Architecture

Art installation in Parker’s Alley will highlight the Detroit Tigers

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Parker’s Alley in downtown Detroit celebrates opening day Thursday with an art installation featuring a mural highlighting the Detroit Tigers.

Melinda Anderson, President and Creative Director at Studio M Detroit, is behind the installation. She holds art exhibits in retail stores in Detroit to encourage people to take pictures and shop while they’re in the area. She hopes to transform retail into a retail art experience.

“As a small business, I have great empathy for other small businesses,” said Anderson, who is from Detroit.

“These art design moments are important because COVID has hit small businesses and retailers really hard. When it comes to retail shopping, it’s not a big festival that makes people feel uncomfortable being with so many people. One Retail experience, you can do that on your own anytime. “

Studio M Detroit President and Events Producer Melinda Anderson, 45, right, is working with Detroit artist Ryan Wheeler, March 31, March 31, 2021, to transform her installation artwork into a tiger in celebration of the Tiger Opening Day on April 1, 2021. The installation is located on Parker's Alley in downtown Detroit.

Anderson partnered with Bedrock to remodel the retail space known as Parker’s Alley behind the Shinola Hotel on Woodward Avenue.

The alley is lined with shopping and dining and is named for Thomas Parker, Detroit’s first black shop owner. The art installation is in front of the Lip Bar.

Anderson created a heart-shaped art installation for 313 Day in the Space, the canvas of which can be changed to reflect special Detroit occasions. So far, the art installation has celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and will have a blue background with a tiger on the front that says “Go Tigers”.

Studio M Detroit President and Event Producer Melinda Anderson, 45, will pose with her installation on March 31, 2021. Anderson transformed her installation artwork into a tiger in celebration of the Tiger Opening Day on April 1, 2021. The installation is located at Parker's Alley in downtown Detroit.

Anderson hopes that each of her installations will shed some light on the city at a difficult time.

“I know this is a dark time for many of us, but we still cannot forget hope and joy and find that joy in everyday moments,” said Anderson.

“To me, I thought that this would be something unexpected that people would see … I wanted them to feel a little lighter when they experience this piece – and to be proud of their city.”

As the world experiences COVID-19, Anderson said that sharing memories and moments on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has become a really big deal.

More:A new, free way to get around downtown Detroit launches on the opening day of the Tigers

More:Detroit welcomed the first black-owned grocery store in 2014 – and everything is crowdfunded

Detroit artist Ryan Wheeler, 31, left, is working with Studio M Detroit President and Event Producer Melinda Anderson, 45 and Mike Stapleton, 62 of Prop Art Studio, to incorporate their installation artwork on March 31, 2021 Tiger in celebration of Tiger Opening Day on April 1, 2021. The installation is located on Parker's Alley in downtown Detroit.

“In today’s society, the impact of Instagram cannot be underestimated,” said Anderson. “People definitely love having pictures to share these moments … We are in a global pandemic and how cool would it be to look back and say, ‘Wow, I went through this.’ And you have this keepsake. ”

She said when people, including yourself, visit the art installation, they pay to park, eat, and shop, which affects everyone involved.

“There is an economic impact that is cleverly created through art and design,” said Anderson. “I would love for the business community to take note of how art and design can elevate spirits, businesses and neighborhoods because we are the national city of design,” she added, referring to the UNESCO designation “City of Design” the city.

Anderson has spent much of her life drawing inspiration from creating and building things.

Studio M Detroit President and Events Producer Melinda Anderson, 45, right, is working with Detroit artist Ryan Wheeler, 31, to transform her installation artwork into a tiger in celebration of the tiger opening day on March 31, 2021. April 2021. The installation is located on Parker's Alley in downtown Detroit.

As a child, she had a strong love for playing with LEGOs and looking at architecture. She attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit and then the University of Michigan, where she studied architecture. She traveled to Berlin and Italy to study both of the countries’ architectural models.

Now Anderson’s company is known for producing and installing the creative designs of theDetroit Design Festival: Designkern, Bryce Detroit’s street work: HOOD CLOSED Project, the electronic music festival, Light Up Livernois, and more.

Anderson’s next project will debut July 3rd on Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion on Livernois in association with the Independent Business Association.

Connect with staff writer Chanel Stitt on Twitter: @ByChanelStitt. Become a subscriber or give away a subscription.

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Dusty Kennedy