2+2=8: Thirty Years of Heidelberg opens at MOCAD September 7th

Tyree Guyton MOCAD.jpg

2+2=8: Thirty Years of Heidelberg is a retrospective ode to Guyton’s multi-decade outdoor installation, Heidelberg Project. Initiated in 1986 at the site of Guyton’s childhood home, the project was conceptualized as medicine for Detroit’s east side community following the 1967 rebellion. Over the years the project has evolved to span two city blocks, as artistic refuge for locals and visitors from across the globe. Combining painting, sculptural assemblage, and object-based intervention, Heidelberg Project is a cornerstone to Guyton’s robust artistic practice. In Heidelberg Project, Guyton ruminates on urban landscape and familial legacy—creating public works that speak to the possibility of shifting paradigms in which imaginative future and present reality live side-by-side. Using art to blur the boundaries of architectural function and religious philosophy, Guyton’s work is a reflection on historical impasse and speculative future. Please join us as we celebrate over 30 years of Heidelberg.

Members Only Preview: 6-7 PM
Opening Reception on Friday, Septmber 7th, 7-11 PM
Live DJ set with Husain Salah + Craig Huckaby: 6-11 PM
Admission: Free for MOCAD members ( $5 suggested donation)



Saturday, September 8th: 1 PM - 4 PM
Admission: Free ($5 suggested donation)

Join us for an afternoon with Rachel Adams, whose scholarship is rooted deeply in understanding and researching the history of the 30-plus-year Heidelberg Project. The conversation will speak to the history of the project, its relationship with the city, and the impact that the project has by challenging notions of outsider art, fine art, and public works in the contemporary art landscape.

Join us at our 360° of Heidelberg Conference


When the Heidelberg Project (HP) began in 1986, a sign was made to reflect its intent.  It READ:  THE HEIDELBERG PROJECT, SAYING, SEEING AND FEELING ALL THINGS.  We could not have known then how true these words would ring 32-years later.

The brainchild of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton, HP has withstood the test of time demonstrating the resilience of Detroit and the remarkable power of the human spirit. The Heidelberg Project is a game changing invention in the 21st century bringing diverse people together, sparking creative imagination and positive action.  It has also provoked and penetrated deep into the consciousness of people throughout the globe. While extremely challenging and messy at times, this ever-changing outdoor art environment embodies what is special and fascinating about Detroit.

As it stands, our rich arts and culture community in Detroit has no governing body to campaign for its growth, or champion its cause.  Left to its own devices, our arts community has become a fragmented body of fierce competition, limited resources, and a lack of guiding parameters.  The continuing evolution of the Heidelberg Project is an excellent case study that can spark conversations towards building a more sustainable arts community. 

On October 11-14, 2018, we invite you to join leaders of the Heidelberg Project, national arts experts, civic and community leaders in a ground-breaking discussion about the Heidelberg Project; what we’ve learned, what’s next, and how you can be part of Heidelberg 3.0.

Heidelberg Project's arts education program to expand for 2018-2019 academic year

Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation Awards $25,000 Grant to Engage New Schools and Students in Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy

DETROIT — The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA), a free arts education program that empowers and inspires Detroit students to be change agents, has received a $25,000 investment from the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation to expand for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

HALA serves Detroit students in grades 4-12 to explore art as a tool for social change, self-expression and community healing. HALA, launched by the Heidelberg Project in 2018, served over 100 students at Martin Luther King High School, Southeastern High School, Marcus Garvey Academy and Cesar Chavez Academy East during the 2017-2018 school year. 

 “The Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy is a critical investment in Detroit students. It’s an experience that enriches the lives of young people in Detroit,” said Virginia Romano, Executive Director of the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation. 

HALA is comprised of three, nine-week sessions of in-school or after school classes that connect students to a network of Detroit-based and national resources that include artists, organizers, entrepreneurs, and tech innovators to cultivate student potential and help build leadership skills. 

Students collaborate with a local muralist to create a school-based mural that highlights issues in the local neighborhood or school community through the Art Speaks: Mural Project, one of HALA’s three class offerings. The 2017-2018 classes visited 11 Detroit area murals and met with Heidelberg Project founder Tyree Guyton as part of the course. 

The Writes of Passage class challenges students to report and write about social change within their community, culminating in the creation of a zine of editorial poems, short stories, drawings and photography.

Art Through Hip-Hop explores album covers as a tool for social change and artistic expression, with students creating their own album cover to document their life experiences and personal stories. 

