Heard on CultureShift

Detroit Artist Lisa Waud Bringing Immersive Floral Installation to Port Austin, Michigan

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Image credit: Lisa Waud

Lisa Waud’s botanical installations have been shared thousands of times on social media and featured on national TV. As part of an artist residency in Port Austin, Michigan residents will get a chance to experience her latest project “Party Store” in-person.

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Detroit botanical artist Lisa Waud is taking her floral installations out of the city and bringing them north to Port Austin.

As part of an artist residency designed to boost arts tourism to the tip of Michigan’s Thumb region, Waud will convert a former party store into an immersive botanical installation.

The aptly titled “Party Store” will cover every surface of the space with locally sourced, fresh-cut flowers — “shelves covered, coolers stuffed, counters coated with a floral veneer,” says Waud.


Listen: Detroit botanical artist Lisa Waud describes her “Party Store” installation.


The installation will be open to the public from July 16 through 18. Like a museum exhibition, patrons will need to purchase timed tickets in advance via Waud’s website.

It looks like the flowers took over,” says Waud. “You’ll recognize some of the furniture you’d see in a party store, but everything will be covered in flowers. It’ll be a sight for eyes and photos.”

As part of her artist residency in Port Austin, Lisa Waud visited the tourist destination at the tip of Michigan's Thumb region to explore the town and create a handful of temporary floral installations ahead of her "Party Store" project that opens on July 16.Lisa Waud
Lisa Waud

As part of her artist residency in Port Austin, Lisa Waud visited the tourist destination at the tip of Michigan’s Thumb region to explore the town and create a handful of temporary floral installations ahead of her “Party Store” project that opens on July 16.

Waud’s “Party Store” will be documented by photographer Chris Gerard, which will help turn the Michigan-centric installation into a global experience for viewers seeing the photos on social media. The concept follows in the footsteps of Waud’s 2015 installation “Flower House,” which filled an abandoned Detroit house with flowers in a similar fashion and created a visual splash around the globe.

The exterior of the former party store in Port Austin that botanical artist Lisa Waud will convert into her latest floral installation starting on July 16.Lisa Waud
Lisa Waud

The exterior of the former party store in Port Austin that botanical artist Lisa Waud will convert into her latest floral installation starting on July 16.

Waud says this latest project, which will only be open to the public for three days, is about exploring sustainability. In a release about “Party Store,” Waud writes, “while the flowers in ‘Party Store’ will be composted and all materials recycled, most items purchased in a convenience store are packaged in single-use plastics. What can be considered as we move toward redesigning our lives after quarantine?”


Visting Port Austin? Check out another art installation while you’re there »


Waud explains how sustainability and local sourcing goes into the logistics of her botanical installations.

I am committed to sourcing flowers from 100% Michigan farms,” says Waud. “I’ve got about $8,000 in my budget. That’s a lot of flowers.”

Lisa Waud’s “Party Store” will be on-view in Port Austin July 16 — 18. Timed tickets/reservations are required.

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Ryan Patrick Hooper, Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.

hooper@wdet.org Follow @HooperRadio

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