Olympia Development Partners with College for Creative Studies to Bring Student Artwork to District Detroit


Olympia Development of Michigan and Ilitch Charities today announced a new partnership with the College for Creative Studies to launch a hands-on learning experience and create artwork for public spaces in District Detroit, a 50-block area around Little Caesars Arena set to open in September at Woodward Avenue and Henry Street.

Ilitch Charities and ODM will invest $800,000 to fund a class at the Detroit-based college, as well as to manufacture and install the resulting public artworks.

“The District Detroit represents a transformative effort in the heart of our great city, and public art is an important part of our plan,” says Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc. “The College for Creative Studies attracts many of the best, brightest, and most talented creative students from around the world, and they are an ideal partner to bring public art to District Detroit. The sculptures that result from this innovative class will bring additional personality and character to the world-class neighborhoods in District Detroit and will be a source of pride for CCS students who help create them.”

Selected CCS Fine Arts students will begin the specialty course this month, and work with faculty to conduct research, develop designs and physical models, and produce documents outlining their design intentions.

CCS students will also be responsible for engaging and collaborating with the community throughout the semester-long process. Visiting artists, community members, and architects with outdoor sculpture design experience will be invited to collaborate with the students, as well.

Participating students will receive scholarship funds to be used towards tuition, and students whose artwork is selected for installation will receive scholarships or a stipend. At the end of the semester, a juried process will select up to four concepts for full-scale development and installation. Students will work with a faculty advisor and a third party to create the sculpture and manage logistics of manufacturing, shipment, site preparation, and installation.

The sculptures are set to be installed at District Detroit in the summer and fall of this year.

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