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Villa Barr

Villa Barr Art Park Brings Art, Nature Together (Spring 2018 Novi Today article)

Villa BarrVilla Barr Art Park

22600 Napier Road
 

About Villa Barr

Villa Barr is a recent addition to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department of the City of Novi, Michigan. The four-acre property, previously owned by David Barr and dancer Beth Dwaihy Barr, includes a home, studio and multiple sculpture installations in a park setting. The home was designed by Chicago architect Laurence Booth to reflect David Barr’s personal aesthetic, one that was “…germinated by constructivist principles of art, fascination with nature’s innermost structural processes, and a belief in the promises of the American democratic experiment.”

Novi Parks FoundationThe intention of the park is to enhance art experiences in Novi whether by admiring the art installations or participating in a program at the site. Construction of a parking lot and pathway, along with amenities such as interpretive signage and respite areas, is scheduled to begin in mid-summer 2018 and completed in the fall.  The project is funded in part by Novi Parks Foundation and a grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs

A grand opening of the park will be shared with the community. 

The David Barr Legacy Artist Residency program has been established in collaboration with Michigan Legacy Art Park, a sculpture park which was founded by Barr and is located on the grounds of Crystal Mountain, in Thompsonville. The Friends of Villa Barr was instrumental in developing this new artist-in-residence program. The Friends of Villa Barr is a group of friends and family of David and Beth Barr, as well as Novi community members and art experts.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural AffairsA resident artist at Villa Barr will create a piece of work to be loaned to the City of Novi for no more than five years.  The artists may also lead tours, discussions or programs for the community. 

The Novi Cultural Arts Advisory Board has been instrumental in guiding public art in Novi including the sculpture exhibit  Fuerst Park, the Novi Civic Center Atrium Gallery and the placement of Barr’s Fate of Empires at Pavilion Shore Park.

Before his passing, Barr authored a book titled Villa Barr which details the home, grounds and sculptures.  The Novi Historical Commission sells the book through the Novi Public Library check-out desk for $20.         

David and Beth Barr in ScotlandAbout David Barr

David Barr (1939-2015) was an American artist, writer and educator influential in the development of North American Structuralism, an offshoot of early 20th Century Constructionism.  Throughout his prolific career, which spanned over 50 years, David Barr created works of art that expressed his personal creative philosophy which included the basic constructs of nature in combination with the constructive principles of art.

Barr’s work can be divided into three categories including public or monumental sculptures, structuralist reliefs, and global conceptual art. They all share an aesthetic that seamlessly melds the arts and sciences drawing upon such disciplines as geometry, geography, music, human relationships, historical events, political consequences, and contemporary science.

Watch the video  David Barr Mind & Steel
Watch the video  Barr Legacy