Timeline

From the Top...

1986
Artist Tyree Guyton founds The Heidelberg Project with wife, Karen and his grandfather and mentor Sam Grandpa Mackey. Found Object Art is introduced to Detroit.

1988
The Heidelberg Project receives national media attention from People and Newsweek magazines.

1989
Guyton receives the "Spirit of Detroit" Award.

1990
Guyton exhibits a one man show at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

1991
Artist appears on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Shortly after, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young orders the demolition of four Guyton house installations.

1992
Grandpa Sam Mackey passes in June. Guyton receives the Governor “Artist of the Year Award” from Governor John Engler and is recognized nationally in “Who’s Who in Black America”.

1993
Jenenne Whitfield joins the Project in June as Executive Director, spearheading renewed activity and direction. City elects Dennis Archer as its new Mayor.

1994
The Heidelberg Project hosts a street festival. Council member Maryann Mahaffey and Motown Museum founder Esther Gordy Edwards are guest speakers.

1995
Guyton and Whitfield meet regularly with the Mayor Dennis Archer to discuss future for the HP. Work begins on a documentary about Guyton and the Project.

1996: A photo exhibition of the Heidelberg Project travels throughout Europe. The Heidelberg Project is featured in Time and Essence Magazines.

1997
The Heidelberg Project receives a $47,500 grant from the City of Detroit Cultural Affairs Dept. for the development of a Cafe and Welcoming Center. In October certain council members declare war against the HP. Guyton is featured on “The Today Show.”

1998
Heidelberg is recognized as the third most visited Cultural Tourist site in Detroit with over 275,000 visitors annually. Guyton and Whitfield travel to Hungary to share the vision. The HP legal team files and is granted a restraining order against the City of Detroit.

1999
The restraining order is lifted and within one hour the city begins tearing down part of the HP marking the 2nd demolition. HBO in New York licenses the Heidelberg Project’s Documentary, Come Unto Me, the Faces of Tyree Guyton for one year. Guyton and Councilwoman Kate Everett (now deceased) battle it out on Court TV.

2000
Detroit’s historic Scarab Club invites Guyton to become an Honorary Member. Guyton and Whitfield travel to Ecuador to represent the United States in the “Artist in Embassy Program.” Heidelberg’s documentary, Come Unto Me, the Faces of Tyree Guyton, wins 10 awards locally, nationally and internationally including Honorable Mention at the Sundance Film Festival and an Emmy Award.

2001
Guyton and Whitfield continue to lecture around the country and the world. Tyree is invited to the Detroit Institute of Arts' celebration of Detroit's 300th birthday to create a house installation entitled "Open House". Back by popular demand, Guyton and Whitfield return to Ecuador. Guyton and Whitfield transform a park in Mt. Vernon NY which affectionately becomes known as “Hub Cap Park”.

2002
Guyton is commissioned by the city of Detroit Cultural Affairs Department to participate in the City of Detroit’s historic Thanksgiving Day Parade with an artistic-styled garbage truck on wheels called “Tic Tock on the Spot.”

2003
Guyton receives the Wayne County International Artist Award from the Wayne County Council for Arts, History & Humanities.

2004
The Heidelberg Project receives the prestigious Environmental Research and Design Award (Oklahoma, OK) for Place Design in 2004 (www.edra.com). Guyton travels to Australia for his biggest project to date, "Singing for that Country," spearheaded by internationally renowned performance artist Aku Kadogo.

2005
The Project wins the Silver Medal Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Cambridge MA, which included a $10,000 cash award (www.brunerfoundation.org). Guyton has a one man exhibition at the Charles Wright Museum of African American History called An American Show.

2006
Heidelberg Project celebrates its 20th anniversary with an international “Connect the Dots” festival directed by Aku Kadogo (Australia). Work begins on a multi-authored book published by Wayne State University Press entitled, Connecting the Dots, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project. (Scheduled release May 2007).

2007
Connecting the Dots, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project wins two awards, the Michigan Notable Book Award and the Eric Hoffer Award. Wayne State University and Guyton wins Joyce Award $50,000 celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Heidelberg Project.

2008
Guyton sculpture, Invisible Doors is installed on the grounds of Wayne State University. The Heidelberg Project represents the United States in the Venice Architectural Biennale, Venice Italy. Guyton one man 20th anniversary exhibition travels to the Marshall Frederick Sculptural Museum in Michigan.

2009
Guyton receives one of 20 inaugural Kresge Fellowship awards $25,000. Guyton’s exhibits at the McColl Center for the Arts, Charlotte, NC. Guyton and Whitfield embark on a five-city European tour sponsored by Daimler Financial. Guyton creates an installation at Handwerk Vocational School in Bolzano Italy. In May of 2009 Guyton receives an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Art (DOFA) from the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan.

2010
Guyton receives 2009 Community Leadership Award from Wayne State University. Guyton exhibits a one man exhibition in Switzerland (Bern). Following the decline of the auto industry, the Project leads a new resurgence of Art in Detroit. The Oprah show contacts the HP to explore 25 years after Guyton’s 1991 appearance.

2011
Heidelberg celebrates 25 years with multiple exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History. HP introduces their first children's book, Magic Trash, and launches the ACE2 education program in schools. The Emerging Artist Program hosts its first exhibitions at the HP Gallery.

Guyton is invited to Basel to serve a prestigious one year residency at the Laurenz Haus, founded by Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmman. As a special bon voyage, The Erb Family Foundation commissions “The Heidelberg Suite,” an original jazz composition by notable Detroit jazz artists.

2012
The Heidelberg Project makes the front page of Crain’s Detroit Business after the Williams College revealed that the HP pumps 3.2 Mil into Detroit’s Wayne County region and 2.4 Mil to the local community—on a budget of $410k. Guyton continues his residency in Basel, Switzerland; Jenenne and Tyree lecture in Canada, England, and France. Upon return to Detroit, Guyton commences dissertation project on the building next door to Heidelberg Project offices in Midtown Detroit.

2013
The Heidelberg Project makes the front page of Crain’s Detroit Business after the Williams College revealed that the HP pumps 3.2 Mil into Detroit’s Wayne County region and 2.4 Mil to the local community—on a budget of $410k.

2013
The Obstruction of Justice House is marred by arson in May, before being completely leveled by a second arson fire in October. Guyton and Whitfield are invited to “This is Not Detroit” in Bochum, Germany to advise international community leaders on how arts and culture can play a role in minimizing the effects of fading industry. In 2014, GM is closing the Opel plant in working class Bochum, which currently employs approximately 10% of the city’s workforce. Cue Art Foundation invites Guyton to exhibit his newest body of work, Faces of God on Fire, his first solo show in NYC.