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.