During the North American International Auto Show there will be more reported about autos, auto technology and automotive personalities than may be covered at any other time this year. If you love cars then this is your time to take it all in and visit the show and enjoy the excitement of this unique downtown Detroit experience. Hopefully many of you will also take the opportunity to run around downtown and enjoy the sights and sounds of a friendly and vibrant city center especially if you haven’t been a regular visitor. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
While downtown one of the places to visit is The Rink at Campus Martius Park and the Fountain Bistro. Bring your ice skates and enjoy the outdoor festivities and stunning historic architecture of the landmark Penobscot Building to the contemporary Compuware and Quicken Loans Headquarters and One Kennedy Square Buildings scenery. The 2.5 acre park anchors the city’s commercial center and heart of downtown Detroit. Just off Woodward Avenue, the Campus Martius district has plenty of convenient parking and offers over 35+ dining options.
While you are out and about enjoying the Park, all of you auto buffs will want to visit the atrium lobby of the Compuware Building and check out the 2nd annual Detroit Knows Cars (DKC) art exhibit. (And it’s a great place to get out of the cold and enjoy some warm refreshments at either the Hard Rock Café or Texas de Brazil steakhouse.) The art exhibit illustrates a variety of different approaches to portraying the aesthetics, attraction, and significance of automobiles. The 2013 exhibit includes painting and photography by more than a dozen artists – and some of these attractive works are available for sale. If you like cars you’ll enjoy the exhibit.
Compuware’s art curator and community garden program manager Megan Heeres told me the company uses art to connect the dots between the Detroit community, employees and business visitors by making the headquarters a preferred downtown destination. By showcasing different art forms in their lobby throughout the year Compuware is consciously working to attract guests by giving them a reason to visit. Some upcoming exhibits in 2013 include an employee art show; promoting the works of several local artists; supporting a local Black History month film festival; and a sculpture program related to the company’s Lafayette Greens urban garden just two blocks from its headquarters. An artist herself, Heeres says that the Detroit Knows Cars art has drawn many new faces both at the opening reception and the early days of the exhibit.
Steve Purdy, one of the producers and an exhibitor as well, says the mission of the DKC is to create the premier automobile art event in the world, with the eyes of the art world turned to Detroit as the home of a unique art competition that will grow in stature each year and become recognized as a “must see” art experience. http://www.detroitknowscars.com/index.html . Plans are underway to offer cash prizes next year in an automotive art competition that attracts hundreds of entries from around the world.
BOTTOM LINE: If you like cars and are planning to go to the Detroit Auto Show don’t miss this opportunity to also visit Campus Martius Park and enjoy some outdoor ice skating; see some cool automotive art; and have a great meal all right in the heart of downtown Detroit.