At the corner of West Grand Boulevard and Grand River Avenue are an interesting couple of mirror faced buildings nearly surrounded by outdoor art installations. The walls of the old structures are covered with various shaped cut mirrors, many hand painted with different patterns in bold, vibrant colors. The glittering, colorful mirrors are fastened to the buildings and extend from front to back, and top to bottom. Mixed within the mirrors are common things such as empty paint cans, sections of wire fencing, and other everyday items.
The unusual buildings straddle a couple of empty grassy lots. Those open areas are stuffed full of outdoor public art displays constructed of cast off recycled materials such as cement rebar, nails, bricks, tree limbs, old vehicles, and other similar items. Smaller shards of the painted, cut mirrors are used as highlights in many of the richly painted art pieces used in the installations.
The site with the glimmering building walls and folk art type installations are all part of the visually engaging Mbad Museum and Dabl’s African Bead Gallery. Although I’ve never been in the actual museum, I’ve spent plenty of time walking throughout the grounds looking at the mesmerizing variety of art installations, many done in an African motif.
Someday soon I hope to get over there when the museum is open to see what artifacts and beads are on display. If the inside is anything like the outside, it should be a visual feast for the eyes. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy the ever changing outdoor art work along this little section of Grand River Avenue.
If you haven’t been there, check it out if you’re ever in that part of the city. Here is a sampling of what you’ll find.