Tyree Guyton is to receive "White Columns / Shoot the Lobster Award"

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White Columns and Shoot The Lobster are proud to announce the 2018 recipient of the ‘White Columns/Shoot The Lobster Award’: Tyree Guyton, Detroit-based artist and creator of the Heidelberg Project.

The ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is presented annually to individuals who selflessly create a context for the arts communities around them. As the 2018 recipient of this Award, Guyton will receive an unrestricted $5,000 cash grant and a specially commissioned artwork by Scott Reeder, which will be presented to him at a reception in February 2018, hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD.)

Tyree Guyton has been a practicing artist, educator and community activist for over 30 years, and is best known for his work on the Heidelberg Project. Initiated in 1986, the Heidelberg Project is an ever-changing outdoor art installation located on, and named after, Guyton's childhood street in DetroitMichigan. The project began as a response to the deterioration of his neighborhood, as well as many other Detroit neighborhoods, after the 1967 riots. The installation has since encompassed two city blocks, incorporating found objects, houses, vacant lots, and cars. Guyton paints houses, trees and other stationary structures in bold colors and patterns, and adorns them with artworks and domestic detritus (including discarded toys, clothing, shoes and appliances) sourced from the neighborhood. Over time the Heidelberg Project has evolved into an outdoor museum that attracts 275,000 visitors annually, and a community-oriented space hosting events that provide services for local youth, artists and visitors.

“I want to thank White Columns and Shoot The Lobster for recognizing and supporting what we’ve created,” said Tyree Guyton.  When you come to the Heidelberg Project, I want you to think—really think! My art is a medicine for the community. You can’t heal the land until you heal the minds of the people.”

For 32 years, Guyton has allotted his own resources and labor to the upkeep and development of the Heidelberg Project, which has achieved international acclaim while surviving acts of vandalism, demolition from local officials and arson. In 2016, Guyton announced that the Heidelberg Project’s focus would shift from a lone artist’s installation to a site for an "arts-infused community.”  Guyton has begun dismantling and removing some of the three decade old installation, leaving four of its main structures in place to eventually house a community center, gallery and an artist residency. 

Mark Stryker writes about the Heidelberg Project for the Detroit Free Press:

"It's hard to overstate the significance of the Heidelberg Project. It's a Detroit landmark, a signature public art project and one of the city's most popular tourist attractions... But it has also morphed into a potent symbol of Detroit's vital artistic community, the city's resilience in the face of horrific decay and the power of art — and individual artists — to effect social change."

The Heidelberg Project has been an influential cornerstone of Detroit's cultural renaissance. It has provided a model for other outdoor art installations…and also set the tone for others working at the intersection of art, community building and social justice…

[In its new iteration] Fundamentally, the project's goals remain the same: improving the lives of people and neighborhoods through art.

The ‘White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award’ is generously supported by Shoot The Lobster and administered by White Columns. The recipient of the inaugural 'White Columns / Shoot The Lobster Award' in 2016 was Lia Gangitano, the founder of Participant Inc., New York; and in 2017 the award was given to Wendy Yao - the founder of Ooga Booga, Los Angeles. White Columns and Shoot the Lobster would like to thank the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Elysia Borowy-Reeder and Scott Reeder.

About Tyree Guyton: Tyree Guyton (b.1955) lives and works in Detroit, MI.  Guyton studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, and in 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Art. Guyton’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally, and is in institutional collections including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Charles Wright Museum of African American History, and the Studio Museum of Harlem. Guyton’s work as an artist has earned him over 18 awards, locally and nationally, and was the subject of the Emmy Award Winning Documentary, Come Unto Me, the Faces of Tyree Guyton. Guyton is the founder and creator of the Heidelberg Project, and now an honorary member of the Heidelberg Project Foundation’s Board of Directors.

For more about Tyree Gutyon visit: http://www.tyreeguyton.com
For more about the Heidelberg Project visit: http://www.heidelberg.org
For more about White Columns visit: www.whitecolumns.org
For more about Shoot The Lobster visit: www.shootthelobster.com