The potential impact of art in health interventions has been increasingly studied and confirmed in recent years. Our third challenge prompt demanded we take a look through this lens, focusing on ways to inspire healthy, active lifestyles. My team of five chose to focus on reaching youth living on the east side of Detroit.
We began our research by visiting clinics, hospitals and community centers. We spoke with art experts, health experts, and experts on the intersection of art and health. We had a guided tour of the DMC’s hidden gem of an art collection and explored the DIA.
In order to better understand our target audience, we went to a school, fitness program, and basketball league to interview youth, parents, and physicians. Some of the important conclusions that we drew from these conversations that transformed into our final product were as follows:
1) Frequent and high-speed traffic are prohibitive to outdoor play. Equipment & public spaces to play are limited.
2) Kids are attracted to interactive things, immediate accessibility, and vibrant colors.
3) Youth are influenced by their peers and enjoy a variety of physical activities including dance, organized sports, and biking.
Drawing on these insights, our team invited local youth to participate in an interactive art piece. The goal of the piece was to turn constraints into opportunities; to turn an empty warehouse, a rusted bike with two flat tires, and a blank canvas into a playground, exercise equipment, and art.
The piece was titled Limitless to mirror the concept. The old bike (salvaged from a team member’s garage) was propped on a trainer stand. After the tires were saturated in various brightly colored paints, the kids were invited to take the bike for a spin. As if splashing through a road puddle, the tire’s circular momentum flung paint backwards onto a canvas and painted the picture of fun, fitness, and finesse.
The piece will be featured at various health clinics throughout the city of Detroit. We invite you to get on and take it for a spin.
Let us know #WhatMovesYou using this hashtag on your favorite social media site.