Detroit artist awarded $10,000 grant for Mack project

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Detroit artist Glenn Urquhart was awarded a $10,000 grant Tuesday by the non-profit LAND Inc. to address Detroit's blighted, vacant and unused commercial corridors with artwork.

Urquhart's design was chosen as the winner of the Mack Avenue Green T Public Art contest, which invited local artists to submit proposals to blend in with a bioswale installed in the right-of-way on Mack and other installations within the corridor.

Designs also needed to integrate with the corridor's history and incorporate at least 50 percent of reclaimed materials.

Urquhart's design, "Green Grass," is a 12-foot-tall leaved grass made out of reclaimed metal rods that will sway in the wind, producing a low calming wind chime sound.

"This towering artwork will standout, but at the same time complement its environment. It conveys the spirit of the Green Thoroughfare and the Bioswale projects, also giving a nod to Detroit's long automotive history by using old car parts as the leaves on the massive stalks," Urquhart said of his design.

Jacqueline Bejma, executive director of LAND, Inc. said the nonprofit, with the support of Bank of America Charitable Foundation, is pleased to award the implementation grant for a community-based public art installation on Mack.

"Glenn is a long time, active resident of the east side, and a talented artist. It is our pleasure to help him realize this project in the neighborhood," she said.

The final project will be unveiled on June 1 at the 13300 block of Mack Avenue, between Coplin and Lakeview. For more information, visit