Innovative sculptures celebrating Woodward Ave to be unveiled in August

The artists behind the tribute sculptures planned for points along Woodward Avenue are putting the intricate finishing touches on the first two in the project: The Royal Oak Tribute and the Highland Park Tribute.

The 30-foot-tall lighted solar-powered glass and concrete interpretive sculptures, a project of the Woodward Avenue Action Association and the National Scenic Byways, will tell different stories at each location and honor the heritage of Woodward Avenue, which has been federally-designated as an All-American Road.

In Royal Oak, where organizers had hoped to unveil the sculpture in time for the Woodward Dream Cruise Aug. 16 – 18, the Royal Oak Tribute will honor the link to car cruising, drive-in theaters and such.

In Highland Park, says Lori Ella Miller, spokesperson for the Woodward Avenue Action Association, the tie-in will be Henry Ford and automobile innovation.

The Royal Oak sculpture will stand in the median at Woodward and 13 Mile and Highland Park’s will be at the corner of Gerald and Woodward, but neither will be ready until mid-August, “more like late August,” Miller says.

“You just want to be sure they’re done right,” she says.

“Iluminatinon events” will be held to unveil the sculptures.

“Our ultimate goal is to have eight to ten of these along Woodward,” Miller says. “We hope to start working on a Detroit Tribute next.”

The artists, Kyle Evans and his Royal Oak Tribute and Julie Jankowski and her Highland Park Tribute, are completing the concepts that link the past to the present. The $150,000 sculptures are paid for with federal grants and matching donations from  supporters such as businesses and nonprofits, and more contributions are needed, Miller says.

Source: Lori Ella Miller, Woodward Avenue Action Association
Writer: Kim North Shine