Franklin will host DIA’s Inside|Out program

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 17, 2017

FRANKLIN — The village of Franklin is getting a splash of color this spring as one of several communities throughout metro Detroit to host the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Inside|Out program.

Franklin officials applied for the program last year and have been approved to display seven masterpiece reproductions that will be spread out throughout the village. Different pieces are featured in different locations, such as the post office and the village green.

“The purpose of the DIA’s program is to bring masterpieces into the community and experience them in a different context and in a way where people can take them in and interact with them without restrictions,” said Deanna Yow, the executive director of Main Street Franklin, which is helping coordinate the program. “To do this in our village’s historic setting, I think, adds to the experience. For instance, we were able to place a print of two women reclining underneath the shade of a tree in the village, so it’s like they’re reclining under the tree.”

Several reproductions of famous works highlighting a variety of artistic styles and techniques are part of the display. There was to be an unveiling of the Franklin installations April 12, and the seven pieces will be on display throughout the village through mid-July.

“The primary thing it provides is it helps the communities that participate by bringing high-quality arts programming and public art to their community at no cost,” explained Jillian Reese, of the DIA. “The secondary goal, and what is nice about the project, is that it exposes members of the community to our shared collection at the DIA. We really see ourselves as a world-class fine art museum, but also a community museum. It’s a great way to bring art into people’s everyday lives.”

This is the eighth season that the DIA has sponsored the Inside|Out program. The organizers have been pleased with the results from previous years.

“The DIA did it for the first time in 2010. We started the project as part of our 125th anniversary, and that year we put 20 pieces out in the community. There weren’t really exhibitions; we just put one piece in one city and another in another. It has expanded since then,” said Reese. “Now there are 120 pieces as part of the program, and we group them in communities in groups of seven to 12.”

Yow said it has been more than four years since the last time Franklin was selected for the Inside|Out program, and the museum has rarely selected the same communities more than once. She said she is pleased that the village is playing host once again.

While the works are on display, Franklin officials have coordinated their Paint the Town program to coincide with the installations in both time and location.

“Paint the Town will include us setting up multiple paint stations near the works on display,” said Yow. “Everyone can come up and paint a canvas of their own and create anything they like. We will then mount them on the wall on the side of the old Market Basket building in downtown and hang them together like a quilt, where they will hang for about a week so everyone can enjoy them.”

In addition to displaying the reproductions, the DIA will be providing resources to enhance the viewing experience and aid people in getting to Franklin to view the installations.

“We offer quite a bit of programming support, which is all volunteer led,” said Reese. “We provide volunteers for art talks, tours of the installed pieces; we might bring our DIA Away bus to help transport people to see them. It’s all a way to perform a really deep dive into a community. This isn’t the only project we do in the community, but I think it is the most visible.”