Nice Outfit is a temporary scenography commissioned by the Michigan Arts League to host performances in Detroit’s Harmonie Park. The project was produced in collaboration with the artist Olayami Dabls, best known for his urban-scaled constructs at the Detroit African Bead Museum. The invitation to bring Olayami Dabls’ visual and material sensibility to the epicenter of Detroit’s economic resurgence was neither innocent nor dogmatic. Rather, in its calibrated fusion of art and architecture, Nice Outfit explored ways that design can sponsor activity, sustain cultural heritage, and engage public discourse.


The installation, alluding to themes from the African diaspora, introduced a family of nine wooden forms. Wearing nice outfits, they are a friendly entourage. Hand painted layered surfaces and reflective mirrors create abstract flickering effects with color and light, while anamorphic projections multiply the number of figures in the crowd.


Detroit, Michigan



Anya Sirota

Jean Louis Farges


In collaboration with:

Olayami Dabls


Project team:

Ian Donaldson

Matthew Story

Annelise Heeringa


With assistance from:

Alan Lucey, Ryan Mason, Ashley Daniels, Hanna Jeffers, Martin Elliot, Eric Howard, Daniel Glick-Unterman, Andre Ali Morgan


Thanks and support:

The Carr Center