Robert SestokFree Form 5, 2001.

Free Form 5 stands confidently, roughly seven feet tall, on Cass Avenue outside of the Hilberry Theater in Detroit. This Robert Sestok sculpture was cultivated from his determination to experiment and create with welded steel – an interest he’s had since the 1980s. Various shapes meet and intersect into a three dimensional, playful and abstract work of public art. The animation of the conjoining plates emanates in the solid sculpture an energy that parallels that of the neighborhood. Sestok’s sculpture contributes to the environment in a way that mimics architecture; it rises above average height as a towering permanent mark on the cityscape.


Sestok studied at the College for Creative Studies and in the 1970s he integrated himself into the Cass Corridor scene, later becoming one of the most influential and prolific artists out of the movement. Throughout his five decade career, Sestok’s themes have changed, but his concern with physical energy remains consistent. One can find at the corner of the Lodge service drive and Alexandrine Street City Sculpture Park, a plot of land filled with about thirty years of Sestok’s sculptural work. Some of these large scale artworks are analogous to the spirit of Free Form 5. The park is a lively environment that serves as sculptural oasis and gathering point for the community.

Written by Danielle Cervera Bidigare