House of Dank Acquires Jess Fendo's Art for Belle Isle Conservancy Donation

June 26th, 2024 Culture & Lifestyle
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House of Dank recently announced the acquisition of a unique art piece created by local artist Jess Fendo. The artwork, a giant football cleat transformed into a visual homage to Belle Isle and the Detroit River, was purchased for $10,000 during a silent auction. This purchase was part of Detroit's 2024 NFL Draft 'DCLEATED' program, which merges football and art to support various community causes. The funds from this auction were generously donated to the Belle Isle Conservancy, demonstrating House of Dank's dedication to community and cultural enrichment.

The 'DCLEATED' program, supported by City Walls x Visit Detroit, combines the vibrant worlds of football and art to showcase Detroit's creativity and community spirit. Local artists, including Jess Fendo, transformed football cleats into twenty large-scale art installations, each paired with a nonprofit organization. These artworks were displayed around downtown Detroit during the NFL Draft, highlighting the city's commitment to community-driven initiatives and creative expression.

Fendo's piece, featuring elements of the historic Belle Isle Aquarium and an Old English "D" symbolizing Detroit, will be showcased at House of Dank's corporate office in Madison Heights. Plans are also underway to display the cleat at various upcoming events, further integrating art into community activities.

Marvin Jamo, owner of House of Dank, expressed pride in the purchase: "House of Dank is deeply rooted in Detroit. We started on 8 Mile over a decade ago as caregivers, and we continue to support the city, community, and culture that have supported us. This purchase not only benefits a cause we believe in but also provides us with a fantastic piece of art to share."

The Belle Isle Conservancy collaborates closely with Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the City of Detroit, and other partners to bring resources and improvements to Belle Isle. Since February 2014, the DNR has managed Belle Isle as a state park under a long-term lease, with the Conservancy advocating for the park, coordinating volunteers, operating the Belle Isle Aquarium, and fundraising for various projects.

In appreciation of House of Dank's contribution, the Belle Isle Conservancy offered a private tour of the Belle Isle Aquarium to their representatives. This gesture underscores the importance of donations in maintaining the aquarium as a free public attraction. Additionally, House of Dank is planning an event to raise further awareness and support.

Meagan Elliott, President and CEO of the Belle Isle Conservancy, remarked, "Thanks to the 'DCLEATED' program, Jess Fendo's vision, and House of Dank's generosity, the NFL Draft's energy continues to benefit Belle Isle. Donations like this keep the aquarium free for everyone to enjoy."

House of Dank plans to host Jess Fendo at their upcoming participation in Arts, Beats & Eats, a major Michigan festival in Royal Oak over Labor Day weekend. This collaboration may include a live painting installation or a custom line of exclusive accessories, with Fendo's cleat also on display at Dankland for public enjoyment.

Jess Fendo expressed her gratitude for being part of the 'DCLEATED' project, stating, "This initiative reflects our shared commitment to uplifting our neighborhoods. Creating something for the NFL Draft and supporting a nonprofit I am passionate about was unforgettable. I look forward to working with House of Dank in the coming months."

Through this latest collaboration, House of Dank continues to support local artists and community institutions. The partnership with the Belle Isle Conservancy and Jess Fendo highlights House of Dank's ongoing commitment to art, community, and philanthropy in Detroit.

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