This project has been great for the D.I.A. They have been giving residents of the select communities free admission on specific days throughout the summer. The project has helped to get many people interested in viewing artwork again. This has also been a great way for the D.I.A. to put itself out into communities surrounding Detroit. While they are active in Speakers Bureau presentations, school visits, and festivals, this has been a positive step for them to get the artwork physically out into the communities.
[box size=”large” border=”full”]Why it’s awesome: The Detroit Institute of Arts’ Inside|Out Project brings classic artwork in to local Michigan communities to engage more people in these classic works of art.[/box]In 2010, the D.I.A. placed 40 pieces of artwork around the state in honor of the institution’s 125th birthday, but after the calls started rolling in from communities all over the state, they knew the project had to be continued. What started out as 40 pieces of artwork displayed over one summer has resulted in glowing reviews and almost double the art for this years campaign.
Currently, the D.I.A. has artwork stationed in 11 cities throughout Michigan including; Milan, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Romeo, New Baltimore, Rochester, Novi, Livonia, Howell, Manchester, and Brooklyn. According to Michelle Hauske, the Inside|Out Coordinator, cities are chosen based on their “walkability.” She also says that the D.I.A. has been fascinated by the idea of viewing art by bicycle, so there are some communities with artwork on bike trails and nature trails. Each community has five to seven works of art.
The inspiration for the project came from a similar project done by England’s National Gallery. “In the summer of 2007, England’s National Gallery put on a program called The Grand Tour that placed high-quality reproductions of their most famous works in the streets of London. We were inspired by this program and decided to reproduce works from our permanent collection,” Hauske said.
The Inside|Out Project has been getting wildly positive reviews from everyone involved. The message boards are exploding with the gratitude of people in cities. One comment on the D.I.A. blog, from Angela Lenhardt reads, “I cannot thank the DIA enough for installing these masterworks in Milan. I am an arts educator and artist and I have worked for years to get kids interested in the fine arts. You have brought these images directly to them and it has made a difference in their appreciation.”
Most of the cities involved in the program directly requested that they be involved in the project. Once the D.I.A. reviewed the towns, they carefully selected the perfect locations for some of their reproductions. Some of the paintings hold historical significance to the places that they are being placed. “Research has uncovered that artist Charles Harry Eaton lived in Holly and we just so happen to have a reproduction of his painting, The Lily Pond, which will be installed there this fall,” says Hauske. She also added, “Some works have a very obvious relationship, for example placing the painting of a dog and stag (Chevy, by Edwin Henry Landseer, 1868) in a popular dog park.”
The project is scheduled to go for 2 years, and the next installations will be in September. It’s a great chance to get out into the Michigan cities, get some fresh air, and see some great artwork!
You can get more information on the Inside/Out Project at their website! ~Brittany Green, Regional Director