Sterling Heights

Photo Essay: Digital map guides art trail visitors through Sterling Heights

As Sterling Heights continues to grow its public art collection, the city has developed an innovative app to guide visitors around its displays.
Art Map
uses GIS technology to identify the location of all major pieces of commissioned public art and takes guests on a journey around the city's visual delights. With fall colors starting to set a dramatic backdrop, Metromode’s Joe Powers went on the trail to discover some of the impressive outdoor art around the city.


Burst by Ray KatzThe sculpture by prominent Pontiac artist Katz is a composition that expresses rhythm, action, and movement. Originally part of the SterlingScapes III Exhibition (2004 to 2006), Burst was purchased by the Sterling Heights Cultural Commission and the City of Sterling Heights for permanent display in 2006.


Oracle I by Jerome SobleThe aluminum and stained glass Oracle series by Orchard Lake artist Soble was designed to intrigue the viewer with motion, color, and shape. In the three years since it has been on display, “Oracle I” has become a focal point of the city center and a favorite among children who interact with the whimsical piece by spinning its three glass arms.


Two Bears by Marshall M. Fredericks

Two Bears, commissioned by the Friends of the Sterling Heights Public Library in 1981, is a six-foot bronze sculpture of a mother bear and a cub, originally cast in 1964. Fredericks (1908-1998) is known for his figurative sculpture, public memorials, exuberant fountains, and whimsical sculptures of animals. The artist was the recipient of many American and foreign awards and decorations for his artistic and humanitarian achievements and a museum at Saginaw Valley State University, which houses a collection of more than 200 works spanning the length of his career.
Spiral Note by John PietThe art of Piet is inspired by music, which takes a syncopated rhythm in his work. Spiral Note is just one note that leads to another work for the Southfield artist.


Xs & O by Mark BeltchenkoBeltchenko’s sculpture is part of a series of works that address how our past experience tends to cloud our ability to find new meaning in that which is familiar. We have a tendency to see what we have always seen. The Pleasant Ridge artist’s work was originally part of the SterlingScapes II Exhibition (2001 to 2004).

Receiver by Brian Alexander


Material energy and its infinite patterns and fields have provided the foundation for Douglas artist Alexander. Receiver is inspired by light traces and the patterns of amber created in a truck’s rear-view mirror as it vibrates down the road.


Reading Girl (das Lesendes Mädchen)The Reading Girl adorns Sterling Heights’ children’s garden on the art trail around the city.


Read more articles by Kate Roff.

Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at