For Immediate Release


Vince Cavasin/APLAUDD


Matthew Loflin Davis


Matthew Loflin Davis Thanks Mayor for Letting Stones Stand; Urges Dialog on Public Art

Detroit, MI – October 31, 2003 – Detroit artist Matthew Loflin Davis today issued a message of thanks to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s office for its role in rescinding the Recreation Department order to have the Belle Isle rock sculptures removed.

“I’m so glad I voted for him,” said Davis, referring to his support of Kilpatrick in the last Mayoral election, when news of the Mayor’s intervention arrived at the White House on Belle Isle. Davis was there with a crowd of supporters to conduct a peaceful “Stack-In” in protest of the removal order. 

“Finally, it looks like this city has an administration that public artists can work with,” he continued later. “I would like to personally thank the Mayor’s Office for this decision. I would also like to thank the people at the Cultural Affairs department, who have been very helpful and communicative since the beginning. These people include former Director Marilyn Wheaton, who continues to help me out, as well as current Director Karen Dumas, and James Hart.”

As a sign of his gratitude, Davis offered the Mayor’s Office a free stack anywhere they choose, and offered to make it permanent (by using mortar to hold it together) if they’d like.

Davis' message was delivered to the Mayor’s office by a colleague on Friday. 

The message also contained an overture. “As I’ve said before, it’s time for the Mayor’s office, Cultural Affairs, and people who make and love public art in Detroit to sit down and figure out how to avoid these sorts of situations in the future. I’m not  sure what the best solution is—certainly more communication between city departments would be a good start—but I think if we put our heads together, we can come up with a way to put the skills of the many great artists who live in this city to work to make it more beautiful for everyone.”

“Public art can be a huge asset for Detroit,” said Davis, “and I’d love to play a role in making it one.”

Davis collected over 40 signatures on a petition urging this sort of cooperation, all in the span of a one-and-a-half hour period on the island Thursday afternoon. Davis urges supporters to watch in the near future for news related to the petition and ways to get involved.

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.