Memorial to Native Peoples/Border Baroque
(Memorial located west of this intersection in Wick Park between Martin Luther King Blvd and Davenport)
Border Baroque #1 is part of a series of multi-layered works that look at immigration and US borders – those crossing over as well as those living here. Who came first? Who is the immigrant? From the earliest settlement at the river came our first footpath and trail into a road – one later called Woodward.
With a history of people arriving here from all over the globe, Detroit is a great intersection for many cultures. Crossing rivers, oceans, bridges and borders they came to find work and we took them in. They arrived at Michigan Central and took cable cars into the city where Woodward was a central artery separating east from west. This artery continues to reflect the migration and ensuing cultural diversity of our city.
Vito Jesus Valdez, second generation Mexican-American was born in Wyandotte, MI, and has been an artist and educator for more than two decades. While serving in the U.S. Army as a surgical tech, he re-discovered his love of art and enrolled at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit upon his discharge.
Valdez left the U.S. in 1988 to work as an independent artist in Montreal, Canada and later received an artist-in residence award from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. He subsequently received invitations to exhibit in Havanna, Cuba; Zacatecas, Mexico; Germany, and Paris, France.
Since his return to the States in 1992 his concentration has been on community art projects on the U.S./Canadian border in Detroit, and has received numerous grants and public art commissions. His most recent mural was for the Detroit Public Library Campbell Branch. Valdez also works in the education department at the Detroit Institute of Arts and continues to exhibit his work in Canada and the U.S.