2018 year in review: Grosse Pointe chamber adopts dog theme for public art project

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 28, 2018

 This dog sculpture was among the dozens created for the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce’s Dogs Unleashed street art project and fundraiser.

This dog sculpture was among the dozens created for the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce’s Dogs Unleashed street art project and fundraiser.

File photo by K. Michelle Moran

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GROSSE POINTES — The Grosse Pointes showed plenty of puppy love in 2018, as the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce conducted its third street art project, Dogs Unleashed.

More than 60 dog sculptures — some large, some small — popped up at businesses, public buildings and elsewhere after being decorated by local artists. The completed sculptures made their debut June 20 at the GPCC’s fifth annual Legacy on the Lake event at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores, which this year honored the Ford family for their history of philanthropy.

After being on display all summer, the sculptures were auctioned off Oct. 3 at the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club in the Shores. Dogs Unleashed served as a fundraiser for the GPCC’s nonprofit arm, the Grosse Pointe Chamber Foundation.

“From the Chamber’s perspective and feedback, the Dogs Unleashed project has been the community’s favorite,” Jennifer Palms Boettcher, executive director of the GPCC and president of the GPCF, said in an email interview. “The social media interaction has been incredible. We have residents who have visited every dog with their dog, taking pictures and even videos and (posting) them on their social media outlets as well as the Chamber’s, which also got ‘shared’ by other dog lovers and fans.”

Dogs Unleashed followed two other street art projects organized by the chamber — butterfly benches in 2015 and fish sculptures in 2012. If the GPCC sticks to the same schedule it has in the past, that would mean residents could look forward to another public art project in 2021. So, will it be cats in a couple of years? Only time will tell.

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