Toronto Star: Detroit Travel On The Rise

Photo: Jessica Lundgren McCarthy, Heidelberg Project 


Although the Motor City still has its fair share of problems, it has undergone an impressive — and very recent — renaissance. Characters, artists and tourists are all welcome here. 

The Henry Ford: Its self-proclaimed significance as “America’s Greatest History Attraction” is only a slight exaggeration. Here, you will find the chair in which Abraham Lincoln sat on the night of his assassination, the actual bus that Rosa Parks famously refused to move to the back of, and many other artifacts and curiosities. An impressive collection of autos includes several presidential limousines (including the Cadillac that carried John F. Kennedy on that fateful day in Dallas). 

The Heidelberg Project: Taking up an entire city block in a rough downtown neighbourhood, this outdoor art installation mixes the whimsical with the just plain weird. A lawnmower perches atop a mountain of shoes; a beached boat is heaped high with oversized stuffed toys; an entire two-storey house has been painted with bright multi-colour polka dots. It’s all the brainchild of Tyree Guyton, who fought city hall (and won) to keep his sprawling project alive. Guyton is now celebrated internationally for his work with found objects, and you can come to Heidelberg, view his work and chat with the earnest local volunteers who help interpret — all free of charge. 

Russell Industrial Center: With 1 million square feet of space, this former auto parts factory now provides studio space for dozens of Detroit artists, from glassblowers and photographers to bona fide painters and even a silk-screen artist who has created album covers and concert posters for everyone from Patti Smith to Alice Cooper and Kid Rock. Call ahead and make an appointment to tour the showrooms, or visit on the weekend, when the complex hosts a public flea market.

Click HERE to read the full article on the Toronto Star! 


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