Cre Fuller, SPUR Studios, and the evolution of Ypsilanti

I just stumbled across this video of Ypsilanti artist Cre Fuller talking about the beautiful, robot-like creations he brings to life from broken lamps, discarded coffeepots and the like, and I thought that I’d share it. Not only is Cre’s work great, and worthy of the attention in and of itself, but his story illustrates what’s right with Ypsilanti.

Cre, if you believe what he says in this interview, was inspired by his visits to the Shadow Art Fair. He wanted to be a part of it, so he focused on his work, built some kick ass robots, and applied. He got in, his robots were a huge success, and, as a result, he devoted more time to his burgeoning artistic enterprise. And, then, a year or so ago, when SPUR Studios launched, he was one of the first people to invest in space, contributing to the overall success of the local arts incubator, and encouraging others to get involved… SPUR, as you may know, is now at full capacity, and the home to a dozen bands, several artists, a few graphic designers, a couple people working in video production, a handful of fashion designers, and who knows what all else.

On a side note, another friend of mine who leases space at SPUR, recently told me that he was looking to buy a house in Ypsi. He presently owns a place in Tecumseh, but, having been a part of SPUR for a year now, and having gotten to know people here in town, he wants to be in Ypsi full-time. And this wouldn’t have happened if not for his participation in the Shadow Art Fair, which led to his exposure to SPUR… It takes time, but this is real, tangible economic development. People are actually moving to Ypsilanti to be a part of what we’ve all created here, and we should be proud of that.

Now, here’s Cre.

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10 Comments

  1. Kim
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    But we’d rather spend our tax dollars appealing to companies like Pfizer to relocate here, making headlines, and allowing us to pat each other on the back. Of course, they eventually leave, in spite of all the incentives we give them. This, in contrast, is what real economic development looks like. It’s a slow process in which the entire community participates. It’s more organic, and more stable in the long run.

  2. Amanda
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Mark, I’ve got some good house options in my neighborhood– send the person you reference my way, k? Some neighbors and I are talking about a proactive marketing campaign to fill some houses on our block…

  3. Mike Garrison
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I came across his stuff in the Ugly Mug while showing my mom around town yesterday. I found his work to be fascinating and my mom also loved it!

  4. AA Tommothy
    Posted September 6, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    We just discussed this last night in my AA group. Everytime someone relapses, which is all too frequently, we have to go over what happened and devise tactics to defeat it next time. And, quite often, that involves us dressing like robots and trying to frighten our poor friend. It would be much easier if we had some of these on hand.

  5. Trench Mouth
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    If Water Street doesn’t show any signs of development in the next year, I say we give the whole damned thing to Mark and James.

  6. Posted September 7, 2010 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Cre makes some cool bots but it’s not the making that’s hard, it’s finding the stuff and enough of it to make something.

  7. Ypsiosaurus Wrecks
    Posted September 7, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve met Cre – very nice guy who makes cool artwork out of materials that might otherwise be tossed in the garbage. Ypsi is lucky to have him.

  8. Posted September 8, 2010 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    The finding enough of it, that too is making. The Ugly Mug opening on Saturday night was wonderful celebration of the arts! Sights, scents, tastes and sounds!

  9. Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Great to hear stories like this – you have so much to be proud of in Ypsi!

    Community building trumps traditional economic development, if you want a community that stays when the economy tanks. A community from which new businesses can be formed, and grow – although “economic gardening” typically applies to later (second)-stage companies (ala the Edward R. Lowe Foundation), the support and encouragement a community can provide to brand new businesses is just as important.

    I’d much rather read stories like this than the press releases Concentrate is spewing out every week. Go Mark!

  10. Posted September 13, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Shadow –> SPUR connection = Truthiness.

    Sadly, I moved out of Ypsi this summer (had to move closer to where my girlfriend works, yada yada)… BUT, I’ve kept my SPUR Studio space (which, yes, I became involved with through my participation in the Shadow Art Fair) and consequently still spend much of my time and money in Ypsi.

    Cre is my SPUR neighbor and yeah, he’s pretty cool and really nice. I can hear him through the wall chopping up some robot guts as I type this…

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  1. By Ypsilanti’s SPUR Studios to close in July on May 7, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    […] it to fertile soil, and nurtured it into something truly beautiful. And it’s had an enormous impact on our […]

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