Here's an inspiring community art project out of Detroit spearheaded by a local resident who, with the help of local kids, decided to begin decorating abandoned homes in his neighborhood in the hopes of breathing some life back into the area.

This project is a good example of how art can be much more accessible and collaborative in nature than that of the gallery worthy pieces often deemed superior and controlled by a select few. 

In many ways, it also highlights an irony in popular culture regarding the legitimacy and recognition of the value of such "street art".  Take for instance the popularity surrounding street artist Banksy's latest residency in New York.  While the city's authorities were more less perturbed by the artists elusiveness and seemingly uncanny ability to create an audience at a moment's notice, local residents clearly believed there was inherent value in the work itself, despite its often shallow nature and loathsome reception from New York's art critics.

Similarly, the Heidelberg Project has its detractors, namely the city of Detroit for drawing such attention to a blighted neighborhood.  But what the authorities in Detroit and elsewhere seem to miss is that the act of acknowledgement is almost the entire point.  At its core, these installations are about drawing awareness to the locations themselves and furthermore toward a validation of the creators unique existence and perspective. Whether or not the installations are taken seriously by the artistic elite and local authorities is almost of no importance whatsoever.

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