For Immediate Release


Vince Cavasin/APLAUDD


Matthew Loflin Davis


Mayor Orders Park to Leave Rocks Up

Detroit, MI - October 30, 2003 - The Belle Isle rock sculptures, created by Detroit artist Matthew Loflin Davis, were reportedly granted a reprieve today from the Mayor's office.

Lee Stephenson, Deputy Director of the Detroit Recreation Department, had ordered the sculptures taken down by October 31, 2003. 

In response, Davis organized a Stack-In for 1 p.m., October 30. The purpose of the event was to defend the rocks through passive resistance. 

A group of over 20 supporters had gathered near the White House on Belle Isle at 1 p.m. Just as the group was about to seek an audience with Park Manager Alicia Mintor, it was informed that a radio report indicated that the Mayor's office had intervened and ordered the Park to let the rocks stand.

"This is a small victory for public art in Detroit," said Davis, "but our struggle is not over yet. Our goal is to avoid this kind of confrontation in the future by establishing a dialog with the city that includes artists, the public, the Cultural Affairs department, and any other concerned city departments, such as, in this case, Recreation."

On receiving the news of the Mayor's order, the group moved to the site of the installation, where Davis stacked more rocks and spoke to both supporters and the press. The event was covered by WJBK Channel 2 News, the Metro Times, the Detroit Free Press, and WDET radio.

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.