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.
Trista is wearing: Carhartt Women’s Weathered Wildwood Jacket & 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree.
In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to call to light some of the most memorable up-cycled moments in Crafted in Carhartt history.
Chicago based designers, Linsey Burritt and Crystal Grover, of The Indo Projects, are fine artists on a mission. Each one of their masterfully created instillations is crafted from recycled items like chopsticks or cardboard. Read more here.
Pashon Murray of Detroit Dirt strives to use every bit of trash for the greater good. She collects compostable waste and brings it around full circle to create fertile soil. That dirt is then used to further fuel urban farming in the area. Pashon truly lives up to her name in spirit and through her ambition to rebuild Detroit. Read more here.
Rebuilding Exchange in Chicago is a well-known, recyclers’ paradise. I’ve gotten the chance to follow around Meegan Czop as she gathers whatever materials she can from demolition sites and brings them back to the warehouse to sell to the public. Buying used materials is good for the earth and lends itself to a whole new world of history. Where did that wood come from, anyway? Read more here.
Artist Leslie Vigeant visits the Portland dump to source objects that will be used in her pieces. I got to tag along as she rummaged and it was truly an eye opening experience. Read more here.
Janie Mills and the folks at Salt Works in Syracuse salvage old building materials in the New York area, train people who want to learn skills in the art of carpentry, and transform rubble into stunning handmade furniture. Read more here.
Happy Earth Day, all! Don’t forget, we’re all in this together.