The Downtown Development Authority is launching a new program that aims to appease Ferndale residents' growing interest in art around their community.
The spring initiative called ARTWN will feature a 10-piece art installation set up around the downtown district to help establish it as an art town.
DDA Executive Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius said the program is an invitation for people to create and enjoy art “in one great place – downtown Ferndale.”
The 10-piece exhibit, assembled by renowned curator John Sauve, will start changing the downtown Ferndale landscape late next month. Featuring the work of local and national sculptors, the pieces will be installed at locations throughout the district and remain in place through next year.
“The creative culture not only thrives in downtown Ferndale – in many ways, it is what distinguishes us,” Sheppard-Decius said. “ARTWN is a way to share that fact with the world.”
ARTWN will work by adding in new art pieces, but also maximizing the great things that already exist in the community, Sheppard-Decius added.
“We are very excited to showcase our existing art assets and to add to them with some very significant work.”
The DDA is inventorying the downtown area and will host events throughout the summer to highlight and promote some of the city’s best visuals. Here’s what is in the works so far:
- May 17: Bicycle Night will feature the reveal of the DDA’s first on-street bike parking rack, created by local sculptor Richard Gage.
- June 21: Pimp Your Pot will showcase the creative bent of downtown Ferndale merchants who turn flower planters into business identity pots.
- July 17: Hangin’ in Ferndale will showcase the art that resides in downtown Ferndale businesses. The DDA is scheduled to make an exciting reveal on this evening.
- Aug. 16: The Art of the Automobile will be presented, in conjunction with Woodward Dream Cruise weekend.
These showcases will be part of the summer’s rollout of the “Third Thursday” late-night shopping program.
ARTWN efforts are presented by DDA and supported by MotorCity Casino Hotel and local sponsoring businesses, which will support individual sculptures.
The program will be officially launched with a fundraising Progressive Party on June 28 at Rust Belt Market. The black tie casual event will include guided tours of the sculptures and an artist meet-and-greet.
For more information, call the DDA at 248-546-1632.
Stay with Patch for more updates as the ARTWN program unfolds.