I stumbled upon The Heidelberg Project during a brief trip to Detroit, and found a series of abandoned houses, painted and decorated with salvaged material,s to revitalize a once decaying block in an inner-city neighborhood. More pictures after the jump!
The Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art environment in Detroit created by native Detroit artist, Tyree Guyton. It began in 1986, originally started as a response to decay in the neighborhood where he grew up.
The project is comprised of recycled materials and found objects, most of which were salvaged from the streets in Detroit, with each piece telling a story about the current issues troubling society. As Detroit is known for it’s suffering economy, high crime statistics, and massive amounts of abandoned buildings, the project utilizes unwanted elements from the surroundings to transform a hard-core inner-city neighborhood, where people were even afraid to walk, into one where neighbors take pride and visitors are welcomed.
We arrived on the afternoon of May 3rd, and came to find that one of the houses, the Obstruction of Justice (OJ) House, had been set on fire in the early morning before our arrival. Initially, we thought that the abandoned and burned house was part of the installation, but we soon realized that it was a much larger piece only the day before. The artist was on-site that day, and when asked about the details, Guyton said the fire department informed him the fire was deliberately set, but he didn’t dwell it.
“To be honest, I’m excited,” he said. “All I can tell you is I’m sitting listening to it and it’s going to be something great.”
Personally, my favorite part was a house covered in old unwanted records, which even had a violin hanging in the second-floor window.
I’ll leave you with a video, produced by Suede Productions.
As always, don’t forget to check out my Blog to keep up on current projects, and be on the lookout for my next post!_