(Cheryl Weiss, Oct. 15, 2017)
Hazel Park, MI – The Hazel Park Arts Council has transformed the month of October into “Artober”. Twenty artists have their work on display at twenty-two locations around the city “for residents and visitors to experience art in a public environment,” according to Richard Gage, artist and owner of the Richard Gage Design Studio. From contemporary metal sculptures that entice visitors to ponder what it reminds them of, to kinetic wind sculptures that dance in the wind, to a sculpture that visitors can help to create, if you wander around Hazel Park, you will find a piece of art that will draw you in to celebrate Artober. The sculptures are inside, outside, in storefront windows, and on private property visible to the public. Look around as you walk or ride your bike around the city, or pick up a map at Gage’s studio and explore the entire collection.
This is the third year the Hazel Park Arts Council has organized Artober. “The goal of the Arts Council is to bring art and culture to the City…We were looking to do something after the Hazel Park Art Fair. The name came first and the concept came second. Rachel Stokes and I have art studios in the city and took the lead. As an architectural sculptor, it was easy to focus on three-dimensional art,’ Gage explained. “My personal goal was to bring in high level Detroit sculptors, but also to provide opportunities to younger less established artists,” he said. “Our town is small, and you could bike to them all in less than forty minutes…and with some art located by Joe Bar or inside Cellarman’s, you could eat or have a beverage too,” he continued.
The Hazel Park Library is one of the locations with an art display. Doug Cannell’s “Wound and Unwound,” a sculpture made of reclaimed steel and stainless steel, attracts constant attention. “Everyone has a strong reaction to the sculpture. Everyone thinks it’s something different. One common response is that it’s a Pillsbury crescent roll. It gets attention from almost everyone, and generates discussion and thought,” Library Director Corrine Stocker said.
According to his bio, Cannell is “an award-winning sculptor whose works have been displayed in museums and art galleries widely in the U.S.” He was born in Detroit and attended both Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. At the beginning of his career, he worked with clay, then later moved on to create abstract sculptures from steel and accented with other materials, such as wood, clay, and rubber. As it states in Cannell’s s bio, “his sculpture is distinguished by his use of contrasting materials, textures, and the juxtaposition of the organic and the industrial.” Cannell is also a graphic designer, and he works from his studio in Highland Park.
Not only does the library host one of Cannell’s sculptures, but Stocker has created a display of contemporary art with resources, which has been very popular already this month; the books on display are nearly depleted. They also provided support material to Patrick Wilson for the Andy Warhol tribute in front of his law office.
This is the first year the library has participated in Artober. Stocker reached out to Gage and asked if the library could be one of the 2017 locations, “and Gage was very accommodating,” she said. Why did she want the library to be involved? “The library is the hub of the city. It is accessible to everyone for free; no one expects you to purchase anything. So, it’s the ideal place to display and experience art,” Stocker explained. She went on to share, “We are a cultural institution. We want to bring art to the community to enrich their lives.” The library is open six days a week, so it’s easy and convenient for people to come to the library and be a part of Artober.
Although the Hazel Park Library is new to Artober this year, “We’ve displayed art for years,” Stocker said. Upstairs, there is a display of art by high school kids, and there is a community mural from the Harvest Fest a few years ago. Artober is one more way to bring the community together. “We are maximizing opportunities for people in the community,” Stocker stated, “It seems to be growing. I hope it continues to grow and attract people from other areas as well as the resident community. The Art Council is doing great things!”
Patrick Wilson’s law office is another location on the Artober map. A large tribute to Andy Warhol, in the form of a large Brillo soap pad box sculpture, was made in Hazel Park by the Richard Gage Design Studio. According to Wilson, the Hazel Park Arts Council asked the law firm to help out and allow a Warhol sculpture to be placed in front of the building. He agreed; “I’m always willing to help the Hazel Park community and the art community,” Wilson responded. When asked if he’s received feedback from the public about the display at his location, he said, “The response so far is pretty good. People do stop and ask, ‘What is it? Why is it outside of your building?’ Many people are not familiar with Warhol’s work,” he said.
Peter Pawlicki is another Artober 2017 artist. His sculpture is displayed at GNE Paint, 24640 John R. According to his bio, Pawlicki’s work “bridges two and three dimensional worlds, flattens landscape, [and] bends comfortable domestic structures…He implements both design and art as ability to communicate.” Pawlicki’s bio goes on to state, “His most recent works are site-specific, or public sculptures that display a quick and delicate appreciation of community.” He has exhibited his work in Flint, Michigan; Ontario, Canada; and Cozumel, Mexico.
Artober is an important time in Hazel Park. As Wilson stated, “The City is going through a rebirth, and the rebirth is happening through the arts.”
More information about Artober is available at the Hazel Park Arts Council Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HazelParkArts/
Large maps of Artober displays are available at the Richard Gage Design Studio, 425 W. 9 Mile Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030.
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