Travel

The Heidelberg Project was started in 1986 by Detroit artist, Tyree Guyton, around his family’s home on Heidelberg Street as part of an effort to bring art (and revitalization) to a neighborhood that hasn’t historically had an organized community art center. The photographs hint at the outsider nature of the art—the block is strewn with found and recycled objects from around the city (old TV sets, discarded dolls, brightly painted tires, so, so many shoes). Seeing it in person is as strange as you might expect—but also, fascinating. You are meant to ask the obvious questions: Is this art? Is it junk? The Heidelberg Project is not without controversy: It’s been fraught with various setbacks, including two arson attacks (in 1991 and then 1999), which partially destroyed the HP. The organization is currently fundraising to restore Guyton’s “Numbers House”—the exterior is marked with large numerals—on Heidelberg Street, which serves as a community center for youth and neighborhood workshops and art exhibits, and is currently in dis-repair. Go here to learn more about HP and here to donate to the cause.

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