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Win or lose

Hey, what’s a guy to do anymore? World-renowned Detroit artist Tyree Guyton, after being honored by the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit, and then having his generous, open-hearted, genius installations demolished by two Detroit mayors (Young in 1991 and Archer in 1999), finds himself the subject of an award-winning documentary. Come Unto Me: The Faces of Tyree Guyton, a portrait of the artist and his neighborhood-transforming Heidelberg Project, picked up an Emmy for outstanding achievement in editing, just the latest in the film’s many awards (including prizes at the Aspen Shortsfest, the Sundance Film Festival, the Newport International Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival, among others). Produced and directed by Nicole Cattell and edited by Po Kutchins and Richard H. Smith, this short should be as much a source of pride for the City of Detroit as it is for Guyton. But since recognition and public acclaim for the Heidelberg site have preceded the arrival of city bulldozers in the past, Guyton might just expect the worst. Man, how many auspicious institutions and individuals have to praise Guyton’s work before his fellow citizens (and administrators downtown) realize the importance of what we’ve all been privileged to witness from this man? George Tysh is the Metro Times arts editor. E-mail him at

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