Woah is right. If you’re unfamiliar with The Heidelburg Project in Detroit, the pictures above are can be a jolt to the system. That seems fitting considering the shock Tyree Guyton felt when returned to his childhood home after serving in the army. He was stunned by the deterioration of the neighborhood. The area had been declining since the riots in 1967, and fell into further decay in his absence.
And then it all started with a dot, a single polka dot Tyree painted on his mother’s house. That spot grew and eventually the entire house was covered in bright colors. Then one by one, houses on the street were taken over by artists who wanted to take a stand against the decline of the city.
I tagged along with Trista Dymond, an artist who works with Tyree and the rest of the Heidelburg crew. As we toured the salvaged wonderland, I was in awe of the time and love that went into this larger than life movement to uplift Detroit.
There really is no place quite Heidelberg Street. The homes and instillations are thought evoking and controversial. It sparks conversations and ignites people with intense emotions about its presence. That’s exactly what good art does. It makes a splash and it demands attention.
If you’d like to celebrate Earth Day this week and help bring more color to the motor city, click here.