+ What is the Heidelberg Project (HP)?
The Heidelberg Project is an outdoor art environment in the heart of an urban area and a Detroit based community organization designed to improve the lives of people and neighborhoods through art.
The elements of the canvas contain recycled materials and found objects, most of which were salvaged from the streets of Detroit. Each work of art is carefully devised to tell a story about current issues plaguing society. As a whole, the HP is symbolic of how many communities in Detroit have become discarded. It asks questions and causes the viewer to think. When you observe the HP, what do you really see? Is it art? Is it junk? Is it telling a story? That’s for you to decide.
+ Who started the HP and when did it begin?
The HP was founded by Detroit artist Tyree Guyton. It began in 1986 and was originally designed as a creative response to ongoing blight and decay in the neighborhood in which he grew up.
+ Did Tyree Guyton have help?
Back in 1986, Tyree Guyton was encouraged by his grandfather, Sam Mackey. Mackey was Guyton’s mentor and encouraged him to pursue his dream of using his paintbrush in a new way. Together, with the help of Guyton's former wife Karen and the neighborhood children, they embarked on a journey to reclaim their community. Although primarily developed and maintained by Guyton, the HP also displays art by other artists such as Ernie Warrick, kids of Heidelberg, and resident artist Tim Burke.
+ Why is Tyree Guyton dismantling the HP?
Shortly after our official 30-year anniversay in 2016, HP founder Tyree Guyton made an announcement that he would dismantle the Heidelberg Project. At the time Tyree felt that the site had reached a peak in its current state and as a result he will be taking down some of the smaller, less prominent installatons on Heidelberg street to make room for a new vision, called Heidelberg 3.0.
+ What's up with all the clocks?
The clocks have become a major theme at the Heidelberg Project and we find that this is a time for us to reflect where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going.
In a more philosophical sense, the clocks parallel reference to what the great philosopher Plato said about time, which was that "time is a moving image of reality" and how Albert Einstein said that "time is an illusion." Therefore, the times painted on the clocks do not hold a particular meaning in reference to time but pose questions of: What time is it? What is your reality? What time is it for you in the world today?
+ How can I get involved?
The HP is always looking for volunteers! If you are interested in lending a hand, please complete a Volunteer Interest Form. If you are interested in partnering with us for a group volunteer project, please submit a Group Volunteer Inquiry.
+ Where can I send a donation?
Monetary Donations are much appreciated and can be made payable to The Heidelberg Project, 1005 Parker Unit 1, Detroit MI 48214. Other types of donations are handled on a case by case basis; you are encouraged to contact the Heidelberg Project office at (313) 458-8414 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific types of donated items.
*Please do not leave any type of donated item on Heidelberg Street.
+ I'm planning a visit. Is it safe?
While we make every effort to maintain a reasonable level of safety within the Heidelberg Project, please use caution and common sense as you would in any large urban area. • Do not leave valuables visible in your vehicle • Use caution if venturing beyond the Heidelberg project on foot • We recommend that you travel by car or taxi If you have any questions or concerns regarding the safety of your visit, please call our offices at (313) 458-8414.
+ How do I get to the Project?
The HP can be found by GPS at 3600 Heidelberg Street, Detroit MI, 48207 and is easily accessible by car, taxi, & bicycle tours.
+ When is the Number House gift shop and gallery open?
A wide range of unique items are available for purchase at our gift shop and gallery inside the Number House, located at 3632 Heidelberg. The Number House is open seasonally, Thursday - Sunday from 12 - 5 p.m. Can't make it during regular hours of operation? Visit our Dot Shop to purchase items online!
+ Can I park on Heidelberg Street?
Yes, you’re free to park on the South side (only) of Heidelberg Street. You can also find street parking on Ellery and Elba streets which are in close proximity to the HP site.
+ Can I freely walk through the HP when I visit?
Yes, you are free to take a polka-dotted stroll on your own. However, please stay to the sidewalks and open lots, avoiding walking up to our neighbors porches, etc. Additionally, much of the artwork is heavily weathered. We ask that you please refrain from touching the artwork to avoid any injury.
+ Can I take photos when I visit?
Yes, as long as they are used for non-commercial purposes only as the HP is copyright protected by law. Please do not photograph residents, including children, as it is invasive.
+ Does Tyree Guyton live on Heidelberg Street?
Yes, but he doesn’t always sleep there! Tyree grew up in the Dotty Wotty house on Heidelberg street and this residence is currently occupied by Tyree's mother, Betty Guyton. Tyree and his family live nearby in Detroit.
+ Does Tyree Guyton exhibit works anywhere else?
Yes, Tyree Guyton has exhibited his work in Michigan, throughout the country and the world. The HP is only a fraction of what Mr. Guyton does. He creates projects and exhibitions in other cities. You can see other work by Guyton at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.
+ Does Tyree Guyton sell work to the public?
Yes, you can see and purchase works by Tyree Guyton by appointment. Please visit www.tyreeguyton.com.