Internationally acclaimed artist Tyree Guyton grew up on Heidelberg Street in Detroit, Michigan. When he was a boy he collected bits and pieces—trash—to create his own fun. Eventually Tyree left Heidelberg Street to find his way in the world, but his mind often traveled back home. When he did return, hard times had fallen on his neighborhood: homes were abandoned, trash was everywhere, and troublemakers haunted the street. Tyree re-imagined his decaying neighborhood, and with the help of his grandpa Sam, who had encouraged him to paint the world, Tyree set to fixing up the mess. He created sculpture out of the trash that littered the neighborhood, painted the dilapidated houses with color and design, and changed the world on Heidelberg Street.
The Heidelbert Project, an ongoing art installation where Tyree Guyton still works, celebrated 25 years in 2011. Magic Trash is the story of Tyree’s transformation of a dying neighborhood, the opposition he faced, and how a residential neighborhood in Detroit became famous. An inspiring story of urban renewal and the healing power of art.
Vanessa Brantley-Newton’s mixed media collage art is a fitting tribute to the beauty of Tyree Guyton’s vision that anything can become a beautiful thing when used for a purpose (Source).
J. H. Shapiro discovered Tyree Guyton’s art while a docent at Michigan State University’s art museum. She has been a social worker for the Department of Medicine at MI State. During a year in Hawaii, she volunteered at the Waikiki Aquarium and wrote about marine animals. She now lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, and leads school tours through the Portland Art Museum (Source).
Much like Tyree Guyton, Vanessa Brantley-Newton started her artistic pursuits as a child—drawing on walls and on the side of the kitchen stove. Today she’s living her dream of being a freelance artist—sticking to paper instead of walls, though. She has illustrated many children’s books, including Scholastic’s Ruby series and Let Freedom Sing (Blue Apple Books), which she also wrote. She lives in New Jersey (Source).