It’s the 25th anniversary of The Heidelberg Project in Detroit, Michigan, a kind of sprawling, outdoor art display that you have to see to believe. It was created by a local resident named Tyree Guyton after the street he grew up on (Heidelberg) became blighted by abandoned houses and empty lots.
Tyree wanted to do something about the problems he saw there. He says he felt like God telling him to bring hope and inspiration back to his neighborhood. As an artist, he says, his job is “to come up with solutions.”
This was the vision he had–to turn houses and cars and, well, whatever he could get his hands on, into whimsical, makes-you-do-a-double-take art.
According to Agility Nut:
“The block that was once home to drug dealers is now filled with brightly painted houses, cars, and signs, as well as handmade sculpture of bicycles, vacuums, shoe, dolls, stuffed animals, etc.
“In 1999, about half the Project was demolished by the City when the Mayor declared it an eyesore. It has since been recognized as a local landmark with international support. The Heidelberg Project has become an ongoing community project.”
This video has an interesting and inspiring interview with the artist Tyree Guyton, who says his art is bringing people back into a neighborhood they would otherwise avoid:
It has definitely been a controversial project, and not everyone is a fan. But it has also become a tourist attraction with visitors coming from around the world to see it in person. “If I can do just one small thing to help this community come back,” he says, “then I’ve done my job.”