From Red Bull to Sierra Mist, she has come a long way, metaphorically speaking, but one could say she only crossed the street. Michelle Tanguay, a resident artist at the Red Bull House of Art two years ago, is now leading a team of five artists in creating a new billboard for Sierra Mist that will appear in more than a dozen locations throughout Detroit. The Sierra Mist Exquisite Collaboration Billboard Project for Detroit was unveiled earlier tonight at a location across the street from the House of Art, close to Eastern Market. The project is timed to coincide with the roll-out of a “new logo and packaging” for Sierra Mist, according to a press release.
“I had this idea of a lemon twisting into a lime,” Tanguay recalled. Sierra Mist provided Tanguay a list of themes to pick from, with a lot of flexibility for content but very rigid color schemes. “I love that they limited our color palette,” she said. She painted the first layer just a few days ago. Earlier tonight, during the preview party, William Hanagan worked on his layer with markers. The other artists are Rick Butynski, better known as Malt, and two artists, Brian Lacey and Kobie Solomon, who went through the Red Bull program after Tanguay. “Her work is great,” Butynski said of Tanguay.
Tanguay really likes Sierra Mist Cranberry Splash and was seen throughout the evening drinking it. “I’m a big supporter of Pepsi in general,” she said, though she still likes to drink Red Bull every now and then. In the kitchen, Slow’s Bar-B-Q chef Brian Perrone led the preparation of delicious hors d’oeuvres incorporating Sierra Mist among the ingredients, like meatballs with a Sierra Mist glaze. Meanwhile, at the bar, seven mixed drinks, like Brazilian mimosa and island rum punch, all of which also included Sierra Mist, were served.
The event was marred only by DJ Muzzy, who in addition of playing the music unnecessarily loud, as if to prevent conversation, raised the volume in awkward fits and starts. A typical DJ might not be able to play a real musical instrument, like guitar or keyboards, but at least he can move the volume lever in a smooth manner suggesting a bare minimum of musical ability.
The closing party for the project will take on Saturday, September 27, at 6:00 p.m. at 2431 Orleans, near Eastern Market. Food by Perrone and Sierra Mist drinks will be served. The slated DJ for that evening, Damarii Saunderson, will hopefully perform his duties with the appropriate degree of deference to the main event.
The Sierra Mist Exquisite Collaboration Billboard Project for Chicago took place last week. Videos and photos from both Chicago and Detroit can be seen on the Sierra Mist Facebook page. Some planned locations for the billboards include:
- I-94 close to Van Dyke,
- I-96 at Schaefer,
- close to the I-94 and I-96 exchange,
- I-75 at Waterman,
- M-39 and W. McNichols, and
- close to the I-94 and I-275 exchange.