By DAVE GORGON
For the Sunday Times
TAYLOR — A mural commissioned to honor Taylor’s 175th anniversary has arrived in the city.
The “interactive art,” called “Celebrating Taylor,” was delivered by originator Daniel Cascardo to members of the Taylor Historical Commission and Historical Society at the Taylor Historical Museum in Heritage Park. The mural is scheduled to be placed inside Taylor City Hall on a wall near the Goddard Road entrance.
The commission and society partnered with city officials and premier sponsor Beaumont Health on the 175th anniversary to remember Taylor’s history. Members of the history groups also commissioned the mural, which was one of the items funded by a grant from Beaumont.
The art project was one of dozens of history-related things to do during the anniversary celebration, held on Aug. 6 at Heritage Park. Taylor was founded as a township on March 16, 1847. Taylor Township incorporated as the City of Taylor in 1968. The year 2022 is the 175th anniversary of the founding of Taylor.
Cascardo designed the piece with the community in mind.
“I call this type of work ‘interactive art’ because I engage, inspire and allow people to be part of my art-making process,” he said. “I was given a list of all the wonderful things about Taylor. I then illustrated the list in my style of work hoping to capture the energy and spirit of the city.”
Cascardo delivered the canvass to Heritage Park the morning of the celebration. Throughout the day, visitors to the park were encouraged to review the outlined images that were part of the piece, select one of the items on the canvass and paint it in the color of their choosing. Cascardo then put the finishing touches on the artwork to make it a colorful memory of the day and the “past, present and future” theme of the 175th anniversary celebration.
“The finished art should give the community a snapshot of the many wonderful things that the city has to offer,” Cascardo said. “The colors, patterns, shapes and symbols hopefully bring a positive feeling of living in Taylor.”
Taylor resident Patty Donahue, who was part of the 175th planning committee, said she saw another Cascardo piece at a fundraising event for Alternatives for Girls in Detroit and thought such a project would be “perfect” for the 175th anniversary celebration. “What I liked so much about it for the 175th was that residents could participate,” said Donahue, who oversees the Goodwill Garden in Heritage Park. “It’s also a fun thing to do.”
She said she appreciated the concept of Cascardo taking the theme of the artwork, designing the framework off campus and then setting it up in a public location that could be viewed by many.
Taylor Mayor Tim Woolley was one of the community members who painted the artwork and was on hand for its delivery. He said the final piece needed to be somewhere public where it could be viewed by many.
“I thought it was a great idea that allowed residents to take part in our history,” Woolley said. “I think it turned out great and it will be adorning City Hall in the next couple of weeks.”
Cascardo was happy to hear the art would hang in City Hall.
“I think that is awesome,” he said. “I am glad that it might be the first thing visitors see when going to the City Hall.”
Donahue noted “Celebrating Taylor” is not Cascardo’s first piece of art in Taylor. He painted the colorful life-size cow in the educational building of the Heritage Park Petting Farm. Years ago, he also created a large mural at the Taylor Sportsplex that engaged many Taylor students.
Cascardo has worked with the Downriver Council for the Arts when the organization was located on Northline Road in Taylor. Most of his work is displayed in private collections, churches and other institutions. He has outdoor murals in Ferndale and Big Rapids, and several at the Hubbard Street Mural Project in Chicago.
“I believe that it is important to foster creativity and support for the arts,” he said. “I am truly grateful for the people of Taylor for commissioning me to capture the spirit of their city and to all those people who were part of my mural-making process.”
For more information about Cascardo, go to his websites www.danielcascardo.com and www.artactionexperienc.com. Find him @dcascardo on Instagram and Daniel Cascardo on Facebook.