Free the Bear Campaign Completed!

Free the Bear Campaign Completed!


After Northland Center closed its doors for good, the 11 original pieces of artwork created for Northland by Marshall Fredericks were at risk of being auctioned for sale. Among the collection, the most recognized and beloved, was a statue called the Boy and Bear—a sculpture displayed at the popular shopping mall for more than 60 years.

With a soft spot for Northland’s impressive legacy and history, the Mayor of Southfield opted to purchase the original art pieces in order to keep them in their hometown, where they rightfully belonged. In reaction, the Southfield Public Arts Commission started a fundraising campaign called “Free the Bear” with the purpose of recouping the money spent on the art in order to continue to invest in Southfield’s future.

The residents of Southfield responded with incredible support!

The crowdfunding effort on gofundme.com raised $55,312—that’s $20,312 over its $35,000 goal! Saving The Boy and the Bear and the rest of the Fredericks art collection from being sold in auction was a true community effort that inspired passion and pride. The additional money raised is intended to be used for youth art programming, supporting local artists, and building cultural opportunities throughout Southfield.