A closer look at Cass Corridor artist Robert Sestok

This month, Essay’d, a writing project I’m part of that publishes short, illustrated essays about contemporary Detroit artists, takes a look at the work of Robert Sestok, the longtime Cass Corridor artist whose one-year-old sculpture park is located just a stone’s throw from the El Moore.

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City Sculpture (design and plan), 2014. Courtesy of Robert Sestok.

The author of the essay is Dennis Nawrocki, a seasoned professor of art history at both Wayne State and the College for Creative Studies, as well as an old friend of Sestok’s and a deeply-rooted participant in the Detroit art scene. (He’s been writing about Cass Corridor art, in particular, since the early ’80s.)

“Rarely,” his new essay begins, “does one get to see a full bore display of an artist’s oeuvre, all at once and all in one place.” He continues:

Robert Sestok counts as the standout exception in the Motor City, where he has engineered, from purchase and design to sodding and installing, an open air anthology of his sculptural practice. His City Sculpture park, located at Alexandrine and the Lodge Freeway northbound service drive, features an array of some three dozen sculptures, each centered on concrete pads laid out in a grid. Encompassing four contiguous city lots, and furnished with Sestok-built benches to offer a respite and meditative break from strolling about, this expansive public-private sward—it is open seven days a week—is a welcome oasis within Detroit’s Cass Corridor neighborhood. Although City Sculpture is just a little over a year old, sculptor and painter Sestok has been embedded in the Detroit art scene from the early, simmering days of the “Corridor,” which saw the influx of a group of artists who established studios along Cass Ave….

Click here to read the rest of the essay, see some photos of Sestok’s sculptures, and to get to know an artist whose life and work have left a deep and abiding impression in our neighborhood. Your next visit to the sculpture park is sure to be a richer one.

City Sculpture, located at 955 W. Alexandrine, is open 9am-9pm, 7 days a week.

For a closer look at the work of more contemporary Detroit artists, pick up a copy of the just-published Essay’d: 30 Detroit Artistsavailable for purchase online or in person at the DIA & MOCAD gift stores, as well as at Pages Bookshop in northwest Detroit. Visitors to/residents of the El Moore can also find a copy to peruse in the El Moore library.

El Moore