelberg Project has remained a tribute to the Detroit community’s resilience and creativity.
Originally posted by Sally Johnson on

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