Brighton Biennial sculpture exhibit brings ‘Metropolis’ to city

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The Brighton Arts and Culture Commission is bringing at least four new pieces to downtown Brighton this year as part of the Biennial Sculpture Exhibit. The Sculpture Exhibit is one of the Commission’s most noteworthy projects and has been ongoing since its first installment of pieces in 2009.

The exhibit features local and regional artists and can be experienced throughout the downtown. Most of the 2017 selections for the exhibit are planned for installment in early fall; however, one piece has already found its home in Brighton.

Metropolis, which was crafted by the Nordin Brothers, will be spending the next two years in its temporary home between the Millpond and Main Street.

Artists Erik and Israel Nordin say that the idea behind Metropolis was a city that surrounds a body of water – making it a fitting piece for the City of Brighton. Taking a closer look, one can start to see the symbolism within the piece. The geometrical grid is meant to represent a topographical view of a city, and a blue glass ball centered within the piece symbolizes water. The small, metal spheres throughout represent people, and the two steel arcs on either side of the grid symbolize energy surrounding the city. Metropolis stands approximately 14 feet tall and is made from stainless steel, oxidized carbon steel, and glass.

The Nordin Brothers have been creating sculptures together for 15 years in their Detroit studio, and many of their sculptures can be found in cities throughout Michigan. Erik Nordin, who is a Brighton Township resident, says that he and Israel are very proud to have this sculpture placed in Brighton.

“Each of our sculptures tell a unique story and all of our pieces are one of a kind,” he said. “Israel and I believe that our sculptures generate conversations that we hope bring people together.”
The Brighton Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit has grown to define downtown Brighton as a place to experience the arts. The new pieces brought in during the Biennial Exhibit are reinvigorating that experience.

Claudia Roblee, Chair of the Brighton Arts and Culture Commission, believes that the exhibit is its version of an art museum without walls.

“As with Metropolis, each sculpture displays the artist’s vision, heart, and soul,” Roblee said. “The viewer, even not knowing the vision, can be moved by this. The City of Brighton is made much more interesting and beautiful because this exhibit is here.”

The next piece to join the exhibit is scheduled for installment in early September. For more information and a walking tour guide, visit


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