Fair   52.0F  |  Forecast »

Art Fun on the Detroit RiverWalk & Dequindre Cut Greenway

Learning about urban graffiti art and public sculptures comes naturally along the Detroit RiverFront. Learn how to nurture and spark kids' creative thinking.

Content brought to you by Excellent Schools Detroit

Whatever the season, the Detroit RiverFront is a prime place to connect with a big, powerful body of water – and the artistic murals and public art that have sprung up in this revitalized area. In particular, the RiverWalk and Dequindre Cut Greenway hold plenty of outdoor eye candy for kids.

Along the GM and Rivard plazas, you'll find five "Garden Rooms," each featuring a bench, a little landscaping and a sculpture; these are on loan to the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy for a year or two. The 1.35-mile "cut," meanwhile – a prime destination for walking, running and dog strolling that traces inland from the water – is a converted railway bed; its concrete walls and bridges are covered with urban graffiti art, both new and old.

Detroit Riverwalk, Dequindre Cut

How can you engage children in a little bit of art learning in these places? In the RiverWalk plazas, sit together on a bench in a "room." How do the nearby sculptures make kids feel? What are the structures made of? Why do they think public art exists? Watch freighters go by, too. What could they be hauling? On the cut, check out the graffiti murals. Did you know many, like a space-themed image by famed artist Fel3000ft, are commissioned – and legal? See if you can also spot older, faded spray-painted images from the railroad days, too.

Displays do rotate through the "rooms," and have included the likes of Tyree Guyton, the creative force behind The Heidelberg Project in Detroit, the famed outdoor art installation – and Ray Katz, a Michigan metal artist. The cut also has gained international attention for its new, ornate murals – which, some after years of their original creation, are pretty pristine. "No one will touch it" or "tag" this art, conservancy spokesman Mark Pasco says.

"There's that unwritten rule of, no on wants to be the one to damage something that's viewed as art," he explains. "Any one can take a can spray paint on the wall. These people are artists in every sense of the word."

While colorful lounge chairs speckle the RiverWalk during the warm months, the area is very accessible in the "off" seasons, too. In fact, staff has taken to calling it the "WinterWalk" when the white stuff falls – as the paths are regularly cleared of snow. That applies to the cut, too: "The colors even pop more when you're surrounded by a blanket of snow," Pasco adds.

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

Paper Craft Fun with Handprints, Garland and Kawaii Art

This versatile craft material transforms into an acorn fall creation, decorative ribbon, cute Japanese critters and cool dividers for your kid's closet.

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

How to Prevent Your Child from Choking

Mealtime can turn from pleasant to panic in a matter of seconds. Protect your child from this mishap with our list of dos and don’ts.

YouTube Moms Parody Iggy Azalea's Hit Song 'Fancy'

YouTube Moms Parody Iggy Azalea's Hit Song 'Fancy'

The rapper's had the hit of the summer, but these clever mothers made it their own, riffing on pregnancy and motherhood in some pretty funny viral videos.

Biscuit Recipes: From Classic to Chocolate

Biscuit Recipes: From Classic to Chocolate

September is National Biscuit Month, but you can bake these any time! These recipes, including classic biscuits from Betty Crocker and cornmeal biscuits from Martha Stewart, will have you reaching...

Little One-Yard Wonders Book Review and Play Mat Project

Little One-Yard Wonders Book Review and Play Mat Project

Check out a new title that promises lots of sewing projects you can make for kids. Also, for the skilled seamstress, try one of its cool play-oriented patterns.

Talking to Kids About 9/11

Talking to Kids About 9/11

Do you remember where you were on Sept. 11, 2001 when you got news of this tragedy? Here are nine tips to calm, educate and understand it 13 years later.

Fall Crafting at Home: Tea Towels, Harry Potter Owl, More

Fall Crafting at Home: Tea Towels, Harry Potter Owl, More

Whether you're planning a kids party, want to capture autumn art in a frame or would rather keep summer going with ice pops, try these family DIY ideas.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement