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Animals and art abound at Winterfest


Brad Lindberg Staff Writer
February 04, 2016
GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Camels are smarter than horses but have innards like cows.

“A camel is a ruminant, a multi-chambered animal, similar to a bovine,” said Don Strobel, owner of Animal Oasis petting farm. “They chew cud like cows and have a much calmer demeanor than horses.”


Animal tidbits abound when Strobel brings about 50 specimens — goats, horses, a donkey, llama, camel — to Grosse Pointe Farms Winterfest on the Hill, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.

“I equate a camel’s intelligence to a dog,” he said. “They’re much more inquisitive and aren’t as flighty as a horse.”

Part of Kercheval is closed for Farms Winterfest.

Although the annual celebration is sponsored partly by the city recreation department, admission isn’t limited to residents because it’s in the Hill business district, not the residents-only municipal park.

Activities range from a temporary putt-putt golf course to ice carving demonstrations, free hot dogs and refreshments.

New this year, a soup contest replaces a chili cookoff in the lobby of 131 Kercheval.

Also scheduled is a 1,500-square-foot mobile extension of the Detroit Institute of Arts, called DIA Away. Interactive exhibits prompt visitors to think creatively.

DIA Away

“Artists think in particular ways,” said Kathryn Diamond, the museum’s community relations director and a Farms resident.

Artists imagine new worlds, use symbols to convey ideas, collaborate and work together.

“Artists do things we think are transferable to community members, to make them think about themselves more as artists and become more creative,” Diamond said.

Detroit’s industrial legacy developed through innovation and creativity.

“Reminding people how art fits into that is critical in a new way of thinking about the DIA,” Diamond said.

Technical prowess is essential for industrial innovation, but, Diamond said, “Unless you have that creative spark that gets you to think about things out of the box, that’s where innovation happens.”

Among DIA Away’s interactive features are videos about members of various professions.

“We have a chef, a female welding engineer and an educator,” Diamond said. “All talk about how they consider themselves creative and artists in what they do.”


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