Creative expression in the Garden: Detroit Month Of Design

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In the late summer, the FoxCreek Artscape hosted Freedom Growers and the College of Creative Studies as part of Detroit Month of Design. The four-week series celebrated family, harvests, and design. The events were a continuation of the Feedom Freedom Growers Art in The Garden programming created to foster the creative language from all members of the community through different mediums of expression. 

Focusing on youth, the events included tours of the unique space on Detroit’s east side,  combining distinctive, sustainable architecture, hardscapes, and visual arts, all supporting ongoing community engagement, classes, and performances. 

 Stephanie Mae,  the primary art instructor said, “Each weekend we’ve been exploring the garden, observing the sunflowers, blackberries, marigolds, and more with curious and patient eyes. It’s been joyful watching artists of all ages interpret the beauty of nature around us!”

Art in the Garden featured short, hands-on youth and family activities in both art and gardening and free sugar baby watermelons grown on the farm served by youth from the FFG Ubuntu Enrichment Camp. 

Kids participate in Art in the Garden with Feedom Freedom Growers

Detroit’s first-ever Artscape stands adjacent to Feedom Freedom’s garden on Manistique south of Jefferson Ave at the old Fox Creek in Detroit. Feedom Freedom Grower’s community spirit, love, and care for the land, the College for Creative Studies’ experience and resources, community residents, and artists have combined to bring a unified vision to life. The structures, lighting, plantings, paths, benches, and murals come together in an open, inviting space. It is a place where the community and local artists, performers, and farmers come together in celebration.

Fox Creek Pavilion 

The Pavilion serves as a gathering space for the community to connect, or just chill out, on benches placed under the shade trees. The children love the boulders and straw bales to climb and sit on. The Pavilion sits at 889 Manistique, south of Jefferson and across the street from the Feedom Freedom garden. Green pavilion elements include a long-lasting Michigan White Cedar frame, polycarbonate roof with water collection and storage system, and a permeable foundation base. The pavilion is a welcoming meeting place for the public and supports community events. A focus of the pavilion is the “Healin Walls’ ‘ which are free-standing murals inspired by historic peoples and cultures.

Feedom Freedom hosts art in the garden for 4 Saturday’s in September

Fox Creek Farm Stand 

This project builds upon Feedom Freedom’s years of experience in urban gardening within the Jefferson Chalmers community. Directly adjacent to the garden, the Fox Creek Farm Stand’s Michigan White Cedar frame sits close to the street on a renovated lot that includes a garden “room.” Like the pavilion, the Farm Stand also has a water collection system. 

The Artscape and Farm Stand have had to cope with severe flooding this year. Planned garden rooms were pared down so that much of the land could be left in a more natural state to help with flooding.

The College for CreativeStudies and Feedom Freedom were pleased with the response from community residents that attended and participated in this year’s events. So many people came together to make art and gardens happen. Grow a garden, grow a community.