Primarily a painter and an installation artist, Tyree Guyton has also been described as an urban environmental artist. He has waged a personal war on urban blight on Detroit's East Side, transforming his childhood neighborhood into a living indoor/outdoor art museum. Through his art, Tyree has drawn attention to the plight of Detroit’s forgotten neighborhoods and spurred discussion and action.
“When you come to the Heidelberg Project, I want you to think—really think! My art is a medicine for the community. You can’t heal the land until you heal the minds of the people,” says Tyree. This iconic colorfully painted polka dotted neighborhood, which symbolizes our society’s diversity, has played a vital role in transforming the visual indignities of poverty and have placed an international spotlight in this particular community.
Recognized as one of the most powerful art environments in the world, the HP anchors work in: Reinvention and Revitalization of Urban Spaces, Politics of Creativity, Urban Renewal and Education, Urban Ecology and Environmental Justice through Public Art. As the Heidelberg Project celebrates its 30th anniversary, Tyree’s hope is that the community will assume a larger role in the continued evolution of the Heidelberg Project.
Tyree studied at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and in 2009 was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Fine Art. He exhibits his work extensively throughout the United States and the world. Tyree’s art is featured in the Detroit Institute of Arts, the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum of Harlem and many others. His work as an artist has earned him over 18 awards, locally and nationally. Tyree has also been featured in major publications, books, and television (including the Oprah Winfrey Show) and was the subject of the Emmy Award Winning Documentary, Come Unto Me, the Faces of Tyree Guyton; and more recently the subject of a book published in 2007 by WSU Press, Connecting the Dots, Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project—a 2008 Michigan Notable Book. Tyree is married and continues to live and work in the city of Detroit.
Select Solo Exhibitions
- 1986-present: The Heidelberg Project, ongoing art installation in Detroit, MI
- 2016: Face-ology at Inner State Gallery; Detroit, MI
- 2016: What Time is It? Tyree Guyton, New Work at Lawrence Technological University Detroit Center for Design + Technology; Detroit, MI
- 2015: Power to the People at Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism \ Architecture; Shenzhen, China
- 2015: The Art of Tyree Guyton: A 30 Year Journey at University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA); Ann Arbor, MI
- 2014: Spirit at Inner State Gallery; Detroit, MI
- 2013: Faces of God on Fire at Cue Foundation; New York, NY
- 2012: Tyree Guyton at Bollag Studios; Basel, Switzerland
- 2012: Two Countries, Two Cities, One Spirit at Tom Blaess Gallery / Print Shop; Bern, Switzerland
- 2011: Street Folk at ArtXDetroit; Detroit, MI
- 2011: Heidelbergology - Art in the Streets at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Detroit, MI
- 2011: Tea for Two: Sam Mackey & Tyree Guyton at College for Creative Studies; Detroit MI
- 2010: Tyree Guyton: Soul of the City at Gallery Tom Blaess; Bern, Switzerland
- 2009: Totally Connected at Handswerk Vocational School; Bolzano, Italy
- 2009: An American Show at McColl Center for Visual Art; Charlotte, NC
- 2008: Street Sense at Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum; University Center, MI
- 2007: The Inland See at Western Michigan University; Kalamazoo, MI
- 2006 An American Show at University of Michigan Business School; Ann Arbor, MI
- 2005: An American Show at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Detroit, MI
- 2004: Singing for that Country Installation/Residency; Sydney, Australia
- 2004: An American Show at Michigan State University School of Law; East Lansing,
2004: Faces in the Hood at Auburn University; Auburn, AL