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DIA Inside|Out art installations coming to Utica this summer

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 18, 2020

 The city of Utica has approved a partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts to bring reproduced artwork installations created by well-known artists to designated locations in Utica for visitors to view through the DIA’s Inside|Out program.

The city of Utica has approved a partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts to bring reproduced artwork installations created by well-known artists to designated locations in Utica for visitors to view through the DIA’s Inside|Out program.

File photo provided by Deb Jacques

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UTICA — The city of Utica has approved a partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts to bring beauty to certain locations throughout the city through artwork.

The agreement with the DIA will bring reproduced artwork installations created by well-known artists to designated locations in Utica for visitors to view through the DIA’s Inside|Out program.

This is the 11th year that the Detroit Institute of Arts has brought works of art by well-known artists to several communities for the opportunity for residents to see them close to home. The DIA estimates that tens of thousands of people have enjoyed the outdoor works of art during those 11 years.

“They are looking to enter into an agreement with the city of Utica to make this happen so that we can have art in various areas,” said Utica Mayor Thom Dionne.

There will be no cost to the city of Utica to have the art pieces installed.

All members of the City Council voted in favor of the agreement to install the artwork throughout the city at the council’s Feb. 11 meeting.

A full-sized, framed reproduction of a piece of artwork from the DIA’s permanent collection will be produced at the museum’s expense, using materials that are weatherproof and resistant to fading.

Some works of art will be installed onto buildings, while others will be installed onto posts in the ground.

Current plans for the art installation include six works of art that feature gardens, animals, boat scenes and more. Of the six pieces of artwork being installed, four will be located in the city’s parks.

Proposed locations include the library wall, Auburn Road, Heritage Park and Grant Park. Utica City Councilman Gus Calandrino said some of the locations where the art will be placed mean a lot to him, especially the two possibly placed in Grant Park.

“That makes me very happy because that was not originally in the plan, but I asked them due to some of the events that we had in Grant Park in the past, and that would be very important to our community to have something there to bring some beauty to Grant Park,” Calandrino said.

All participating municipalities and businesses that are involved in the DIA project will be featured on an interactive map on the DIA’s website, www.dia.org. They will also be connected to the DIA through their social networks, including their Facebook, Flickr and Twitter accounts. The project will also be showcased through a newsletter and various printed and electronic communications.  

Alison Crites, the assistant director of community engagement at the DIA, said this program offers residents a more personal connection with the art.

“Through turning the museum inside out, the Inside|Out program creates community-based opportunities for people to make personal connections with masterpieces that typically hang on the walls of the DIA,” Crites stated in an email.

“This year, we decided to double the length of the installation period, now May through October, in hopes of more deeply engaging with both the host communities and surrounding areas that support the museum.”

Prior to installation, all free-standing works of art will be staked and reported to MISS DIG prior to installation to ensure no important lines are underneath the ground. The frames of the art will be mounted onto the posts driven into the ground and secured with specialty hardware.

Installation onto buildings will be performed by a licensed and insured sign contractor at the museum’s expense; installation onto free-standing signposts will be done by DIA staff.

Removal will also be performed by the same contractor that installs the works, and will include remediation of mounting holes with materials specified by the site owner in the agreement. The reproductions will remain the property of the DIA after the art is removed.

During the viewing time, the works of art will be covered by commercial general liability insurance.

In the event of theft or vandalism, as budget allows, the DIA will replace or remove the reproductions at the museum’s expense. If for any reason the owner or municipality requests removal before the date specified in the agreement, the DIA will comply at the museum’s expense.

For more information on the installation, call the city at (586) 739-1600 or visit www.dia.org.

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