FERNDALE, Mich. -

Ferndale is about to get even more artsy.

The city says it is answering an ongoing request by the residents and visitors alike for more public art by installing an 11-piece public art exhibit.

Specifically, the exhibit, known as ARTWN--The Exhibit, assembled by renowned curator John Sauve of the Sauve Art Foundation, has already begun changing the Downtown Ferndale landscape.

ARTWN is presented by the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority, with support from MotorCity Casino Hotel and local sponsoring businesses.

“The creative culture not only thrives in Downtown Ferndale, it is what distinguishes us. ARTWN is a way to share that fact with the world by inviting everyone to visit the district and see art in action. We are very excited to showcase our existing art assets and to add to them with some very significant work. This is a major undertaking by the DDA as we work to bring to town more of what the public has asked for – art,” said Cristina Sheppard-Decius, DDA Executive Director.”

What's it all about

Featuring the work of local and national sculptors, the pieces are being installed at locations throughout the district and remain in place thru 2014. Individual sculptures are being sponsored by businesses such as State of the Art Framing & Gallery, Credit Union One, Blumz by JR Designs, Dino's Restaurant & Lounge, Flip, Garden Fresh Salsa, Honoring Tami Gleason, Minser's Collision, One-Eyed Betty's & Rosie O'Grady's, and The Rust Belt Market. In addition, the Ferndale DDA is offering an “A-List” option to the general public – a $100 buy-in to be part of a group sponsorship for one selected sculpture. Supporting pARTners are Giffels-Webster Engineers, The Thomas Company, The Suburban Collection and Allied Printing.

The Ferndale DDA is also in the process of identifying the art inventory in the district to then showcase it in ongoing downtown promotions. This summer’s roll out of the Third Thursday late-night shopping program, for example, focuses entirely on visual arts, as follows.
• July 17 – Hangin’ in Ferndale will showcase the art that resides in Downtown Ferndale businesses. Stay tuned for an especially exciting reveal that evening, part of a region-wide effort by a well-known institution.
• August 16 -- The Art of the Automobile, in line with Dream Cruise weekend.

Said Sheppard-Decius: “ARTWN is a standing invitation to create, to enjoy the creativity of others and to do all that in one great place – Downtown Ferndale.”

As new sculptures arrive, almost daily, in Downtown Ferndale, the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority is planning a benefit to sustain its ARTWN initiative to add more and showcase existing public art in the district.

Official launch fundraiser

ARTWN will be officially launched with a fundraising progressive party, ARTWN–The Event, Small Plates & Big Art, from 6-10 pm, Thursday, June 28, 2012. The Event will focus on The Exhibit with guided sculpture tours and an evening of festivities designed to embrace the new art and the entire creative culture of Downtown Ferndale.

ARTWN-The Event begins and ends at the Rust Belt Market and is billed as Black Tie & Sneakers, which means walking will be involved. Attendees sign in at 6 pm, receive their wristband and head out to any one or all of six satellite host locations to see nearby sculptures, dine on small plate offerings, quench their thirst and mingle. Free shuttle service will be available to non-walkers. At 8 pm, guests return to the Rust Belt Market to meet artists, sample sweets from a dessert bar, toast the night with a specialty ARTWN cocktail, bid on items in a silent auction, enjoy music from the Nighthawks Jazz Orchestra and join in the reveal of the 11th sculpture, located at the Rust Belt Market.

Host locations

AMRC Fine Jewelry and Gift Gallery, Credit Union One, Elegance by Design, Lawrence Street Gallery, State of the Art Framing & Gallery and 8 Degrees Plato. Generous appetizer, beverage & dessert donors include: Assaggi Bistro, Anita’s Kitchen, Dino’s Restaurant & Lounge, Howe’s Bayou, One-Eyed Betty’s, Pete’s Place , Peteet’s Famous Cheesecakes, Rosie O’Grady’s, The Blue Nile, The Oakland, The Woodward Imperial, Treat Dreams, Valentine Distilling. Grasshopper Underground will operate a cash bar, with proceeds benefitting the public art fund.

Goodies

Guests will each receive an ARTWN Gift Bag including a limited edition ceramic tile in the image of a sculpture in The Exhibit, created by artist Gerard Shirts; a subscription to Detroit Home Magazine, Downtown Ferndale greeting cards and more.

TIckets

Tickets, at $50 each, are available thru each host location, at the Ferndale DDA at 248-546-1632, at Downtown Ferndale on facebook and via www.DowntownFerndale.com.