Detroit: The Heildelberg Project


I love public acts of art. All good art is tranformative. It transforms the viewer, transforms the artist, it transforms the place it was created, posted, built, or hung. Like an alchemist turning base metals to gold, good art transforms the very essence of what the artist uses as a medium into some much more than it was. Transforming those objects into something different, into a substance that can reach the soul and cause it to alight like a nuclear blast. The amazing part about good art is that you don't have to like it, it doesn't have to be beautiful, and you don't necessarily have to agree with its message. All it requires from you is to have some reaction to it, to have dialogue with it, to find yourself thinking about it for months and years later, to have it haunt you, to have it transform yo and, perhaps, hopefully transform the world around it.

The Heidelberg Project is a magnificent example of public art, in all its transformative and resilient glory.

Tyree Guyton began The Heidelberg Project in 1986. This open-air art environment, located in Detroit's east side, has transformed a community. While started by one man it is now the artistic expression of a community, of a city. It has been partially demolished by the city of Detroit twice. And now, in the last year, an arsonist has burned down six of the now famous houses in that neighborhood. Yet, as you can see, art flourishes among the ashes, as all good art will.

I strongly recommend, if you plan on visiting The Heidelberg Project, booking a tour through the project itself. Talking with someone who actively works on the project, who is committed to committing public acts of art, that's who you want as your guide to your transformation.

 The Numbers House



The Doll House or Party Animal House. This used to look like this


Think about it.