Mayor Andy Schor recently announced the awardee for the 2022 City of Lansing Arts Impact Project. The project is a component of the City of Lansing Arts Grant Program, which recently awarded more than $82,000 in funds to area arts and culture organizations.
“Art in Lansing is important to keep our city and neighborhoods vibrant. Residents can take pride in a city that values the arts and I am so pleased that we are able to fund this public art project again this year,” said Schor. “It’s an honor to join numerous Eastside organizations, who came together with a goal to place art at the heart of one of our city’s gems, Hunter Park, to announce this year’s awardee. The project truly is a collaborative endeavor that will incorporate the voice of the communities surrounding the park and further enhance an area that is becoming a vibrant hub.”
This year’s artist is Ivan Iler, who sculpted the very first Arts Impact Project “Portrait of a Dreamer, located on Michigan Avenue at Museum Drive. For this year’s project, a large community group (consisting of representatives from Allen Neighborhood Center, Prospect Place Neighborhood,
Beverly Place Apartments, Ingham County Land Bank and Hunter Park) chose Ivan to develop a sculpture that reflects the growing community in Lansing neighborhoods. “Locating a unique and compelling sculpture in Hunter Park, the second most heavily utilized in the City's public park system, ensures that a large number of Lansing citizens will have the opportunity to view and appreciate Iler’s work,” said Denise Paquette, project lead and Allen Neighborhood Center health and housing outreach director.
The group, along with the artist, are planning community input sessions to make the sculpture a true reflection of the neighborhoods and their residents. “I’m honored to have been chosen to build a sculpture for such a beautiful and important place in the community,” said artist Ivan Iler. Yasmina Bouraoui, community partner at Prospect Place Neighborhood pointed out that what is developing along Kalamazoo Street is the beginning of an arts corridor, including artistic CATA bus stops along Kalamazoo Street at Hunter Park and Foster Park, a colorful mural at Allen Neighborhood Center and a mural at the Lansing Bike Co-op.
"Having a sculpture installed at Hunter Park will tell the people in this community that they count. It will be the bow that accentuates the work that has been taking place for the last 20 years inHunter Park and along the Kalamazoo corridor,” Bouraoui said. “It will tell Eastsiders that their home matters and that they are worthy of beauty." Additional partners for the project include City of Lansing Parks and Recreation, in addition to the Board of Water and Light. The Arts Impact Grant is facilitated by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.
“We look forward to this project each year. It has had a huge impact on the city and the communities where public art has been installed,” said Meghan Martin, Arts Council executive director. “What makes this year’s project unique is that it has brought together so many community entities, in order to form a collective whose goal is to enhance the area for everyone. We are fortunate to have this funding from the City that provides so much creativity in our communities,” Martin said.
The Arts Impact Project is in its sixth year and includes the Shiawassee Bridge Mosaic Tile Project, the Below the Stacks Mural Festival, and the SW Lansing Town Square sculpture project, among others.