Downtown Farmington’s Civic Theater mural project winner is Adrienne Pickett.

Downtown Farmington’s Civic Theater mural project winner is Adrienne Pickett.

Photo provided by Adrienne Pickett


Public Art Committee announces mural project winner

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published August 21, 2019

 The “Faces of Farmington” sculpture created by Doug Delind and community collaborators currently sits at Legato Aveda Salon and Spa, 33318 Grand River Ave.

The “Faces of Farmington” sculpture created by Doug Delind and community collaborators currently sits at Legato Aveda Salon and Spa, 33318 Grand River Ave.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

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FARMINGTON — The Farmington Public Art Committee  met Aug. 14 to announce Adrienne Pickett as the winner of the Farmington Civic Theater mural project.

Pickett’s submission, which depicts a handful of notable actors — Sidney Poitier, James Dean, Veronica Lake and others — atop a modern textured background of golds and reds, the theater’s branded colors, will be painted on the theater’s eastern wall.

Pickett, a 37-year-old Plymouth resident and the creative director and founder of The Guerrilla Politic branding and advertising agency, said being chosen as the winner feels like a “true honor.”

Pickett graduated from the University of Michigan in 2004 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design.

“Farmington is near and dear to my heart. I grew up in Livonia, and in high school my friends and I would always go to downtown Farmington. We’d catch a movie at the Civic. We would hang out at the Grand Café, so it’s really nice to be part of the history of the Civic and be contributing to the downtown area in that way.”

Kate Knight, the executive director of the Farmington Downtown Development Authority, said the final decision was a close race between two “really strong entries,” but Pickett’s level of professionalism and previous mural experience helped her earn the win. Claire George, a Farmington Hills resident, took the runner-up spot.

“It was kind of a dead heat between a couple of the choices, (but) the committee really liked her body of work. She’s an experienced muralist. She has a history of executing a few successful murals, and she really demonstrated to the group that she has the experience and the inspiration we were really looking for.”

With the city’s public art program being relatively young as well, Knight said choosing an experienced muralist like Pickett will also allow the committee to learn from her as much as she will equally contribute to the downtown art scene.

Pickett’s passion for art started at the early age of 3. Her parents enrolled her in formal art classes when she was 8. Since then, Pickett has been awarded a fine arts scholarship from the city of Livonia, as well as awards from the Gold Key Scholastic Art Awards and the Detroit Graphics Exposition. She created the “Love and Forgiveness” mural, which can be found in the Lindale Gardens neighborhood in Detroit, as well as a set of murals for a middle school in Florida.

When crafting her submission for this project, Pickett said, she was mainly inspired by the theater itself and a handful of the actors who have been featured on the screen in the theater’s 80 years.

“This building has been there for eight decades, and I was just thinking about the people who have come in and out of the theater, the legends who have graced the screen in there, and just wanting to give people something that makes them feel nostalgic, but excited to go and be a part of history,” she said.

Although Pickett’s mural was chosen, the committee members have a few suggestions they believe may make her mural more inclusive for the entire community, namely replacing a few of the currently depicted actors with more contemporary actors that a younger generation of theatergoers could recognize.

Pickett said she doesn’t necessarily want to get rid of anyone currently depicted in her mural, but she believes there’s room to add in some other familiar faces, such as possibly Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep or “people who have really graced the screen and have done amazing work that are instantly recognizable,” though a discussion with the committee will be the final deciding factor.

Knight explained that the project is still “pending approval.” It will have to go up for approval at a DDA meeting and a City Council meeting, since it’s being placed on a publicly owned building. Knight is working to expedite the government process needed to get the project approved in hopes that the mural can be completed by the end of this fall.

Pickett said she and her crew are ready and excited to get started. She’s optimistic that she can complete the mural by the end of fall.

At the Aug. 14 meeting, the committee also rolled out the Doug Delind sculpture “Faces of Farmington,” which was created by Delind and community collaborators during the Art on the Grand weekend.

Currently, the sculpture can be seen at Legato Aveda Salon, 33318 Grand River Ave. It will be moved and displayed throughout DDA-associated businesses in two-week increments.

Businesses that would like to apply to have the sculpture displayed at their locations should contact Knight at kknight@farmgov.com.

For a full list of mural entries, visit www.downtownfarmington.org and search “DDA Call for Art 2019.”

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