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COMMUNITY STATEMENT

I have been a pioneer and at the forefront of the found object,reuse,repurpose movement here in detroit for twenty six years. My studio gallery is located within the Heidelberg Project on Detroit's east side. My work has enhanced the project in many ways. When giving tours of the Heidelberg Project Jeneane Whitfield the projects director makes reference to my work and her favorite piece Weapons of mass destruction. I have made myself available to mentor a couple of the kids in the heidelberg project neighborhood. i have had them help me with my art projects,and have paid them to help me do the hard work of maintaining my outdoor sculpture garden they have helped me with the dirty work like cutting the grass shoveling the snow, scrapping and painting the house. all of this is part of maintaining an outdoor art exhibit, these  kids take great pride in being part of this art installation. Faculty from two local colleges have invited me to lecture about my art work with their students. Professor Jim Brown of Wayne State University. and Dean Jocelyn Rainy of Wayne County Community College. I have been invited to jury the urban edge at the Grosse Point Art Center in January. I have worked as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor at  Sobriety House an alcohol and substance abuse/dual diagnosis treatment center,on west grand blvd. I also worked there for eight years as a live in monitor. I included residents to work with me on art projects a form of art therapy. Eight years in a row i met the request of the midwest aids prevention projects request for my art to be donated to their charity auction. One of my sculpture piece's brought them over a thousand dollars.this was always a great event where i would catch up with other artist's friends whom i hadn't seen in a while who also donated work like Jim Puntingham, Maurice Greenia Mike Mickalowski. to name a few of a great many generous Detroit artist who are always willing to go beyond the call of service to the community. When approached by Nina Holden of coalition of temporary shelter in detroit to help come up with a new theme for their fundraiser i responded with donating a decretive clock that i made out of f-18 fighter jet parts, and i said hey why not give artist's these clock insert's to use in their own artwork and theme the event around the metaphor of it's time to end homelessness.they loved it and went with it. The clock that i donated brought them five hundred buck's. I've also donated artwork to the make a wish foundation.my commitment to giving back runs deep. On heidelberg street i've had people so moved by one art piece that they stood there crying in front of it. the piece is called weapons of mass destruction.i used liquor bottles from all over my neighborhood in this piece it talks about my own addiction and the so called drug war and the war in Iraq. One day I had a lady from california say to me don't ever think your work isn't making an impact she said she created her own outdoor sculpture garden and studio because she was inspired by my work. So my work is not only impacting my immediate community it's affects are wide reaching. My work has an uplifting impact on my local neighbor hood in the sense that it is reaching people who are actively caught up in the drug trade and and causing them to reflect as well. one guy from the neighborhood ended up in a treatment center were i work. I have an art piece called smoke crack responsibly it's included in the pictures i've submitted. One of my neighbors said thanks man my son realy likes the robots you have out here on the street, I bring him down here allot to see them. This kind of community engagement makes my day, and encourages me to keep doing what i've been doing here in Detroit for 26 years. Another notable project that i was part of was the 3 Million dollar restoration of the Historic Gratiot Central Market, built in 1915 destroyed by fire in 1995. I single handedly restored the decorative tiles on the entire front facade of the building, bringing it back to it's grandeur of a bygone era.Thousands of Metro Detroiters get to enjoy the beauty of these magnificent tiles that were buried with 8 coats of paint for years.The owners didn't know what they had until i showed them some tiles i recover'd and restored  from the back wall that collapsed. One picture is included in my application. Currently my work is prominently  displayed in the children's area at Compuware's community garden Lafayette Greens.Four whimsical robotic looking creatures.Many visitors are delighted and intrigued by them,especially the children. Fore the last year I also have had on loan to the day care at compuwares world headquarters four whimsical Krazy Kat sculptures and one music man sculpture that the Kids,Parents,and Teachers just love.The kids interact with them as if they were alive and to the kids they are.they talk with them it's a beautiful Experience to watch. I have pictures of them in my application as well.

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