The idea for ArtsCorpsDetroit originated in a WSU Honors College service-learning course in winter term 2007. That semester Prof. Mame Jackson and a group of 22 students met weekly to discuss the role of art today, and the students worked as volunteers for Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project.
Some students worked directly with the artist Tyree Guyton and assisted him in creating the 14-foot welded steel sculpture, Invisible Doors that now stands at the entrance to the WSU campus near the Welcome Center. This brightly polka-dotted campus landmark, created by Tyree Guyton and four WSU sculpture students with two high school apprentices, was funded by a grant from the Joyce Foundation.
One of the WSU student volunteers, Mike Bogdan, had the following to say about his experience working on this sculpture project:
"Wayne State’s art curriculum sets a good foundation for the creation and understanding of art. I had a chance to expand upon this foundation by working with Tyree Guyton during the winter semester and summer of 2007. I was excited to have the opportunity to work on Tyree’s large-scale sculpture, Invisible Doors, from start to finish.
"Sculpture is a form of expression so vast that one could spend a lifetime trying to master the techniques and concepts. I have been privileged at Wayne State to be taught many of the techniques passed down through the history of sculpture. I have learned welding, fabricating, casting, foundry process, modeling, and foundation. When I heard about the service-learning class based at the Heidelberg Project, I could not wait for the opportunity to work with internationally known painter and sculptor, Tyree Guyton. I became part of the “Sculpture Group” that consisted of Colin Griffin, Nate Vince, Matt Pawenski and myself. The purpose of the group was to work with Tyree in the completion of a sculpture for the Wayne State campus sponsored by a Joyce Foundation Grant.
"I worked with Tyree brainstorming for the sculpture and investigating materials and fabrication options and sources. Tyree started out by sharing his general ideas, drawings and maquettes. After absorbing all the information, we would gather around the table and analyze everything down to the minutest detail. He would share his experience and we would share ours. We accomplished much and headed off a lot of problems before they even began. We even traveled to different fabrication shops to get a feel for what our options were. Tyree included us in his work every step of the way and, in doing so, his work became our own. He gave us first hand experience in the process of making a large-scale sculpture. Large-scale sculpture is a rare opportunity for undergraduate students. I am lucky to have worked with Tyree and with the Joyce Foundation. I learned things that the academic process alone could not provide. I feel that the exposure broadened my horizons."