World-class art reproductions find a springtime home in Taylor

TAYLOR – The masterpieces have arrived in the City of Taylor.


Reproductions of seven classic paintings from the Detroit Institute of Arts were installed on March 18 in public locations throughout Taylor and are available for viewing through the end of June.


Taylor was the first city to receive its artwork as part of the DIA’s popular Inside|Out  program that takes framed replicas of masterpieces normally seen inside the world-class art museum to the main streets and landmark outdoor spaces throughout Southeast Michigan.


“This is so exciting,” said Patty Donahue, executive director of the Taylor Conservatory Foundation and the person responsible for proposing Taylor as one of the 2012 locations for the program.


“Seeing these paintings in a non-traditional environment really makes your head turn,” she said. “For the next three months, we have a wonderful opportunity to showcase our city, promote the arts and have some fun.”


Three of the masterpieces are located inside Heritage Park, 12111 Pardee Road:

The Trapper’s Return by George Caleb Bingham is near the covered bridge over Coan Lake.

Woman in an Armchair by Pierre Auguste Renoir is located at the entryway to the Goodwill Community Garden.

Chevy by Edwin Henry Landseer is located east of World Series Field, home of the Junior League Baseball World Series. The DIA has agreed to have the Landseer masterpiece on display through the end of the World Series, which takes place August 12-18.


The others:

Gladioli by Claude Monet is located at the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, also on the Heritage Park campus, 22314 Northline Road.

Fire in a Haystack by Jules Adolphe Aime Louis Breton is located on an exterior wall of the nearby Taylor Community Library, 12303 Pardee Road.

Warrior with Two Pages by Peter Paul Rubens is on a wall of the Taylor Recreation Center, 22825 Goddard Road.

Violinist and Young Woman by Edgar Degas is located outside the William Ford Senior Activity Center, 6750 Troy Street, west of Telegraph Road and north of Ecorse Road.


Each reproduction is accompanied by an explanation of the work of art, information about the artist and a description of the Inside|Out program. A small case is attached to the structure and will contain maps to the locations of all of the great treasures from the DIA in Taylor.


Donahue was especially thrilled that the Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is home to a reproduction of Monet’s Gladioli, which a garden-inspired painting.


"The program and this painting are perfectly in line with our mission of promoting the arts in our community, and we are so happy to participate,” Donahue said.


Michele Hauske, coordinator of the Inside|Out program for the DIA, said the Monet painting reproduction truly stands out in front of the unique metal structure of the Taylor Conservatory.


Hauske said the reproductions were printed on vinyl with a UV coating and will fare well in the sun, rain and other weather elements. The wood frames are coated in an exterior-grade varnish. Each of the pieces of art has been in other communities the last year or two.


Judge Geno Salomone of Taylor’s 23rd District Court was on hand for the installation of the reproductions at both the Taylor Conservatory, which he brought to Taylor, and the Goodwill Garden, which he started for the public to grow crops and for non-violent offenders to provide community service.


“When we started the conservatory, art was always at the forefront of any consideration – whether it was in the design or the use of the facility,” Judge Salomone said. “This DIA project is a natural extension of that and a wonderful opportunity to display some great works of art. It’s also an opportunity for us to showcase some of the projects that have been built by wonderful volunteers in our city.”


Junior League World Series founder and Director Greg Bzura said he was excited about the artwork drawing even more people to the international sporting event for the best teams of 13- and 14-year-old ballplayers from around the world. He was hopeful that ESPN would feature the Landseer reproduction during its live broadcast of the championship game on August 18.


“People who don’t yet know about the World Series can learn about the place where teen-agers compete for the world championship of Junior League baseball,” Bzura said. “And the thousands of spectators who come to Taylor for the World Series will be able to learn about world-class art. It’s a perfect fit.”


Scott Martin, manager of the Ford Senior Center, said seniors are already talking about the framed reproduction outside the well-attended activity center. He said seniors taking art classes at the center would enjoy the Degas reproduction.


Wyandotte is the only other Downriver city scheduled to receive DIA artwork during the spring/summer season. Wyandotte’s installation is scheduled for Friday.


Other participating communities are Eastpointe/Roseville, Mount Clemens, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Clarkston, Bloomfield Township, Wayne and the five Grosse Pointes.


Each community will have seven to 10 reproductions clustered within walking or bike-riding distance. The locations will be featured on an interactive map on the DIA’s website,


The DIA will offer free museum admission to a Family Sunday for residents of participating communities. This will encourage them to come to the DIA to experience “their” works of art in person and enjoy the variety of activities the museum offers. Taylor and Wyandotte residents may visit the DIA at no cost on April 29.


Knight Foundation provided $250,000 to sponsor Inside|Out for 2012 and 2013. The foundation believes weaving the arts into the fabric of communities inspires the people who live there, which is exactly what Inside|Out has done over the past two years.


“We believe that the arts are a catalyst for public dialogue,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation. “And that shared cultural experiences contribute to a sense of place and communal identity. Inside|Out has a proven record of accomplishing that, and we are happy to support it.”