As more and more artists flock to the affordable real estate available in Detroit, it’s no surprise that their creative influence is beginning to be seen in the landscape of the city. Local artists Ellen Rutt and Patrick Ethen recently teamed up with the The Quicken Loans Sports Zone to paint four half-basketball courts across from Bedrock’s First National Building in Detroit’s city center.
Rutt, a graphic designer and painter, and Ethen, an architectural and spacial artist, have been teaming up to create site specific works all over the city. This most recent installation posed unique difficulties from sourcing materials that would withstand the wear and tear of daily balling, to the actual painting of the courts, which were initially washed away by the rain on the first day of work.
“I feel like most art is sort of ‘observed,’ but this art has people running on it, so learning what materials [to use] and how people interact with it were the main challenges,” Rutt said To BLOCAL DETROIT.
For a community that has been struggling in recent years, these creative initiatives can inspire city dwellers to engage with the arts as well as create a more pleasant environment for local residents.
Rutt and Ethen recently worked with The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy on a project called Patchwork Detroit, in which local community members could submit photos on Instagram via #patchworkdetroit, in order to participate in the creation of city inspired patterns that would then be installed on the walls of Detroit.
The dynamic duo also teamed up on an awesome series of light up pyramids, The Good-Time Light Hearted Lean Peaks which were exhibited at various Detroit happenings throughout 2014.
These community minded creatives are always up to something as socially conscious as it is visually stimulating, so check out their portfolios for more information about their work: Ellen Rutt & Patrick Ethen.