The Blue LoopRobert Park (1946)

Status

Extant

Address

6303 Park Lake Road, Bath, 48808, United States

Built

2016 to present

Visiting Information

To arrange a visit to the site, call Robert Park at (517) 604-8900. 

About the Artist/Site

Since around 2016, Robert Park has “upcycled” thousands of blue objects to form The Blue Loop–a winding 1,000 foot art installation in the woods behind his home in Bath, Michigan. Park has been an artist since childhood and earned a BFA from Michigan State University in 1969. In addition to creating his art environment, he maintains a studio practice, and his mixed media and found object assemblage work was displayed in an exhibition called Quantum Entanglement at MSU in 2017. 

The Loop consists of blue found objects manipulated to form oftentimes humorous tableaus captioned with tongue-in-cheek labels by Park. One sign post features the “blue map rule” which is simply “follow the blue.” More signage labels a tree as blue, complete with “blue roots.” A rectangular installation made of stones, blue tile, a navy tarp, and a modular blue backboard is named “tomb of the unknown blue.”

“You can’t help being influenced by things that you see,” he said. “Some people have described my work as being cosmic and exploring things beyond our natural realm, so I hope that when people see my work, they get cosmically inspired a little bit…whatever that means,” says Park about his creative practice. 

The installation was threatened with forced removal by the Bath township in 2018 when a judge determined all of the items in The Blue Loop–with the exception of a single plastic duck–were “junk.” After a judge ordered Park to remove the artwork from his yard, the public rallied together to demand the township allow Park to continue his work. Chair of the Bath Public Art Committee, Melissa Eggleston, sold blue rubber ducks to Loop supporters, and they began appearing around town as tiny endorsements of Park’s fight to protect his environment. Park appealed the ruling, and he and the township reached a settlement–Park would build a privacy fence between the Loop and the road it abuts and agree to not expand the footprint of the site, though he is allowed to make additions and modifications to the Loop as he sees fit.

 

Sources:

Materials

found objects

Map & Site Information

6303 Park Lake Road, 48808 us
Latitude/Longitude: 42.7934601 / -84.4376363

Nearby Environments

Ron Mann

Clio, Michigan

Italian American Historical Artistic Museum

Redford Charter Township, Michigan

Bernardo Puzzuoli

Sterling Heights, Michigan

Spectra-Gate

Detroit, MI

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