You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 6:48 a.m.

Reception celebrates new public artwork 'The Spirit of Ann Arbor'

By Courtney Sacco

Previous story: Liberty Street gets new public artwork

A public reception on Friday celebrated a new public art installation on Liberty Street titled "The Spirit of Ann Arbor."

Created by renowned artist Charles McGee and commissioned by building owner John Carver, the aluminum work sits on the face of 500-506 E. Liberty St.

Photographer Courtney Sacco captured these images.



Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

I don't understand. Is this art paid for by the city or was it commissioned and paid for by the building's owner? Why would this art be paid for by the city if it is on a private building?


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 4:03 a.m.

Geez, read the comments before yours and you will see it is totally privately paid for.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 6:29 p.m.

I think it is a VIOLENT piece of metal depicting angry people. If you disect the entirity into smaller groups of two, you can see someone being kicked or butted in each one. Kicked in the groin, kicked in the behind, kicked in the face, etc. Violent!!! so I gues in a way, it certainly depicts Ann Arbor!!


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

If the building owner paid for it, fine. If we paid for it, I want to return it.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

I'm sorry but that is a really elementary piece of art work. Really people? Not clever, not pretty, not interesting, just there. So many fine artists in the area and you pick that silly, unsophisticated, draft of a project? ugggghhh


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

Let it bwe said that the previous article about this said it was "privately funded"--as all art people put up should be.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 11:52 a.m.

The Spirit of Ann Arbor is scholarship, not squiggles.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 7:05 a.m.

Not my idea of "art," but Carver lad paid fer it oot o' his ain pocket, so ae'em nae gonna say it is ae waste o' money. But Geeze Carver! Gie us ae break!!! Does this make yer bldg "untouchable?"


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Is Piney Woods in Scotland?

Linda Peck

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

It looks great! I love private initiative! Thank you Mr. McGee and Mr. Carver!


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 9:42 p.m.

Well, at least it's not a pile of red girders.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

Since it hovers over a public sidewalk I wonder how much it weighs, who attached it to the brick and how?


Mon, Oct 8, 2012 : 2:16 a.m.

I saw them putting in the steelwork to support the piece it looked pretty good to me, they had masons dong to brickwork, and there is structural steel in that facade. One cannot just hang art or signs or anything else over public right of ways without following the rules...

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 1:12 a.m.

asking questions gets voted down 5-1 hey? :)


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 6:35 p.m.

This by itself is better than the $750,000 Hurinal. It doesn't look broken, it was commissioned locally, paid for voluntarily by people who wanted it; gorgeous, absolutely phenomenal in every way. If the Public Art Commission had even a SHRED of shame and/or humility, they would disband immediately upon seeing this; this is proof that public art is better when they are not involved.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 4:18 p.m.

Thank you, John Carver! This piece is dynamic, beautiful and so energizing! I truly appreciate the artist's perception of our invigorating community, and, more so, your committment to Ann Arbor. Thank you, again, for all you have done and continue to do for your and our town, Mr. Carver!


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 3:16 p.m.

I love his independence, "commissioned by building owner John Carve", he can do what he likes because he is the owner! I just hate when they (City Council) spend our tax dollars on stuff like this and we are suppose to be thankful.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

Great. Another piece of Not-Art to grace our public spaces.

Dog Guy

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

Having been to Liberty St. and viewed this work, I say it is a shame . . . a total shame to the boss and his Ann Arbor Public Art Commission because "The Spirit of Ann Arbor" very effectively evokes and celebrates the community which is the real Ann Arbor.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

This can't possibly be "public art." We all know that in order to have "public art" you need to confiscate money from the citizens, have hizzoner appoint a committee of lackeys and have that committee buy overpriced "art" from foreigners.

Wolf's Bane

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 12:28 p.m.

I think he nailed it; Ann Arbor is pretty much all White People dancing around with money. Nice job.

Dog Guy

Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

I'll hobble downtown to take a look because this work seems worth the effort and the photo isn't enough to judge. By the photo, this relief looks like it might have far more heft than a sign for a dance studio or a new bar "The Spirits of Ann Arbor."


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

If the want to improve the quality of life in downtown Ann Arbor they would clean the gum off the sidewalks.


Sat, Oct 6, 2012 : 12:04 p.m.

That photo certainly captures the "spirit of Ann Arbor". No, not that shiny art thing, I mean the DDA's parking meter machine there in the foreground.


Sun, Oct 7, 2012 : 12:27 a.m.

good eye, Brad