“Strength in Life” and Other Art Installed in Downtown Royal Oak
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Nov. 4, 2018)
Royal Oak, MI- On the side of the Center Street parking deck in Downtown Royal Oak is a painting ripe with yellow and orange-red excitement, birds in flight and sunshine in the corner. The creation is called “Strength in Life,” and artist Sanda Cook is delighted to be one of six local artists whose work was chosen for the latest installment of Art Explored, a program that adds public art for the community.
“Strength in Life is dedicated to our beautiful human spirit, our ability to overcome obstacles in our life and keep moving forward, reaching for hope, light, love and to keep persuading our dreams,” Cook said. “I’m very honored to have my art piece in downtown Royal Oak. Thank you Royal Oak! I hope my painting will bring vibrant energy, positivity and inspiration to the town and viewers.”
Art Explored is a project of the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts. Chairperson Jason Gittinger recently announced that the new pieces had been installed.
“We are excited about all the great new pieces being presented in this year’s Art Explored program,” Gittinger said. “In previous years we’ve had a number of sculptures on our streets. This year’s submissions afforded us the ability to explore more two-dimensional pieces from some different artists from our community. We can’t wait for the public to see their work and celebrate their efforts.”
Royal Oak’s dedication to public art was the focus of a workshop for planners throughout Oakland County in March. At that meeting Downtown Development Authority Director Sean Kammer discussed other benefits of public art.
“Art can give your community advantages,” he said. “Your place making, your placement of art can definitely help your economic development.” .”
Another great thing about public art, Kammer said, is that “art is accessible. There is an aspect of social equity, it’s accessible to all.” Rather than going to a museum, public art can be easily enjoyed by anyone in the area.
“Not only does it adorn your Downtown, it can help make a community stronger.”
This year’s additions are:
JFK by Desiree Kelly is located on the VFW Hall at 214 East Fourth Street
Dragon Library by Dylan Yates is located on the Royal Oak Library Building at 222 East Eleven Mile Road
Strength in Life by Sanda Cook is located on the Center Street Parking Deck at 300 South Center Street
Flow by Molly Diana is located on Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle at 310 South Troy Street
UHF by Tim Gralewski is located on the Sullivan Building at 225 South Main Street
Reborn by Melia Woelmer is located on the SMART Transit Center on the South Lafayette side of the structure
The Art Explored program is presented by the Commission for the Arts with support from the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Learn more at https://www.romi.gov/193/Commission-for-the-Arts