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Ann Arbor Art Center launches Murals project

Crowdfunding campaign aims to fund 10 new murals

by Maggie McMillin

Published in July, 2020

With a newly launched crowdfunding campaign, the Ann Arbor Art Center is planning to bring more public art to downtown Ann Arbor.

"Since the creation of the Ann Arbor Art Center's Art in Public program [in] 2018, the committee has had many conversations with downtown Ann Arbor business and property owners about the importance of, and opportunity for, more public art," says Mike Wolf, exhibitions coordinator at the A2AC. The center's newest project aims to install 10 murals on the west side of downtown Ann Arbor, an area that it identifies as an "emerging creative district."

Wolf hopes that watching the murals go up and enjoying the finished works will "allow people to connect with others through a shared experience" even if they're not painting together in person. Mural locations include the parking structure at Ann and Ashley, Circ Bar, the Blind Pig, and a wall of the Art Center itself.

To fund the project, the Art Center is crowdfunding $50,000. Donations will be matched by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for a total of $100,000. Donations will go towards artist fees, paint and supplies, safety equipment, and more; a full run-down of expenses can be found on the project's Patronicity page. A2AC CEO Marie Klopf knows that this is a lot of money, especially in the current economic climate, but believes in the importance of creating "a sense of place and belonging" in Ann Arbor neighborhoods. "Public art has the ability to shape the conversation and showcase cultural movements through placemaking," adds MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Michele Wildman.

Ten local, national, and international artists will participate. U-M mural-painting group Live in Color has completed work on the U-M campus as well as in Blom Meadworks, RoosRoast on Liberty, and other local businesses. Ann Arbor-born, Pittsburgh-based painter and designer Gary Horton recently completed a mural honoring essential workers in Ypsilanti. Ann Arbor artist Chris Dokebi, known for the goblin-like characters he paints, is slated to work on a wall outside of 8 Ball Saloon. Dearborn-based M.A.S Murals was just added to the lineup, and the rest will be revealed on social media in the coming weeks.     (end of article)

[Originally published in July, 2020.]


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