Public Art Initiative
The images our Fellows create are showcased across Detroit free of charge as larger-than-life representations of our community. These massive depictions of our neighbors, friends, and city reflect our pride, our aspirations, and our spirit, and are a way for us to celebrate everyday life in our community.
Library Street, Downtown Detroit
Images by four Detroit photographers, Brian Day, Justin Milhouse, Felicia Tolbert, and Rosa Maria Zamarron – all alumni of the inaugural 2016 Documenting DETROIT Fellowship for Early-Career and Emerging Photographers – are featured in the 11-foot high floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows of 1220 Library Street, between Gratiot and Grand River Avenues downtown.
“We love how Documenting DETROIT tells the story of the city we all love through imagery,” said Dan Mullen, President of Bedrock. “Bedrock is dedicated to creating unique experiences through real estate, and one way we do that is supporting visual art as a significant part of downtown’s physical and cultural landscape. We know that exhibits like this bring more visitors to Detroit, helping us to reach a bold goal of showcasing the city to 1 million+ new visitors in 2017; a goal which supports the local economy. We’re thrilled to host part of the ‘Facing Change: Documenting DETROIT’ exhibition on Library Street.”
Grand On River, Core City, Detroit
Steve Koss and Cydni Elledge – both alumni of our inaugural 2016 Documenting DETROIT Fellowship for Early-Career and Emerging Photographers – are featured at this former bank building and multi-purpose space for artists, builders, and community groups, as well as a unique venue for interdisciplinary art shows. Grand On River is located at: 5001 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, MI, 48208
Cydni Elledge’s Portraits of Black Youth, Ages 9 – 22 aims to break down stereotypes of her peers. She says, “This portrait series represents truth. The truth that black men are far more than what the world portrays them to be. I began creating this series so everyone can see what I see, what God created them to be.”
Steve Koss’s No Time to Worry shows diverse Detroiters at nightclubs around the city. He says, “When times are bad for a city, people go to a bar. When times are good for a city, people still go to a bar. I want to see what people make up places and why they come to these places. All these places give Detroiters something different."
Field and Kercheval, Islandview, Detroit
This renovation project in Islandview was the first Documenting DETROIT Public Art installation, featuring the work of 2016 Fellows Alexandre da Veiga, Amy Sacka, and Julian Bibb, and ran from September 2016 through December 2016.
Alexandre da Veiga on photographing urban farmers: "I’m focusing on people that are from Detroit, who farm their land with no funding or nothing. They do it because they want to. They really believe in it. They are growing tomatoes, kale; they are selling at Eastern Market. They have goats. At the end of the afternoon they do the milking and they feed them raw corn and vegetables that have gone bad. I also work as a prep cook; I make soups at one of the best restaurants in the city. We have a farm, and they bring us, weekly, whatever they’re growing: peppers, radishes, and tomatoes. It’s all grown across the highway -- that’s urban farming."
Amy Sacka on photographing Belle Isle: "My series, Belle Isle, 2016, is a street homage to Detroit's in-city island. I wanted to offer a timeless look at the people, moments and traditions that make Belle Isle one of Detroit's most revered destinations. One of my inspirations for this project was Philip Levine’s poem, Belle Isle, 1949, which offers a sense of nostalgia and carefree youthfulness that I too hope to convey in my photos:
'We stripped in the first warm spring night
and ran down into the Detroit River
to baptize ourselves...' "
Julian Bibb on photographing the Motor City’s car culture: "Every car has its own distinct style and taste, and they all make history in how far automobiles have come: you can buy an automobile and make your own art and style out of it. You can go fast or you can go slow and cruise, and just have a nice ride. You run into a high executive at a company, or someone working several jobs just to be able to afford their project car. At the end of the day, it’s all one passion. Which I have – I don’t have the fastest car – but I have the camera and I love capturing how everyone comes together as one car community, no matter where we come from."