Overcast   62.0F  |  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.

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

Michigan Education Improves, Poverty Grows, Kids Count Says

Michigan Education Improves, Poverty Grows, Kids Count Says

The 2014 Annie E. Casey Foundation study finds promising trends for preschool attendance and high-school graduation, but notes struggles with child poverty.

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Zucchini Recipes: Ways to Incorporate Veggies Into Your Diet

Is your garden overflowing with this vegetable? Try making cheesy zucchini bites, zucchini fries or any of these recipes.

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Beach Towel and Picnic Blanket Caddy Craft

Looking for an easy, compact way to tote those summer necessities? You're in luck! This simple sewing project makes carting your fabric accessories a breeze.

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

Socialite Returns Adopted Child to Orphanage for Crying

After only one night in, Romanian socialite Monica Gabor took her adopted son back to the orphanage because the child was too distressed.

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Medication Mistakes Common and Dangerous, New Study Finds

Recent findings published in Pediatrics show that nearly 40 percent of parents make measuring errors for their kid's medicine. Why is this happening and what can you do to prevent it?

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Craft Roundup: Fun Summer Projects for Kids

Beat vacation boredom with these four cool ideas from blogs, including Popsicle holders, printable sewing cards, jellyfish handprint bookmarks and more.

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

5 Tips to Get Your Kids Interested in Cooking

From picking out ingredients to concocting their own culinary creations, here are a few ways to encourage your children to help out in the kitchen.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement