It’s Amelia here, The Nest’s research editor. A few weekends ago I headed to brisk Detroit, Michigan, to do some exploring. While my presence seemed to have a bad effect on the local sports teams -- the Tigers lost their shot at the World Series and the Lions gave up a five-game winning streak (sorry guys!) -- I lucked out, personally, when I stumbled upon the coolest urban art collection I’ve seen, The Heidelberg Project.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Heidelberg Project, named for the street where it exists (and where its founding artist grew up), was created by Detroit native Tyree Guyton to draw attention to abandoned neighborhoods in his beloved city and to help heal communities through art. I didn’t know much about the project before heading to Detroit’s east side, but I grew giddy with excitement when I spotted entire homes covered in large numbers, clocks and polka dots.
In between the homes, there were small sculptures made of trash, such as an old stove with chair legs and gloves extending from it like tentacles. I also found an urban take on the Wizard of Oz -- ruby sneakers sat on spray-painted rubble, which formed a “yellow brick road,” and nearby a painted sign said it all: “There’s no place like Detroit.”
If you’d like to read more about The Heidelberg Project, check out Heidelberg.org. Plus, if you have a little one in your life, there’s a new children’s book, which came out just last month, called Magic Trash
, by Jane Shapiro.