A customized Ford F-150 wrapped in artwork created by New Orleans native Rashaad Newsome will be among the art installations featured at Midtown’s third Dlectricity, scheduled for Sept. 22-23.
Dlectricity is a nighttime outdoor exhibition of art and light featuring parades, 3D videos, performances and more. It's held along the Woodward corridor near key cultural venues such as the Detroit Institute of Arts and Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Officials from the event's producer, Midtown Detroit Inc., revealed details for the fest, which is returning this fall after a two-year hiatus. DTE Energy Foundation was also announced as the presenting sponsor.
In previous incarnations of the festival, many of its most eye-grabbing installations have been large-scale light installations projected on buildings like the DIA, the Detroit Public Library and the Michigan Science Center.
This year, interactive activities will include the return of the Light Bike Parade, a three-mile bike ride through Midtown, where an array of unique and colorful lights on riders' bicycles, helmets and clothes can be seen lighting up the streets.
New Orleans artist Newsome will join a number of notable artists from across the globe whose work will be displayed during the free event. He will present his Kings of Arm Parade.
In addition to the customized Ford F-150, his parade will be led by the Cass Technical High School Marching Band and the Gabriel Brass Band.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am about being a part of this project,” Newsome said. “What is being done here [in Midtown] is so cool.”
Pope.L, an artist based out of Chicago, will be showing his film, “Reenactor.” It “is a film about how we costume and theatricalize time in order to make sense of our past, our mortality. We dress reality up in history, documentary, biography or art to re-stage and re-order the chaos of getting from one side of life to the other,” according to the Dlectricity website.
Other artists among the 35 announced are the Philadelphia-based group Klip Collective, which will be displaying its live-action 3D video mapping project inside the Detroit Public Library; Australian artist Amanda Parer, who will showcase her inflatable bunny display; and Cuppetelli + Mendoza, who will play their audiovisual presentation with music by Detroit-based musician Shigeto. A full list of artists and their projects can be seen at dlectricity.com.
Amir Hijawi, Wayne State freshman and electrical engineering major, said he hopes that Dlectricity will assist in Detroit’s rebuilding process.
“Art brings an opportunity to get out of the house and interact with the community. Rarely do people get to appreciate public art on this scale,’’ said Midtown Detroit special projects manager Annmarie Borucki. “Detroit is a city known for its music, but now it is really becoming known for its art as well.”
WSU Freshman and media arts major Jonny Deschaine said he plans to take part in Dlectricity because he believes it “brings life to the city in a creative and futuristic way.”
Deschaine added, “I just moved to Detroit this year and I’ve heard nothing but good things about this event.”
The last time Dlectricity took place was in 2014 when about 150,000 people attended, Borucki said. Construction of the QLINE delayed the event until 2017.
Borucki said she hopes the QLINE can be utilized as a mode of transportation for people attending the event. She expects attendance to exceed 150,000.
“The investment we are spending in this year’s event is higher than year’s past, and the event keeps getting better and better,” Borucki said.