The Canoe Art Project
The canoes are pretty durable--"some are thirty-some years old," says assistant facility supervisor Joe Wilhelme--but in May, the Ann Arbor liveries retired five, along with twenty-four kayaks. That's about average for a year, says Wilhelme's boss, Cheryl Saam.
Most of this year's retirees were sold at auction, but next year they'll be recycled into public art: "We call it 'Canoe Imagine Art,'" says Saam. A committee of local art and river lovers hopes to inspire professional artists from around Michigan to transform the hulls into beautiful works of art--that, in turn, will excite tourists, celebrate rivers, and raise money for nonprofits.
Former Ann Arbor Art Center president Marsha Chamberlin says the committee is currently in the process of creating a logo, raising funds, and applying for grants. They hope to see the art-canoes installed along Main Street after the 2014 art fair, where they'll remain on display through the end of November.