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The Heidelberg Project

Heidelberg project No matter what your feelings are about urban decay, there may be one point of agreement and that is that the influx of art and artists into a blighted area has a positive impact on that environment.

Detroit is a city of great contrasts where the poorer sections have been in decay for decades. How can the city be saved? Enter The Heidelberg Project. The Heidelberg Project is an open-air art environment in the heart of a derelict urban community on Detroit’s East Side.

Tyree Guyton, founder and artistic director, uses everyday, discarded objects to decorate the homes and whatever else is around the neighborhood. The result is a fantasy world of beautifully decorated but nonetheless urban blight. It is a two block area of art - color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 25th year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives. The Heidelberg Project is about helping to save forgotten neighborhoods.

I would say that it is worth a trip to Detroit just to see this amazingly beautiful place.

 


Philadelphia Magic Gardens

When in Philadelphia, or if looking for an excuse to go to Philadelphia, go no further than the magnificant Philadelphia Magic Gardens located at 1020 South Street. It is a magical work of "outsider art", "street art" or whatever art.

Magic gardens 2 Magic gardens 2 Magic-garden-outside Magic Gardens is the creation of mural mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar whose work can be found on over 100 public walls throughout the city of Philadelphia and around the world. Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is a folk art environment, gallery space, and nonprofit organization that showcases Zagar's amazing works.

Located at the site of Zagar's largest public mosaic installation, the Magic Gardens includes a fully mosaiced indoor gallery and a massive outdoor labyrinthine mosaic sculpture. The installation, primarily consisting of found objects and contributions from the community, covers half a city block with myriads of tile, texture, and color. A walk through the labyrinth will reveal sculptures from Latin America and Asia, bicycle wheels from local South Street shop Via Bicycles, Zagar's hand-made tiles, and mirrors of every shape and size.

It is a spectacle! A must see. So see it!


Watts Tower in Los Angeles

This has been on my to-post list forever but now with the news that a new benefactor for the watts tower has come forward, I am posting it now.

In my mind, The Los Angeles Watts Towers in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles was one of the first modern street art mosaic works. Built by Simon Rodia, The Watts Towers consists of seventeen major sculptures constructed of structural steel and covered with mortar. When I went there many years ago it was just this great sculpture in the middle of a neighborhood. Now it appears to be a tourist destination with admission tours and everything. I support whatever keeps the Watts Tower going.


Watts tower


Gum Wall in Seattle

Gum wall I was just told about the Gum Wall in Seattle - a city I have visited at least 5 times and went to the Pike Market every time. Shows you how observant I am. I never heard of this.

So here is the description from wikipedia - The Gum Wall is a local landmark in downtown Seattle, in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. Similar to Bubblegum Alley in California, the Gum Wall is a brick wall now covered in used chewing gum. The wall is covered several inches thick, 15 feet high for 50 feet.

The wall is by the waiting line for the Market Theater, and the tradition began around 1993 when patrons of Unexpected Productions' Seattle Theatresports stuck gum to the wall. Theater workers scraped the gum away twice, but eventually gave up after market officials deemed the gum wall a tourist attraction in around 1999. People initially stuck coins to the wall using the gum, and some people create small works of art out of gum. It was named one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions in 2009, second to the Blarney Stone........

....or my bathroom. LOL

Gum wall 2


Jim Power - Mosaic Artist

Jim Power is a legend in the East Village of New York CIty. His beautiful mosaics adorn public lamp posts, street planters and even stoops and doorways. Jim lives a precarious existence however, having lost his apartment and living on the streets for a time. We met him on the corner of First Avenue and 8th Street with his dog Jessie Jane. Jim showed us his "Rudy Guliani move" - the move he did in front of television cameras with then Mayor Guliani. (Jim is guy with the moustasche...) His art is amazing. Here are some examples but a better way to see them is to walk the streets of the East Village:

Support Jim. Here is all his info - Please keep in touch on the web: http://MosaicManNYC.com Facebook: http://facebook.com/MosaicManNYC Twitter: http://twitter.com/MosaicManNYC Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/MosaicManNYC Etsy (Belt Buckles): http://www.etsy.com/shop/mosaicmannyc Cafepress (T-shirts, accessories, etc.): http://cafepress.com/MosaicManNYC Where to donate directly (fully tax-deductible): http://MosaicManNYC.com/donate