|Jay Holland lived in this neighbourhood.|
|Bruce Blyth lived in this suburban area.|
I could go on an on, listing artist after artist, all living in suburban communities, but I will stop with just one more example: Marshall Fredericks, best known to the average Detroiter as the man responsible for the Spirit of Detroit sculpture sitting at the foot of Woodward Ave in front of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center. Fredericks lived for many years in Birmingham, Michigan, with his wife Rosalind until his death in 1998.
Fredericks was a very successful artist. I believe he owned the former Kresge Estate located in the area. If he didn't own it, he certainly controlled it – at least according to one of his sons. I went to a party there, thrown by the son, where I discovered a scale model study of the Spirit of Detroit tucked away in the old coach house and stable.
I asked the son if he was worried about getting noise complaints from the neighbours. He laughed and said no. The neighbours leased their property from his father Marshall Fredericks. There would be no complaints, I was assured. The great artist had woven himself deep into the suburban fabric.
In my experience, many artists enjoy the suburbs. In writing this piece I learned that when Bill Girard, Jay Holland, Chesley Odom, Gordon Orear, Bill Rauhauser, Robert Vigiletti and Tony Williams gathered to chat, the seven artists met at Borders in Birmingham – a suburb of Detroit.