September 25, 2013: The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is hosting a community event featuring a dog walk, poetry reading, and lecture to celebrate the completion of the Gracehoper conservation project and the reopening of the North Lawn on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Gracehoper, the monumental painted-steel sculpture by Tony Smith displayed on the museum’s North Lawn, underwent extensive conservation treatment this past summer to restore its surface after 30 years of exposure to harsh weather and natural corrosion. The DIA repainted the sculpture using a durable black paint that is projected to last 15–20 years.
In addition to viewing the newly restored Gracehoper, the celebration will feature a community dog walk led by Canine to Five—a Midtown dog daycare and grooming facility—at 10 a.m., a poetry reading by students from the Inside Out Literary Arts Project at 11 a.m., and a talk by John Steele, DIA conservator of sculpture and decorative arts, about the conservation of Gracehoper at 1 p.m.
The dog walk will begin near the DIA’s John R entrance, and walkers are expected to have their dogs on a leash. Detroit Dog Park, a group of local dog lovers working to bring dog parks to the city, will also be present to spread the word about their initiative. Their first park, which is set to open this year, will be located at the Macomb Playlot, an old playground at 17th and Rose Streets in Corktown, near the Michigan Central Train Station.
Justin Rogers, a veteran of the award-winning Brave New Voices slam team, and students Kennedie King and Samuel Taylor, from the Inside Out Literary Arts Project, will perform poems inspired by Gracehoper.
For more information, please visit dia.org.