The MI Apple Trail is a public art project sponsored by Eastern Market in Detroit that features four foot tall, 3-dimensional apples that will be decorated by local artists and displayed at farmers markets throughout southeast Michigan through mid-September.
The project aims to help promote a bountiful crop of Michigan apples and the great farmers markets that serve Oakland, Wayne and Genesee Counties.
Downtown Farmington’s edition will be on display on the grounds of George F. Riley Park, near the Walter E. Sundquist Pavilion, home of the Farmington Farmers & Artisans Market for about six weeks.
Part of the project includes a Passport Program. Passports will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at participating markets. Individuals who visit five different markets to have their passports validated will be eligible to enter a drawing for great prizes. Simply drop your completed passport in the mail.
At the end of the project, decorated apples will be harvested and returned to Eastern Market to be showcased with the whole peck until the Apple Gala and Auction in October. Proceeds from the auction of the apples will be returned to the farmers market from where it originated.
Downtown Farmington Artist Profile
The husband-and-wife duo of Geoff and Marty Merrill are the talented artists who volunteered to decorate the apple which will be displayed in Downtown Farmington. The Merrill’s make their home in Farmington Hills.
Marty is a frequent vendor at the Farmington market, where she sells hand-made necklaces, bracelets and earrings at the Jewelry Cottage. It was she who connected with the Farmington Downtown Development Authority when a call for artists was announced. Marty is a graphic artist who opened MacMarty Advertising with her late mother, Dorothy McLean, in 1968. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University.
Geoff is a respected contemporary artist whose works have been on display at some of the finest Michigan fine arts competitions, including the Detroit Artists’ Market, Detroit Institute of Arts and Wayne State University. Geoff is a graduate of Wayne State University (incidentally, where he met his wife over 30 years ago) and previously studied painting in Florence, Italy.
“I applaud the Merrill’s for taking on this fantastic project,” said Annette Knowles, DDA Executive Director. “They were so enthusiastic and so creative with their ideas for the apple, I knew right away they were perfect candidates for the job. I am confident this will become a terrific piece that will endear the community.”
Although no date has been announced, the Merrill’s will receive public recognition at a future market for their contributions.
“Taking on this project was a huge commitment. We really appreciate the Merrill’s efforts to put the polish on our big apple.”