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DDA Plans to Establish Downtown Ferndale as Art District

"ARTWN" will add a 10-piece public art installation downtown next month and will feature a variety of summertime events.

The 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 . 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.

Guy Fawkes April 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM
Maybe it's time to have a second look at that horrid steel atrocity they thought would look "historical" on the median at 9 and Woodward (the safety cop in the crows nest). Blech. Someone was on a delaudid drip when they decided that would look artistic. Imagine a beautiful sculpture standing in that same place.
Jennifer M. Cline April 28, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I must disagree. While it isn't the most beautiful thing in the world, it's not a terrible piece. It's different. It makes that location stand out a bit more than the rest and I don't think it does so in a negative way. Sure, it will be great to get some different art around the city. But I don't mind it. What type of sculpture would you suggest?
Jennifer M. Cline April 28, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I'm very excited by this. Ferndale has such a vibrant atmosphere and I think this will only add to it. This is a great area to live in and I'm proud that they are looking to expand the artistic side of our community.
Angela Emmerling April 28, 2012 at 08:40 PM
I love the crows nest and I'm looking forward to the new art installations. If you are interested in seeing how the original crows nests looked back in the day, here is a historical pic of one in Detroit. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=217069241660128&set=a.216908491676203.60535.109210839112636&type=3&theater
Guy Fawkes April 29, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Meh. It's not sculpture, and I certainly wouldn't call it "art". It was a way to make traffic slow down with a fake decoy cop. I'd say it looks stupid, if I had a vote. If you're interested in what art looks like, here's a real sculpture. http://images.artfinding.com/lot/_169/galerie_atena_bronze_sculpture_after_edme_dumont_12470642715596.jpg Something that commemorated the origins of Ferndale when it was built for the earliest auto workers would be meaningful. The crows nest is graffiti.
Angela Emmerling April 29, 2012 at 02:00 AM
You are mistaken about the history and purpose of the Crow's Nest, but that can be forgiven since you are obviously the Chosen One when it comes to defining "art". Thanks for taking a moment to teach us ignorant souls what qualifies as art. So glad that we have such an authority amongst us! We are truly blessed.
Patricia April 30, 2012 at 12:17 AM
This shows the problem with art displays in the city. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Let's keep the art in the galleries where those who want to view it may then choose to. Not all of us want it all around our city.
katie soboleski April 30, 2012 at 01:57 AM
i like the idea!
Old Goat May 02, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Guy, the original crowsnest was manned by a live police office to direct traffic at 9 mile and Woodward. This is a historical reproduction of that crowsnest (a part of Ferndale's history). If this link works, here is the original one at 9 Mile and Woodward. https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=1348272945790&set=o.292344146288&type=3&theater

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