Boardman Lake Art Trail

The Traverse City Arts Commission is working in collaboration with TART Trails to develop an art trail along the Boardman Lake Loop. The “Boardman Lake Art Trail” at the east end of Tenth Street near Boardman Lake will serve as public space with rotating exhibitions. The Sestok sculptures will be on display for two years.

Robert Sestok (1946-)

Van Brunt St., 2011 Welded Steel

Van Brunt St., an exploration combining drawing into constructing flat steel shapes, and a poetic arrangement of metal rods used for cement work.

Machine, 2009 Welded Steel

Machine, an expression of the mechanical aptitude of the artist.

Third Man, 2017 Welded Steel

Third Man, created with pieces from a boiler installation at Detroit’s Third Man Records. Inspired by a previous piece combining shapes cut from 500 gallon propane tanks and paying tribute to musical artist, Jack White.

Remembering Gordon Newton, 2019 Welded Steel

Remembering Gordon Newton, an homage to late artist Gordon Newton whom Sestok shared studio space with for over ten years in Detroit. Both were leaders in the Cass Corridor Art Movement. Newton’s work often focused on nature giving a twist with a hammer.

The Sestok sculptures became a reality through a collaboration with the Michigan Legacy Art Park, located in Thompsonville. Michigan Legacy Art Park placed on loan Machine and Van Brunt St. A collection of Sestok sculptures are also on exhibition at Michigan Legacy Art Park.

Type of Public Art: Sculpture Public Art Program Category: Rotating Exhibition


Born in Detroit, Robert Sestok has been creating work since 1967 and has been a leader in the Detroit Cass Corridor Art Movement. He has exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Cranbrook Museum of Art, and Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York City), and many others. Sestok’s work is held in numerous collections, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Museum of Art, Wayne State University, and in northern Michigan at Michigan Legacy Art Park. 

In 2015, Sestok opened City Sculpture Park, a public art space in Detroit exhibiting three decades of work with rotating exhibitions and a visiting artist program. The park is dedicated to exposing the public to experimental sculpture work in Detroit. 

Sestok works with different mediums such as painting and sculpture. The “influence of our surroundings on our daily lives” is where he draws inspiration. “For sculptures, I use positive cuts for the figure (a silhouette representing Man) and negative cuts to express architecture (environmental space and its baggage). Welded metal works for this, takes me physically and spatially into the metaphor ... making different objects connect ... that's why I like welding. There's also a specific kind of permanency that comes with the way welded steel withstands the elements, giving extended life to the work,” says Sestok. 

Go See It

The sculptures are located along the Boardman Lake Art Trail, near the trail head at the east end of Tenth Street.