By Paul VanHevel
Abandoned homes are scattered in abundance throughout the blighted city of Detroit.
Mayor Bing and his plans to demolish these homes and convert them into vast arrays of park and urban farmlands have not been met with success. No clear solution has been proposed for the 90,000 buildings.
In an effort to improve the battered districts of Detroit, Tyree Guyton founded the Heidelberg Project; a nonprofit organization that strives to unify the community by helping young children appreciate art.
The abandoned homes themselves are being turned into thriving pieces of art.
“Along with painting, Guyton would collect random, everyday objects and create art out of them by making sculptures, decorating trees, sidewalks and abandoned houses. He generated an outdoor museum for the community to come enjoy and contribute to,” said Meghan Neuland, a 22-year-old Western Michigan University senior.
Guyton grew up on Heidelberg Street and has artistically rendered houses. For instance, one of Guyton’s first pieces of art became known as the “party animal house,” which involved a house that hosted the nightlife throughout his youth. Guyton stapled stuffed animals to the exterior of the house to convey this message.
The Heidelberg Project strives to improve the community through these various forms of art by rendering knowledge and truth. Guyton, turned a fence into a board of factoids that discussed the broken health care system, furthermore every shoe that hangs from surrounding trees is a representation of the African Americans that were lynched and hung during America’s darkest hours.