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Floating Citadel
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Plans for New Outdoor Sculpture at Huntington Place Unveiled

Karen Totaro, general manager for ASM Global, announced plans for a stunning new public art outdoor sculpture for Huntington Place by internationally-acclaimed artist Scott Hocking. The 15-foot diameter bronze sculpture, “Floating Citadel,” will be located in the main circle drive of Huntington Place in downtown Detroit. The installation of the sculpture is expected to be complete by late summer.

“This spectacular sculpture will be placed in the position of the original French settlement of Detroit in 1701, the same land where Huntington Place now resides,” says Totaro. “Antoine de la Monthe Cadilac, a French officer, established the original citadel for his settlement on the same bank of the mighty Detroit River that our visitors enjoy today. It is so meaningful to encapsulate part of the history of this city we love into a beautiful piece of art that will last generations.”

Hocking’s “Floating Citadel” is joining the public art collection at Huntington Place that includes work by internationally respected artists such as Hubert Massey, Robert Sestok, William Bevan and Gilda Snowden, among others.

“We are thrilled to reveal Scott Hocking as the artist for this stunning civic sculpture, which will welcome our community and visitors to the world-class Huntington Place convention center,” says Lisa Canada, Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) Board Chair and DRCFA Art Foundation Chair. “The sculpture is a beautiful piece that will join our other significant artworks at the convention center as we continue to expand our free public art collection.”

Focused on Detroit history and Huntington Place’s status as a global hub of activity, “Floating Citadel” is inspired by everything from ancient native shorelines and French voyageurs, to the city’s current status as an artistic, creative and entrepreneurial beacon. It is influenced by the Savoyard Creek and the original Detroit River edge, which ran within steps of this sculpture’s site. The sculpture takes its name from the original walled village boundaries and its defensive core, “the Citadel,” which was located where this sculpture will stand.

The bronze sculpture harkens back to thousands of years of mining in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the copper and iron ore that traveled down the Great Lakes to Detroit, creating an industrial giant and auto-industry capital for over 100 years. All of these highlights through history occurred right where this sculpture will be installed, at the corner of Washington and Jefferson, and the work will incorporate all of these qualities, to create a monument that speaks to Detroit’s past, present, and future.

“From our first meetings just before the COVID quarantine, to applying the final patina to the bronze, I’m excited to install this work – it’s been a long time coming,” says Hocking. “The whole team at Huntington Place has been great, and I was thrilled that my proposal was chosen. To have a large-scale sculpture in Detroit’s civic center, joining the likes of Noguchi, Graham, Fredericks, Barr and De Giusti, and to have it located in front of the place that I’ve gone to since I was just a kid at the Auto Show is a real honor.”

Hocking’s artwork has been exhibited internationally, including the Van Abbemuseum, the Kunst-Werke Institute, Kunsthalle Wien, the Gare St Sauveur of Lille, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, ASU Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Smart Museum, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, PAFA Museum, the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum, MOCAD, Broad Museum at MSU, and the University of Michigan. He has received multiple awards, including a Kresge Artist Fellowship, a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant, and an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship. His work is represented locally by David Klein Gallery, Detroit. According to Maureen Devine, art curator for Huntington Place, Hocking was selected through a national competition launched by the DRCFA Art Foundation. The Selection Committee includes:

  • Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture, City of Detroit
  • Don Tuski, President, College for Creative Studies
  • Dennis Nawrocki, Art Historian and Author of “Art in Detroit Public Spaces”
  • Carina Villinger, Art Advisor and Appraiser, Artes Advisory
  • Grace Serra, Art Curator/Coordinator, Wayne State University
  • Hubert Massey, Detroit-based Artist
  • Greg DeSandy, Director of Sales and Event Services, Huntington Place Detroit

Detroit joins major convention centers throughout the country featuring public art including cities such as San Diego, Chicago, Nashville, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C.

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