The Detroit Institute of Arts won’t let guests ride their bikes through the galleries, but when prized prints from the DIA make their way to this fall, there will be no stopping the union of art and exercise.
As part of its 125th anniversary celebration, the DIA, in partnership with SM/ART Editions, has selected cities throughout Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties to participate in its Inside|Out program, which takes 40 framed, life-size digital reproductions of art from its collection to the streets and parks of local communities.
Macomb Township will have seven of these works installed in its Macomb Corners Park come September, and the art will remain on display through November.
“We think it will be a great addition and we’re really looking forward to it,” said Sal DiCaro, parks and recreation director. “We’ll put them on display in the fall, so the colors are changing to get a different perspective on different pieces of art.”
While nothing has been set in stone, DiCaro said the committee in charge of the project is planning to place the pieces along the new walking trail at Macomb Corners to allow those using the trail to view the pictures as they travel the loop.
Now that the township has approved the project, DiCaro said the next step would be to schedule visits to Macomb Corners with DIA representatives to plan the exact placement along the trail and select the works themselves.
“I believe there are six different groups of seven,” DiCaro said. “(The DIA will) come out in the second week of June, we’ll show them the space we have and they will suggest what group would be best suited for the park. I’m in the belief that they are going to be all spread out, not just a van Gogh or Monet, all different types of eras, genres and areas of art.”
Each work is displayed in an ornate frame, accompanied by an information plaque. The reproductions can be installed on walls or on freestanding posts, whichever display complements the work best.
Macomb Township trustee and project committee member Janet Dunn is eagerly anticipating the installation of the works.
“How many people get the chance to have the DIA in their backyard?” Dunn said. “I can’t wait.”
Dunn is especially hopeful of the positive impact the display will have on local children.
“Most kids go to the DIA in fifth or sixth grade and that is a wonderful thing, but it is more of an outing for them to fool around and be out of school,” she said. “This would be almost extracurricular, and would offer a little more appreciation for what they are seeing. I think it’s wonderful.”
The art will likely be unveiled in conjunction with the park’s grand reopening celebration on Sept. 24.
“With phase two (of Macomb Corners) opening with the new path, we wanted to give that as much exposure as possible; this is a nice tie-in for the two,” DiCaro said.
Once installed, residents will be able to view the works during regular park operating hours.