Sense of place and history inform artist Scott Hocking’s new sculpture to be installed downtown

What’s happening: Renowned Detroit artist and kayak enthusiast Scott Hocking has been announced as the artist whose work will be featured at Huntington Place, to be installed and prominently displayed in front of the Detroit convention center. It’s expected that Hocking’s sculpture, titled “Floating Citadel,” will be installed by late summer. That’s good timing. Huntington Place is site to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which itself is set to return to the city in September after two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Detroit artist Scott Hocking. (Photo: Marcus Lyons)Sense of place: Hocking’s spherical “Floating Citadel” is 11 ft. in diameter and made from bronze. The artist’s sense of place and the city’s history influences the sculpture, through and through. Hocking found himself inspired by Savoyard Creek and the original Detroit River edge, natural water features once located nearby and since paved over and built upon as the city developed. The name itself, “Floating Citadel,” comes from the nickname European settlers gave to the city in its earliest days as a walled village — “the Citadel” — the site of which was located where the sculpture is set to be installed.

[Read “Detroit artist Scott Hocking kayaks through the quarantimes” as part of the Model D Explorer Series.]

National competition: Hocking’s work was selected through a national competition launched by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) Art Foundation. It’s the DRCFA that executes operational control of Huntington Place. The selection committee included Rochelle Riley, Director of Arts and Culture, City of Detroit; Don Tuski, President, College for Creative Studies; and several other notables.

Hocking’s work was selected through a national competition launched by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) Art Foundation.
Hocking’s spherical “Floating Citadel” is 11 ft. in diameter and made from bronze.
What they’re saying:
"From our first meetings just prior to the Covid quarantine, to applying the final patina to the bronze, I'm excited to install this work — it's been a long time coming,” says Hocking. “The whole team at Huntington Place has been great, and I was thrilled that my proposal was chosen. To have a large-scale sculpture in Detroit's Civic Center, joining the likes of Noguchi, Graham, Fredericks, Barr and De Giusti — and to have it located in front of the place that I've gone to since I was just a kid at the Auto Show — it's a real honor."

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MJ Galbraith is Model D's development news editor. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.