Posts tagged with "flint":

Placeholder Alt Text

A look inside Flint’s historic Capitol Theatre restoration

After the announcement of it restoration earlier this year, the first images of the refurbished interior of the iconic Flint Capitol Theatre have been released. Opened in 1928, the theater was designed by John Eberson and played host to many of the world’s largest acts until it closed in 1990. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1985, the theater can seat 1,600 under a deep blue ceiling. Intended to evoke a Mediterranean courtyard, lighting effects mimic the changing light of sunset into a night sky. The space is filled with ornate plasterwork and statuary, making it the most lavish of the region's theaters. “The Capitol Theatre is a symbol of the resilient spirit of Flint and we are so looking forward to once again filling its halls with vibrant performances and programming that welcome the community back to this beautiful and historic space,” said Jarret M. Haynes, executive director of The Whiting, in a press release. Haynes is one of the lead partners spearheading the Capitol Theatre project along with the not-for-profit Uptown Reinvestment Corporation. “We are excited to launch a new era of live entertainment within this architectural gem and serve generations to come.” A series of soft openings and activities will reintroduce the public to the building starting in September. This first series of events is set to include film screenings, free performances by local groups, as well as tours of the buildings. The inaugural full season will begin in November, with programming soon to be announced. It is expected that the theater will host around 100 events a year entertaining 60,000 visitors annually.
Placeholder Alt Text

Artists in Flint, Michigan Revive an Abandoned Funeral Home as a Haven for Designers

Artists in Flint, Michigan are used to morbid analogies, but Spencer’s Art House is literally using a funeral home to “demonstrate Flint’s potential for rebirth.” The project turned a 120-year-old mortuary in Flint’s historic Carriage Town neighborhood into an alternative space for artists, designers, and engineers. It’s a gut rehab and then some, but the project has attracted the full force of Flint’s artistic community. Vacant 15 years, the space has hosted concerts, puppet shows, community meetings, and other events since various artists and student groups began to fix it up. Flint’s Public Art Project passed along the news that the team launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $12,000. Their project uses only recycled materials, reclaimed from construction dumpsters, occasional donations, and to-be demolished houses around the city. In addition to clearing debris in Spencer’s House, the team has added weatherproof siding, rainwater harvesting systems, and an outdoor amphitheater.
Placeholder Alt Text

Flint Flat Lot’s Floating House draws criticism

When London-based Two Islands took first place in Flint, Michigan’s first Flat Lot Competition for public art, images of their floating, mirror-clad meditation on the foreclosure crisis turned heads. Six months later the project has been built, but it faced challenges and has drawn criticism making the leap from rendering to reality. Photos posted to the website designboom elicited a flurry of comments that decried the execution of Mark’s House, whose smooth reflective sheen turned out more like Reynolds Wrap, they said. Photos on MLive show a much more wrinkly mylar coating: The texture has drawn criticism. But some came to the project’s defense. One commenter writes:

"While the project did not turn out the way intended I find it very saddening that so many people find the need to put down the architects whose vision this was […] All in all I believe that the original effect was not attained by the material used. Do I think that the project was a smashing success absolutely not, but do I think that some good came from it yes. People from around the world CARED about Flint Michigan, “The Most Dangerous City In America” and they wanted to come to Flint to do something."

Permit issues delayed the project, but with the help of volunteers, $25,000 in prize money and an extra $15,000 boost from online donors, construction wrapped up late Summer.  
Placeholder Alt Text

Flint Public Art Project’s Free City Fest Reclaims Razed Chevy Site

The ongoing efforts of artists and designers to reignite the spark of downtown development in aging industrial cities face no simple task. But as architects and developers begin to put pencil to paper, the best public art projects draw on the spiritual side of that renewal. Flint, Michigan’s inaugural Free City Festival, held May 3-5, did just that when it revived a mile-long stretch of now-razed Chevrolet plants with public art, transformational lighting displays and a reverberating gospel choir. “There was a such a sense of heaviness about this space. It was a place where so many people worked,” said Stephen Zacks, executive director of the Flint Public Art Project. “It’s a kind of cleansing experience, for it to no longer be a blank space.” They installed more than 75 projects, including work by NAO, Srjdan Jovanovic Weiss's firm, Boston-based architect Jae K. Kim, Flint’s Freeman Greer, Ann Arbor-based architect Catie Newell of Alibi Studio, New York-based architects Matthias Neumann and Natalia Roumeliotian, and an inflatable shelter by Michael Flynn modeled after Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate in Chicago (above). The festival was produced with funding from ArtPlace, a consortium of national foundations in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The organizers are looking for sponsors to help repeat their success next year. It isn’t the only public art plot to rejuvenate the one-time home of General Motors. Recently London-based Two Islands took first place in the inaugural Flat Lot Competition, floating plans to erect a mirror-clad foreclosure icon that would douse a downtown public square with cool mists on hot summer days. “There are things people think they know about Flint, but aren’t really reflective of the city today,” Zacks said. “If we can create great spaces, we can start to consolidate a new image and identity of the place.”
Placeholder Alt Text

Flint, Michigan Flat Lot Winners Announced, Floating House Arrives in June

In June a full-block surface parking lot in downtown Flint, Mich. will house a ghostly, floating home — a monument to the ravages of the foreclosure crisis and a nod to the revitalization public art projects like this one hope to further in the one-time home of General Motors. London-based Two Islands took first place in the inaugural Flat Lot Competition, which comes with a $25,000 prize, for their design, Mark’s House. The story of an imagined Flint resident named Mark Hamilton, whose family loses their home to foreclosure, Mark’s House takes the form of a Tudor-style house clad in reflective panels and set atop a mirrored pedestal. The structure can hold 1,500 gallons of water to be used for cooling mists for visitors to the structure’s canopy and event stage on hot summer days. The design-build competition, launched last fall by Flint Public Art Project and AIA-Flint, called for a temporary structure that would take up no more than eight parking spaces, and would support public programs in a city whose population peaked in 1960. Flint’s Mayor Dayne Walling hopes the design community will help transform public space in the ailing former industrial town, and international buzz for the competition appears to have been a good start. Organizers said they fielded 221 entries from dozens of countries. Three other projects received honorable mention: Stage a Lot by KSE Studio (Sofia Krimizi and Kyriakos Kyriakou) of Brooklyn, NY; Building Bodies for Work by Wes Janz, Tim Gray, and Andrea Swartz of Ball State University; and AC.H2O by Mike Ting of British Columbia, Canada. These projects and 17 others will populate an exhibit alongside Mark’s House to open April 12 during the Flint Art Walk. The built Mark’s House pavilion will open June 14.