For Immediate Release


Vince Cavasin/APLAUDD


Matthew Loflin Davis


Matthew Loflin Davis Invites Artists and Art Lovers to Join Him on Belle Isle for a “Stone Stack-In” to Protest Park Manager’s Removal Order

Detroit, MI - October 28, 2003 – Detroit artist Matthew Loflin Davis invites all artists and art-lovers in the Detroit area to join him on Belle Isle at the White House on Thursday, October 30, 2003, at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, for a Stone Stack-In. This event supercedes the Rock Removal Ceremony announced yesterday.

“After some thought, I realized it was a violation of my artistic integrity to cooperate with the park manager’s order,” said Davis. “I cannot destroy my art, and I expect that the thousands of people of Detroit who enjoy seeing the stones on Belle Isle will support me. Ultimately, the installation is a beautiful thing, put in place by myself and many other people who want to beautify the island. The island is a public park, and if the will of the public is to stack rocks on its shore, the right thing to do is to stack the rocks. The wrong thing to do is to destroy this beauty and tell people they can’t create it.”

He paused, then asked, “What kind of government destroys beauty?”

Davis encourages artists to find creative ways to beautify the island during the Stack-In. “It doesn’t just have to be about stacking rocks,” he said. “This is about taking a stand on public art and public art education. I encourage everyone who comes to create something while they’re on the island. I will also be giving lessons to anyone who wants to learn how to stack rocks.”

Davis asks supporters to meet at the Belle Isle White House, which is on Inselruhe road near the Aquarium. “Follow the signs to the Aquarium and look for the crowd,” he said. The group will then make its way to the installation sight and start stacking.

Davis describes the Stack-In as an act of passive resistance. “Like the sit-ins of the ‘60s, our goal is to teach and to passively make a statement, namely to demonstrate our love of public art. Contrast this to the park manager’s tactics of destruction and ignoring the will of the citizens.”

Aaron Timlin, Executive Director of the Detroit Artist Market, which has shown Davis’ stone and photographic work, is a strong supporter of Davis and the Stack-In.

“This is a great opportunity for Belle Isle and Detroit to become the creative center it is meant to be. Matthew's work on Belle Isle gives flight to the Spirit of Detroit and tomorrow's gathering promises a new and exciting step in our journey as human beings, and as Detroiters. I will be there."

Davis and his rock sculptures have been written about by the Detroit Free Press and in papers across the U.S.; the artist has been interviewed by WJBK FOX2 Detroit's Bill Gallagher, and has appeared in local gallery shows at Mack Avenue Gallery and the Detroit Artist Market. He is scheduled to appear on WTBS's Art Beat on November 8 at 2 p.m., and will have an opening at Gallery 4731 on November 15.                 

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Copyright © 2003 by Matthew Loflin Davis. All rights reserved.