Grosse Pointe chamber to let the dogs out this summer

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published January 30, 2018

 Call-for-artist and call-for-sponsor brochures have been issued by the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce for the summer street art project Dogs Unleashed.

Call-for-artist and call-for-sponsor brochures have been issued by the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce for the summer street art project Dogs Unleashed.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTES — The Grosse Pointes will be going to the dogs this summer.

For its latest street art project and fundraiser, Dogs Unleashed, the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce will feature dog sculptures that will be “adopted” by local businesses, individuals and organizations after being designed and painted by local artists. There are two sculpture sizes available — the 18-inch-tall Lap Dog and the 4-foot-tall Watch Dog.

During the GPCC’s annual membership dinner and Pointer of Distinction Awards ceremony Jan. 25 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in Grosse Pointe Shores, GPCC Board Chair Robert Lubera announced the street art project. It’s similar to other art projects the GPCC has undertaken: butterfly benches in 2015 and fish sculptures in 2012. The first street art project in the Pointes, Frogs Fur Friends in 2005, featured frog sculptures and served as a fundraiser for the Grosse Pointe Animal Adoption Society and the now-shuttered Children’s Home of Detroit; it was privately organized and not affiliated with the GPCC.

“Get ready, because the dogs are going to be unleashed in spring 2018,” Lubera told dinner attendees.

Sponsors and artist designs will be solicited in February. Artists interested in being considered to design a dog should submit their concept to the GPCC. Forms are available online at or at the GPCC offices, located at 63 Kercheval Ave., Suite 16, in Grosse Pointe Farms, on the Hill.

Sponsorships range from $1,200 to $10,000. Some sponsorship levels enable sponsors to purchase their sculptures; with other sponsorship levels, the sculptures will be auctioned off during an event in October.

Acclaimed artist Dominic Pangborn, of Grosse Pointe Shores, who created the cover art for the GPCC’s 2018 member directory, will be the celebrity chair of the street art project, Lubera said.

The base sculptures that will be personalized by the artists are being created by Detroit-based Display Group. A kickoff party for artists and sponsors will be held in May at Display Group, and the completed sculptures will be debuted during the GPCC’s Legacy on the Lake — which this year will honor the Ford family — June 20 at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores. The dogs will then be delivered to sponsor locations throughout the community, where they’ll remain on view throughout the summer.

The GPCC will create a map so that people can visit and view all of the sculptures. Proceeds from the Dogs Unleashed project will benefit the GPCC’s nonprofit arm, the Grosse Pointe Chamber Foundation.

This year marks the GPCC’s 13th anniversary, and those associated with the business group believe it’s anything but unlucky.

“We’ve been on an exciting journey, and the best is yet to come,” said Jenny Boettcher, president of the GPCC and the GPCF.

For more information, call the GPCC at (313) 881-4722 or visit or