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February 13, 2013

Museum puts masterpieces on Main Street

By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer

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Museum puts masterpieces on Main Street
Starting in April, Rochester Hills will have a reproduction of Canaletto’s “The Piazza San Marco” on display as part of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ fourth annual Inside|Out community art program.

The Detroit Institute of Arts is hoping that metro Detroiters have close encounters of the artistic kind.
In its fourth year, the museum’s Inside|Out program brings high-quality reproductions of some of the most popular pieces in its collection to public venues, including city halls, libraries, parks and business districts. During a press conference Feb. 8 at the DIA, museum officials announced that communities chosen for this year’s spring session would include Fraser, Utica, Hazel Park and Rochester Hills. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation contributed $250,000 toward Inside|Out to sponsor the program in 2012 and 2013.

“It’s been amazing to see how Inside|Out has grown over the past three years,” DIA Director Graham Beal said in a press release. “Embarking on its fourth year with sustained support from the Knight Foundation, Inside|Out will continue to engage people with art in settings that are familiar to them, fostering both creativity and pride in their communities.”

Six new reproductions were added this year: “The Window” by Henri Matisse, “Boy with Plaid Scarf” by Robert Henri, “Winter Landscape in Moonlight” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, “Hard Ball III” by Robert Moskowitz, “Mother and Child” by an unknown Yoruban artist from Africa, and “Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine” by Robert S. Duncanson.

According to a museum spokesperson, reproductions of 81 artworks would be on display in 13 communities for the spring session, from April through June, and 80 reproductions would be placed in 12 communities for the summer session, from July through September.

DIA CEO Annmarie Erickson said she and Beal got the idea for Inside|Out when both visited London on separate trips a number of years ago and saw something similar there. The first year of Inside|Out, they had about 40 reproductions scattered around metro Detroit.

“It was amazing, the response that we received,” Erickson said. “People were so thrilled to come across these works of art.”

That’s evident in the reaction of local officials to news that their municipalities were chosen for 2013. Despite a snowstorm that closed most local schools, a number of local officials from the participating communities were on hand for the announcement.

Utica Deputy City Clerk Beth Ricketts said this is the first time her city has been a part of Inside|Out. She said the mayor had found out about the program, but they were too late last year to be considered. They see this as a way to “beautify the city” and spotlight their new Riverwalk Park, Ricketts said. The artworks will be on display during their Riverwalk Festival in June, she said.

“We hope we’ll get more people to come and walk the city and promote the DIA … (and) get more interest in artwork for adults and kids,” Ricketts said.

This is a first for Hazel Park, as well. Shelley O’Brien, Hazel Park’s special projects coordinator, said her city’s former librarian, Jessica Keyser, is the one who got the ball rolling to bring Inside|Out to the city. O’Brien and City Council member Andy Le Cureaux were also members of the Hazel Park Arts Council, she said.

“One of our goals as a council was to facilitate the growth of arts and culture in Hazel Park,” O’Brien said. “So we were more than happy to take over from (Keyser).”

Le Cureaux agreed, saying that this is in keeping with the art council’s mission.

“We’ve been trying to bring more art to the city where people will be exposed to it right in their (backyard). … It will also help businesses and commerce in the area,” he said.

Kathryn Dimond, director of community relations for the DIA, said museum officials have found that visitors often come to the DIA to see “their” works of art in person.

“(It’s) a great opportunity for people to engage with the museum,” she said.

Because residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties approved a DIA millage last year and now get free admission, the museum is offering new benefits for this year’s crop of Inside|Out cities. During their respective designated community weekends, residents of participating cities will receive a 10 percent discount at the DIA gift shop and café, $1 off Detroit Film Theatre tickets and complimentary admission to DFT 101 film series screenings.

In Fraser, John Everett Millais’ “Leisure Hours” will be at City Hall, Vincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait” will be at Fort Fraser, Francis Wheatley’s “The Wilkinson Family” will be at Steffens Park’s ball diamonds, Gari Melchers’ “The Communicant” will be at the public library, and Rachel Ruysch’s “Flowers in a Glass Vase” will be at the Depot Visitor Center. Residents of Fraser are invited to the museum for their community weekend June 1-2.

Artworks in Utica are Jules Adolphe Aime and Louis Breton’s “Fire in a Haystack” at City Hall, Claude Monet’s “Gladioli” at Memorial Park, George Caleb Bingham’s “The Trapper’s Return” at Clinton River Heritage Park, Modigliani’s “A Woman” at Grant Park, and Frederic Edwin Church’s “Cotapaxi” at Cass Bar and Grill. As in Fraser, the community weekend is June 1-2.

In Hazel Park, Reginald Marsh’s “Savoy Ballroom” will be at City Hall, Vincent van Gogh’s “Portrait of Postman Roulan” will be at the public library, Robert S. Duncanson’s “Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine” will be at Continental Bike Shop, Edwin Henry Landseer’s “Chevy” will be at Green Acres Park, the portrait of Sir William Brereton from 1579 — painted by an unknown English artist — will be at Dairy Park, and Edgar Degas’ “Dancers in a Green Room” will be at Scout Park. The community weekend is April 27-28.

Rochester Hills will have Canaletto’s “The Piazza San Marco” at city offices, Winslow Homer’s “Girl and Laurel” at Stoney Creek Schoolhouse, Gerrit van Honthorst’s “Portrait of Sophie, Princess Palatine” at Festival Park, Jean Francois De Troy’s “Luncheon with Figures in Masquerade Dress” at Whole Foods Market, and Franz Marc’s “Animals in Landscape” at Fountain Park. Their community weekend is May 4-5.

During the summer 2013 session, participating communities in the C & G Newspapers coverage area are Berkley, the eastside of Detroit including Belle Isle and Indian Village, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Shelby Township, Sterling Heights and Warren. At press time, the works to be featured in these cities, and the community weekends at the DIA for residents of these areas, hadn’t yet been determined.

“We will be happy to continue doing this as long as the communities want us to,” Erickson said.

Besides tours and activities run by the cities, the DIA is planning special programs in conjunction with Inside|Out, including an online photo contest and a geocaching series, which is a type of treasure hunt. Those who “like” the DIA’s Inside|Out Facebook page can share their experiences and receive updates.

The DIA is located at 5200 Woodward in Detroit’s Cultural Center. For more information, visit www.dia.org or www.facebook.com/dia.insideout or call (313) 833-7900.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer K. Michelle Moran at kmoran@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1047.