Look for new art soon in Downtown Farmington

Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market

A trio of sculptures on loan from the City of Novi will be installed next month in downtown Farmington’s Riley Park.

Villa Barr Sculptures
Avenue, Shift, and Temple will be installed next month in Riley Park. (Farmington DDA)

Downtown Development Authority (DDA) Director Kate Knight said the pieces created by world-renowned artist David Barr, will be placed for maximum exposure and minimum impact on the Farmington Farmers and Artisans Market and other park events.

The sculptures – Avenue, Shift, and Temple – are on loan for a year, with an option for a second year. Knight said they’ll sit on small concrete slabs that will hopefully become the base for rotating exhibits.

Barr created the works at his Novi residence, “Villa Barr,” where he lived until his death in 2015. The City of Novi purchased the 4-acre property with the vision of creating a cultural hub in Novi and to showcase his life and work.

Coasting the Baseline Obeslisk
Coasting the Baseline Obelisk at Founders Sports Park in Farmington Hills. (eightmile.org)

Barr also has a piece at the entrance to Founder’s Park in Farmington Hills, a Coasting the Baseline obelisk. It tells the story of surveyors and their role in the mapping out of the state and the nation. Baseline Road (or Eight Mile Road) is the East West survey anchor.

The Riley Park sculptures will be installed in June. Knight said that construction of a parking lot and pathway, along with amenities such as interpretive signage and respite areas, is scheduled to begin in mid-summer and completed in the fall.

“This is the first implementation of our Public Art Blueprint,” Knight said.

Developed with community participation, the blueprint is designed to guide and support public art projects in the central business district.

A second project, the creation of a mural on the wall of a downtown business, should be unveiled this summer. Knight said a local artist has been selected after “a healthy response” to the April call for proposals.