“We are thrilled to have an opportunity to inspire more students through the HALA program for the 2018-2019 school year,” said Heidelberg Project President and CEO Jenenne Whitfield. “We thank the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation for recognizing how important our work is to young people in Detroit and the power of art as a catalyst for community change.”

The HALA program was co-founded and designed by three women that specialize in classroom education and programming, curriculum design, arts advocacy and community partnerships. For summer 2019, HALA will launch two inaugural summer programs, the HALA summer day camp serving grades 2nd through 5th, while the study abroad cultural immersion program will engage 10 students in 10th and 11th grade. The first destination will be Ghana, West Africa. 

See photos from our HALA culminating event at Marcus Garvey Academy

Congrats to our Heidelberg Arts Leadership Academy (HALA) students from Marcus Garvey Academy on completing their mural project!

We asked these empowered students to work together on a problem within their school community and design a mural that positively addresses the issue. All we can say is that we're both blown away and moved by what they created. 

Thank you to all the of our supporters whose donations make it possible for us to help provide arts education where it is severely lacking in Detroit. And thank you to our HALA instructors who are working every day to inspire a new generation of creative leaders! 

See photos from our HALA culminating event at César Chavez Academy East

As part of our Writes of Passage course, we asked students to use writing as an exploration of themselves, of the world around them and of social change. What the 5th and 6th graders from César Chavez Academy East created took our breath away.

Their 32 page zine took on social issues such as kidnapping, littering, abandoned houses, and house fires. The Editorials included advice columns (tactics for preventing fires and being kidnapped); how to's (hairstyle, preparing ramen); top-ten lists (nba stars, rappers); and Detroit spotlights (favorite arcades and restaurants).

Thank you to everyone out there supporting the Heidelberg Arts and Leadership Academy (HALA). Your contributions allow us to bring art education to Detroit's students, and help us inspire the next generation of local artists! 

Heidelberg Project app wins MediaPost 2018 Appy Award


App, Created by Isobar, Received Win in Mapping/Location-Based Category

DETROIT – MAY 18, 2018 – The Heidelberg Project App has been awarded a MediaPost Appy Award in the Mapping/Location-Based category. The app, created by global digital agency, Isobar, was also a finalist in the Charity/Non-Profit category.

HP is an outdoor art installation founded in 1986 by Tyree Guyton as a creative response to urban blight and decay in the Detroit neighborhood in which Guyton grew up. Over 32 years, HP has served as a community organization that improves the lives of people and neighborhoods through art. The app, designed to guide users through a unique tour of the site leveraging GPS technology, is the first step in a digital transformation that is part of the Heidelberg Project’s new vision, Heidelberg 3.0. 

“People come to the Heidelberg Project from across the world to be inspired,” said Heidelberg Project President Jenenne Whitfield. "Providing visitors an interactive digital experience that allows us to share history about the Heidelberg Project is something we’ve always wanted to do. Amplifying the art that has been transformative to our city, through technology, is a game changer for the project and we look forward to what’s next.”

By bringing innovation to the outdoor art exhibit, The Heidelberg Project is allowing the art to live beyond its physical space for generations to come. The digital transformation of the Heidelberg Project gives it a chance to influence not only Detroit, but the future of art, technology and education.

“Working with the Heidelberg Project over the past year and a half has truly allowed us to push the boundaries of innovation,” said Dave Meeker, VP and Global Director of Emerging Technology.  “This app is just one small part of a larger digital transformation and we’re excited that it has been acknowledged for its success.”

The MediaPost Appy Awards honor excellence in mobile apps.  Details about the Appy Awards and a list of winners in all categories can be found here

Curate your own Tyree Guyton art print


Dear Friends:

We welcome you to explore a pioneering art technology by curating your own Tyree Guyton art print! With a new concept introduced by Unstable, every print is one-of-a-kind and presents an opportunity to connect with Tyree in a brand new way. Within the print content, we have combined three historical motifs reflecting a career spanning 32 years: Houses, Headlines and those Iconic Faces. 

Each print is signed by Tyree and uniquely numbered. AND, with this unstable edition, you will receive a certificate of authenticity that is specifically linked to your print. This is an important distinction meaning that Tyree Guyton is the world's first artist to have a dedicated print edition blockchain for best in class provenance that you can track for generations.

This is also a first for the art community and we are excited to have Tyree at the forefront as we explore new concepts and innovations. Opportunity is limited so EXPLORE, CURATE and ORDER today! 


We encourage your feedback and questions. Please email: inquiries@unstable.art

Jenenne Whitfield
Chief Executive Officer