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I Am the Greatest sculputre by John Sauve

A small plate and wine pairing event
Saturday, Nov 18, 2017, 1-4pm, $65

Contact The Boulevard Inn on 269-983-6600 to purchase tickets.

A Food & Wine Affair

A ride to raise funds for at-risk youth at ARS & CRC
Saturday, July 29, 2017, 11am

Check-in 11 am at ARS Arts & Culture Center (coffee & brioche)
Bike tour 11:30 - 1:30 pm
North Pier Brewing Co. 1:30 pm (cash bar & menu available)
Cost $30 includes a t-shirt, 1 beer & small bites
This is a sponsorship ride

ARS Arts & Culture Center and Cycle-Re-Cycle are teaming up once again for their collaborative bike tour of the “I Am The Greatest” sculptures throughout our community. This ride is a special fund-raiser for at-risk youth at both ARS and CRC to help us educate, enlighten, and empower our youth to do great things.

Each participant will receive a sponsorship form in which they will be asked to raise $250. Ten $25 or five $50 donations from each rider.

The “I Am The Greatest” sculptures were created by American artist John Sauvé, and are strategically placed in and around Benton Harbor and St. Joseph. The artist puts an emphasis on “building community through public art.”

Check-in begins at 11 am at ARS Arts & Culture Center where we will enjoy coffee, brioche, and a short introduction. The tour of the 18 sculptures begins at 11:30 am and ends at North Pier Brewing Co. at 1:30 pm where you will enjoy a beer and small bites on us. Cash bar and menu also available.


Sponsor an "I Am the Greatest" sculpture today!

A single " I Am The Greatest sculpture" costs $1000 per year to exhibit, full or partial sponsorships are very much appreicated! If you have any questions, please contact Anna Russo-Sieber on 269.208.4409, or the ARS Arts & Culture Center at 269. 277.5090.

"I Am the Greatest" Public Art Project

Anna Russo-Sieber IATG Dream Dinner

We are the home to the I Am The Greatest project, named for the famous mantra from the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali-who has ties to Southwest Michigan.

The I Am the Greatest Project was established in the Spring of 2012 around a series of 16 sculptures created by artist John Sauvé. Sauvé and ARS collaborated to install the sculptures throughout our community, which are not only a symbol of greatness for our area, but also inspiration for our I Am The Greatest arts-based workshops.

The sculpture and workshops create the I Am The Greatest project!

"I Am the Greatest" Workshops

I Am the Greatest sculputre by John Sauve

The workshops are designed to teach and assist youth in assessing their strengths and determining goals for their lives - through lessons about community, public art, and the history of Muhammad Ali. Teens also learn to express themselves through introspective writing, creating, and expressing their thoughts and feelings through artistic media.

The sculptures by Sauvé are bright orange representations of the struggle to overcome adversity, and are used to inspire youth to work through adversity.

For two weeks at a time we become much more than an art center and learning environment. We become a home! Meals are shared - values are modeled - theory and design are taught - and genuine expression is encouraged. The art center is a safe place and it’s this sense of security that fosters personal growth through positive interaction. (Over 60% of local youth have no organized after school program to attend.)

The I Am the Greatest project has gained broad recognition in the past 3 years, including the Muhammad Ali Center, who visited ARS during one of our workshops, and Marcel Parents, Education Director spoke to our youth about leadership. The Ali Center is partnering with us by adopting the I Am The Greatest Workshops and we are adding their 6 core principles to our education program. More to come on our collaboration!

“I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was.” — Muhammad Ali

How you can Help

IATG and Cee Cee

Opportunities are available to provide financial assistance for the “I Am the Greatest” workshops, youth summer camps, and after-school programming. For more information on how you can help support the youth workshops, please contact Anna Russo-Sieber on 269.208.4409, or the ARS Arts & Culture Center at 269.277.5090.

Thank you for considering the I Am the Greatest Project.

“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, then they can sure make something out of you.” — Muhammad Ali

Watch the Video


More! Watch the "I Am the Greatest" segment from The Expressionists, a short film by Doug Clark.

John Sauvé - creator of the I Am the Greatest sculptures

John Sauve

John Sauvé, born in 1963 in Detroit, is an American artist and arts educator. His medium is sculpture and printmaking and has achieved national and international recognition. He was awarded a grant from the Marc Ecco Foundation for his work Man in the City, the first public sculpture exhibit installed on the Highline in New York City. Sauvé studied art history at Michigan State University. After finishing his studies, he spent a year traveling through Europe continuing his education in art history, returning to Detroit to work for the Michigan Commission on Art in Public Places where he oversaw the installation of public art for the Percent for the Art Program. He concluded his studies with a degree in Arts Administration at Michigan State University.

John Sauvé references philosophy, literature and history by approaching the human figure with an idealized representation. Borrowing from Heidegger’s concept of “Dasein”, Jung’s interest in the shadow and the Faustian Legend, Sauvé’s sculpture is as much about the figure as the shadow it cast. This relationship highlights his interest in the question of being and the covenant the individual will make to exist. Sauvé challenges the viewer by presenting the figure in public spaces utilizing the environment as a way to question what it means to existence and relationship between the individual and the collective

Sauve’ is currently installing the Man in The City project in the cities of Detroit and Windsor. The Man In The City is an international sculpture project comprised of 40 sculptures located on the rooftops of prominent buildings throughout the two cities. The MITC project creates a metaphor for life that transforms the skyline and encourages people to look around. In the discovery process one becomes aware of their sense of place within the City.

John Sauvé installed the I Am the Greatest project in the City of Benton Harbor and the City of St Joe. The I Am the Greatest sculpture project comprised of 16 sculptures, which are located on the rooftops of historical buildings throughout the City of Benton Harbor and the City of St Joe. The I Am the Greatest project creates a metaphor for working through adversity and inspires the viewer to take notice of their surroundings and encourages people to look around.

John Sauvé’s work has been exhibited in such high-­‐profile venues as the Venice Biennale, Governor’s Island, the International Sculpture Exhibition in Chicago, Krasl Sculpture Biennale, The Highline, Art Chicago, Elon University Sculpture, Knoxville Sculpture, Birmingham Cityscapes, Delta College, The Ella Sharpe Museum, The Krasl Museum, Cliff Dwellers Chicago, EXPO Chicago, The Brighton Biennial and Millikan Park. John Sauvé’s sculptures have been displayed in numerous public spaces in the US, as well as in England, Canada, Germany, Japan and Italy.

147 Fifth St, Benton Harbor, MI 49022 • 269.277.5090 • arsarts.culture@gmail.com
Gallery Hrs: Tue-Sat noon - 4 p.m. Also open during evening classes.

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