Ford, Detroit Company Turn Fallen Art At Michigan Central Station Into Jewelry

By Benjamin Raven
MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Workers with “Rebel Nell” toured the grounds of Detroit’s Michigan Central Station searching for fallen art and graffiti. They then took what they found back to the shop to start the process of making unique jewelry from their treasures.

MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

After sitting vacant in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood for nearly 30 years, the walls of the Michigan Central Station garnered quite a bit of graffiti and its new owners have found a way to even preserve fallen art from the historic building.

As Ford looks to make the iconic train station and Corktown neighborhood an “anchor” for Detroit’s comeback it continues to search for ways to preserve as much of the past as possible.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker commissioned Rebel Nell to “repurpose layers of graffiti paint from inside the massive building into one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry.”

Rebel Nell is based in Corktown, and works with the main mission of employing women transitioning from homelessness while educating them on issues such as budgeting, life skills, housing and legal aid, among others.

Amy Peterson, Rebel Nell’s CEO and co-founder, said in an interview with MLive it means the world Ford picked a small business out of Corktown for this project as they “could’ve easily outsourced this.”

“The first part is one of my favorites; the women we employ get to pick what color and shapes speaks to them (with a specific piece),” Peterson said. “Every piece is one of a kind because of where it came from and the women who made it.

“This is an amazing and incredible opportunity to preserve this legacy and history of the train station, especially for a small business like us to partner with Ford and the Ford fund. For Ford to even think to partner with us means a lot, and is a great symbol of how they’re developing and getting ingrained in the neighborhood.”

Workers with Rebel Nell toured the grounds as they searched for fallen art and graffiti inside Michigan Central Station, and then took it back to the shop to start the process of making the jewelry. Ford says in an email that only piece of fallen art and graffiti were used, “as they were respectful of the artists’ works.”

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