DEARBORN, Mich. – Art is in Dearborn, and in a big way. Across the city, 22 pieces of art, including eight paintings from the Detroit Institute of Arts Inside-Out program and 14 sculptures from the Midwest Sculpture Initiative and the high school P.O.P. Design Team, are on display outdoors to promote art and engage citizens.
The art exhibits are slated to be celebrated with a launch event between 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17, at the Henry Ford Centennial Library.
The event is free and open to the public. It is part of the “Art Connects Dearborn!” initiative under the guidance of the Dearborn Community Fund and in partnership with the East Dearborn Downtown Development Authority and the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority.
Executive Director of the Dearborn Community Fund EmmaJean Woodyard said the purpose of the Art Connects Dearborn! launch event is to combine Dearborn’s separate art initiatives and bring them to the public’s attention.
“We want the community to know how much public art is out there so they can visit and enjoy it,” Woodyard said. “It speaks to the values of the Dearborn community that our residents and businesses appreciate art.”
She noted, “In addition to providing an enjoyable visual experience, art enhances our environment and is a catalyst to increasing economic development.”
Dearborn’s Art Exhibits
Through the Inside-Out exhibit, the DIA recently installed a three-month exhibit of eight reproductions of masterpieces close to on or along the Michigan Avenue strip. One sculpture, “Banks of the Oise at Auvers,” is in front of City Hall. Another, “Dancers in a Green Room,” is located at the Bryant Branch Library. A complete list of work in this exhibit is in a brochure that will be available at the July 17 launch event and online at www.dearborncommunityfund.org.
Through the Midwest Sculpture Initiative’s (MSI) 4th Annual City of Dearborn Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, 12 sculptures were installed in April and will be on display for 12 months.
MSI Owner and Founder Ken Thompson said the engagement of art continues with temporary outdoor sculpture exhibits, like MSI. He noted, “These exhibits have gained appeal because of their accessibility and affordability (as many municipalities cut funding for the arts).”
Art exhibits “serve to increase awareness of the visual arts, assert that a community is forward thinking and energetic, improve the quality of life,” he added.
Through the POP Project, two high-school-student-designed sculptures are now on permanent display in east and west Dearborn. An acronym for Pockets of Perception – We Are One Community, POP encourages multicultural understanding while cultivating creativity and investment in the community through the creation of public art.
“Our town has become one big outdoor gallery,” Woodyard said. “A person can make an afternoon out of visiting the sculptures and artwork in Dearborn.”
During the July 17 launch event, pamphlets about the sculptures will be available to the public.
For more information about Art Connects Dearborn! and the launch event, contact the Dearborn Community Fund office at 313-943-5478 or at www.dearborncommunityfund.org.