Vacant lots. Abandoned houses. Trash–lots of trash. Heidelberg Street was in trouble! Tyree Guyton loved his childhood home–that’s where his grandpa Sam taught him to “paint the world.” So he wanted to wake people up… to make them see Detroit’s crumbling communities. Paintbrush in hand, Tyree cast his artistic spell, transforming everday junk into magic trash. Soon local kids and families joined Tyree in rebuilding their neighborhood, discovering the healing power of art along the way.
This picture book biography of Tyree Guyton, an urban environmental artist, shows how he transformed his decaying, crime-ridden neighborhood into the Heidelberg Project, an interactive sculpture park. The story spans from Tyree’s childhood in 1950s Detroit to his early efforts to heal his community through art in the 1980s. Tyree’s awards include Michigan Artist of the Year and International Artist.
Magic Trash offers strong themes of working together, the power of art, and the importance of inspiring community–especially kids–to affect action. The Heidelberg Project is internationally recognized for providing arts education to children and adults and for the ongoing development of several houses on Heidelberg Street. Not only does the Heidelberg Project prove that when a community works together it can rebuild itself, but it also addresses the issues of recycling, environmentalism, and community on a global level.
About the Author
J. H. Shapiro discovered Tyree Guyton’s art while a docent at Michigan State University’s art museum. She has been a social worker for the Department of Medicine at MI State. During a year in Hawaii, she volunteered at the Waikiki Aquarium and wrote about marine animals. She now lives and writes in Portland, Oregon, and leads school tours through the Portland Art Museum.