“My art is a medicine for the community. You can’t heal the land until you heal the minds of the people.” ~ Tyree Guyton
Painter and sculpture Tyree Guyton (that’s him in the first picture, on the right) took matters into his own hands to create The Heidelberg Project – transforming Detroit’s East Side into an outdoor gallery in an effort to combat urban blight. His neighborhood has rows of houses brightly painted in myriads of patterns, shapes and forms; including one that has is literally plastered with soft toys. They’re all art installations in themselves.
Through his art, Guyton has drawn attention to the plight of Detroit’s forgotten neighborhoods and spurred discussion and action:
The HP works with neighborhood children to educate them on art, community and environment. These children walk to school past burned-out houses, rubble, debris, crime and decay. Our purpose is to offer them another view, another perspective – to positively change the environment the children see every day. In the process, we help build self-esteem, encourage cooperation and foster a sense of pride in their community.
Who says that art can’t change the world?