End Is Near For 30-Year-Old Detroit Art

detroit4032Heidelberg Street is an unexpected hub for art. The quiet stretch situated just east of downtown Detroit, in an area crowded with dilapidated housing and empty lots reclaimed by nature, draws an estimated 270,000 people a year. The whimsical creation of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton, the site dubbed the Heidelberg Project has rejuvenated the surrounding neighborhood, in a way that is probably only possible in Detroit: Guyton took ordinary found items – old toys, appliances, clothes – and turned the surrounding streetscape into a blocks-long art project. “I had no plans,” he told People magazine in 1988. “It just happened.

I heard a voice, and I did what the voice told me.” But now, 30 years after he first got to work, Guyton is ready to move on. In an announcement that caught neighbors, visitors and fans across the US off guard, the 60-year-old artist said the Heidelberg Project would slowly be dismantled over the next couple of years.

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