Marigold Project Combines Art with Nature and Community

Marigold Project Combines Art with Nature and Community

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 28, 2020)

Hazel Park, MI- Thousands of marigold blossoms woven together in an immersive art experience was only part of the beauty of The Marigold Project.

What really made it special, said artist Ginny Martin, “is that so many people had a part in it.  There were tendrils out to many places.”

First there were the 200+ people who requested marigold seeds.   The seeds went to homes throughout Hazel Park and neighboring communities with the hope that people would care for the seeds and the plants until it came time to bring them together for the big art project.

Martin made contacts over social media, spoke with owners of flower shops, and visited urban farms.  Marigolds came from over 20 different cities.  “We kept in touch with people. We had a newsletter and people would post updates on Instagram. People would share pictures of their flowers and the progress, and it was just a nice way for people to stay connected especially with the pandemic, and the isolation.”

Ginny Martin of Anhelo Anhelo teamed up with  Richard Gave of Richard Gage Design Studio for the project. Volunteers helped with the installation.

Martin lives in Detroit, but works on her sculptures and other public art at the Hazel Park-based studio.  The installation, which included a swirling enclosure of the puffy orange, red, and yellow blossoms, had it’s public viewing last weekend, with visitors making donations to Jardon School in Hazel Park.  There were also marigold-patterned face masks and hats for sale.  The project raised over $1,000 for the school, which serves special needs students from throughout the Metro Detroit area.

Gage picked Jardon School because he values the work they do.  “Hazel Park is my community and this was a way to help,” he said.  “I found out how large their reach is.  Parents come from all over to Hazel Park for this school.  It helps a lot of people and they’ve been doing it for years. That history appeals to me.”

For Martin, the marigolds represent the strength and hardiness of the community.  “This plant itself is resilient,” she said, “like people are.”

Martin hopes to continue exploring ways to bring people together for art that is collaborative in nature.  Learn more about The Marigold Project at http://www.anheloanhelo.com/marigoldproject .

     

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