Hatch Art launches crowdfunding campaign to restore Hamtramck Disneyland

A colorful medley of plastic horses, fan propellers, and other contraptions needs your help.

It's Hamtramck Disneyland, of course, the popular art installation by the late Ukrainian-born artist Dmytro Szylak that was recently sold to Hatch Art, a non-profit arts organization based in Hamtramck. About a month and a half ago, Hatch Art told MT of plans to begin a crowdsourcing effort to help them cover the costs of a $100,000 purchase.

Well, the all-or-nothing campaign has begun. Two days ago, Hatch Art launched "Save Hamtramck Disneyland" through Patronicity, a Michigan-based crowdfunding platform. Their goal is to raise $50,000 by August 20. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan State Housing Development Authority have agreed to match the donations if the goal is met.

The installation — which looks like what would happen if Walt Disney built a steampunk ship — was constructed atop two garages on properties Szylak owned. It was an ongoing, 30-year project that Szylak began after retiring from GM.

It's possible to interpret the assemblage as an experiment in renewability. Materials compound and build upon the layers beneath them in quirky, post-industrial glee. But materials degrade, wiring fails, and the art project becomes the sum of a community's efforts to sustain it. What began as a retired worker's hobby evolved into a tangible parable of the cities that surround it.

If Hatch Art achieves their goal, they will use the money for much-needed renovations and exciting initiatives, including the creation of an artist residency program and gallery space, as well as a publicly-accessible archive of the project. Other work would involve replacing the roofs of the garages supporting the art, installing security cameras and public safety lighting, and rewiring the electrical components that power the sculpture's mechanics.

In addition to visiting the Save Hamtramck Disneyland page, you can call 313-346-5465 or email [email protected] to learn more.

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