Art project lights up street corner

Photo by Daniel Heraty

During the Glow Project, held Feb. 3 in a lot near the Dearborn Historical Museum and developed by University of Michigan students Ariya Kelly and Paolo Mastrogiacomo, about 150 residents participated in an interactive display of about 3,000 glow sticks draped along netting. Above, Residents Daniel and Sharon Alford move glow sticks during the display.

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – Empty lots usually don’t garner much attention.

But one on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Brady Street was visible for miles Feb. 3 when it was decorated with thousands of glow sticks.

The Dearborn Community Fund and the Dearborn Historical Museum, in collaboration with University of Michigan students Paolo Mastrogiacomo and colleague Airya Kelly, co-hosted the first-ever Dearborn Glow Project, an interactive display of 3,000 glow sticks.

The brainchild of Kelly and Mastrogiacomo, the plan initially called for installing tubes of light at the location, creating an interactive grid. That idea faded when the price tag came to about $1 million.

“I told (Mastrogiacomo), ‘That’s totally impossible’,” Kelly said. “But we could order 3,000 glow sticks and create a field.”

The revised display comprised a net where glow sticks were hung, which Kelley said represents Detroit’s electronic music scene and Dearborn’s history because of its location near the museum.

The project was the first such display created by Kelly and Mastrogiacomo, and Kelly said they want to create a series of exhibits.

“This was our first attempt, and we want to do more,” she said. “And we intend to escalate the level of intelligence and performance.”

Dearborn Community Fund Director EmmaJean Woodyard called the display and its location a Henry Ford and a possible Pure Michigan kiosk.

The new station will consolidate the allow for passengers to connect directly to The Henry Ford, potentially increasing tourism, Murray said.

“One of the things we talked about with The Henry Ford is a lot of school groups did not have access,” he said. “Now if they can take the bus to the Amtrak station and get to the Henry Ford, new activities can spin off from the station.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at