Zip US Up! Collaborative Art Project - Public Exhibition and Sale
Baldwin Public Library
300 W Merrill St.
Birmingham, MI 48009

Zip US Up! is an artistic statement that affirms when we all come together, we can create something more meaningful than each of us individually. One of the things that makes our country special is that is it a giant melting pot of people, cultures, beliefs, and ideas. This past year has shown that we all need to reach out and respectfully collaborate with each other if our society is going to collectively improve itself and prosper for everyone’s benefit.

Zip US Up!™ is a challenging and experimental diversity-based project. 40 artists from around the country have been selected to collaborate on a 40-panel (one for each artist) canvas mural to be exhibited in the windows of the newly opened Youth Wing of the Baldwin Public Library in Birmingham, Michigan, a city located in Metro Detroit. The windows overlook Shain Park, Birmingham’s centrally located downtown park.  The project is initiated and organized by private individuals for public benefit and to benefit the artists selected to participate as the art are for sale.

40 artists have created their own canvas panel provided by the Project Team. Artists were required to collaborate with the adjacent artist to the right and left of them to make a cohesive piece that uniquely represents their own artistic style while using the predetermined connecting points provided on the canvas. (The collaboration is assumed to be virtual with each artist working from their current location.) The canvases were zipped together (using multicolored Riri metal zippers) to create a 185-foot mural and is on exhibit until May, 2022.

Art sold during the exhibition will be shipped to the buyer at the conclusion of the exhibition at the purchaser’s expense. Payment to the artist shall be 70% of the artist’s specified sale price.  The Lawrence Street Gallery shall retain 30% of the sale price as a commission related to managing sales, packing and shipping coordination, and for hosting the project on its website.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           CONTACT: David Bloom

(248) 765-5664 



  • A diverse 9 judge panel* has awarded the best 3 panel collaborative prize to the artists of panels 32-34: Barbara Rydz Ross of Barrington, IL; Rosemary Lee of Howell, MI; and Peg Belcastro of Shermansdale, PA.
  • Best individual panel prizes have been awarded to panel 2: Greg Hinlicky of Toms River, NJ, and panel 38: Wendy Popko of Sterling Heights, MI.
  • Honorable Mentions for the collaborative are panels 7-9: Bruce Campbell of Royal Oak, MI; Daniel Cascardo of Huntington Woods, MI; and Julie Meridian of San Jose, CA; and panels 15-17: Carol Luc of Chicago, IL; Jan Filarski of Ray, MI; and Allise Noble of Saginaw, MI; and for the individual is panel 20: Christine Otis of Naples, FL.
  • Claudia Hershman of Huntington Woods, MI (panel 6) was awarded a handcrafted artisan’s lamp by Eastworks Detroit for his favorite local artist panel.
  • The mural will be on display through May in the windows of the newly opened youth wing of the Baldwin Public Library in downtown Birmingham, MI.

ZIP US Up! Drone Flyby Video Link (2:54):

Project Website and Panel Sale:

 BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (February 1, 2022) An artistic statement – involving 40 artists from around the nation from Honolulu, HI to Hoboken, NJ with their creative and colorful canvases – highlights Birmingham Michigan’s contribution to promoting the benefits of collaboration and diversity over divisiveness. The 185-foot mural project called “Zip US Up!” at the Baldwin Public Library (300 W. Merrill St., Birmingham, MI) is made from 40 distinct canvases zipped together with Riri zippers to create one seamless design as a beacon to foster unity through inclusion and collaboration.

“This project affirms when we all come together, we can create something more meaningful than each of us individually,” said David Bloom, co-creator and producer of the project. “Each artist had to collaborate with the adjacent artist to the right and left to make a cohesive piece that uniquely represented their own artistic style.”

Participating artists were selected through an online competition over last summer by a panel of 9 judges* including Barbara Heller, Director and Conservator of Special Projects at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Chad Smith, drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

The mural is exhibited in the library’s windows through May 2022 and the art can be viewed and purchased online at

The award winners are receiving cash prizes totaling $2,700, and all participating artists are receiving gifts from Grinstein Jewelers, Eli Tea, Commonwealth Coffee and Caruso Caruso of Birmingham, MI. Zip US UP! artist sponsorships and project donations were provided by Parks Tailoring (Birmingham, MI), Riri Zippers (Switzerland), Wolverine Contractors (Birmingham, MI), Detroit Guitar (Birmingham, MI), Steel Technologies (Louisville, KY), Market Square (Birmingham, MI), Ahn and Han CPA’s (Bingham Farms, MI), Arnold Joseff (Bloomfield Hills, MI), RWP Kinsale (Novi, MI), Robin Schwartz (Detroit, MI), Townsend Hotel (Birmingham, MI), SEE Eyewear (Birmingham, MI), Frangipane + Teak (Birmingham, MI), Julian Prince (Farmington Hills, MI), Eastworks Detroit (Ferndale, MI), Haberman’s Fabrics (Clawson, MI), David Bloom (Birmingham, MI), Laura Host (Birmingham, MI), and Barbara Heller (Birmingham, MI).

* Judging Panelists:

  • Barbara Heller – Director of Conservation and Special Projects, Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Chad Smith – Red Hot Chili Peppers and Philanthropist
  • David Chung – University of Michigan MFA Program Director, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Doran Brooks – Executive Chef, White Wolf Patisserie, Clawson, MI
  • Ilham Mahfouz – Artist and Adjunct Professor, University of Detroit Mercy, West Bloomfield, MI
  • Izegbe N’Namdi – Director, N’Namdi Center, Detroit, MI
  • Joyce Raimando – Pollock-Krasner House Education Coordinator and Imagine That! Art Education, East Hampton, NY
  • Laura Host – BBAC instructor and owner Lawrence Street Gallery, Ferndale, MI
  • Robert Ziegelman – Library architect and principal at Luckenbach Ziegelman Architects, Birmingham, MI
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