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Detroit — North Rosedale Park residents and donors gathered Saturday to unveil a new sculpture by world-renowned artist Charles McGee and dedicate an outdoor plaza.

Having moved to Detroit at the age of 10, McGee, a resident of neighboring Rosedale Park for 41 years, is a Kresge Eminent Artist and has works displayed at the Detroit Institute of Art, Marygrove College, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and an 11-story mural on the 28 Grand Building in downtown Detroit.

About 100 people celebrated the unveiling at the North Rosedale Park Community House, at 18445 Scarsdale in Detroit. The sculpture and plaza are part of the ongoing Legacy Project campaign of the North Rosedale Park Civic Association.

McGee, 93, provided the 24-foot sculpture titled "Unity North," to the neighborhood that means so much to him. It is comprised of steel and aluminum, with a vibrant blue steel base and vertical core faced with grey aluminum panels and 22 figures in white on each side. The sculpture was fabricated locally by Detroit Impressions Inc. of St. Clair Shores. 

The sculpture represents McGee’s emphasis on the importance of community and how entities come together and work together on common goals, officials said. McGee was not in attendance Saturday, but has often said, “We work best when we work together.”

“What we’ve been able to accomplish is to bring a major piece of public art to our park indicative of the spirit of cooperation and collaboration – our interconnectiveness as human beings – reflected in Charles McGee himself and in the history of our Grandmont Rosedale community,” said Marsha Bruhn, vice president of the North Rosedale Park Civic Association.

The sculpture cost $76,000 funded through Knight Arts Challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 

The sculpture was one of two installed on a new 4,200-square-foot plaza adjacent to the community building Saturday. The plaza was constructed with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the sale of engraved brick pavers.

srahal@detroitnews.com

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