In conjunction with the Michigan Avenue Corridor Improvement Authority of Lansing, Lansing Township and the City of East Lansing, The Arts Council of Greater Lansing is excited to announce an artist excursion–a vision quest–that will join together approximately 20 artists for a chance to envision change and exercise their artistic muscles.
Riding, thinking and drawing
We invite interested Michigan artists to join us on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 10 a.m. where the bus will depart from the Arts Council office on Turner St. in Old Town for a short trip to view the Michigan Corridor underpass which connects the communities between the Capital and Michigan State University.
Once there, they will participate in an hour or so of drawing, thinking, collaborating and sharing on what they believe could make the corridor a space that engages the community, elicits responses of wonder and awe and a generally awesome place through which to pass.
Lighting the way
First steps for the project are already underway as monies are sought for the main installation–a spectacular lighting design that will change color and create a glowing passage between the east and west sides of Michigan Avenue. The second phase will feature artwork in some capacity and the call to artists will be made across Michigan. Make sure to check out the preliminary guidelines.
"This is a great opportunity for us to host our Capital City area artists and introduce them to the project from a local perspective," says Arts Council Executive Director Deborah Mikula. "While there will be a statewide call for artists, we would be so proud to see the art component of the installation come from our own arts community."
Engaging and connecting
The underpass represents a pivotal section of the corridor, and the goal is to make something there that draws people to gather, brings them out and encourages more bicycle and foot traffic between MSU and downtown Lansing. "What we are looking for out of the artistic community is to help us create that space," says Keith Lambert, tri-county development manager at LEAP. "We believe that the art will further the project and create something that engages and connects the community."
Perceptions and placemaking
Lambert notes that the areas on either side of the underpass are currently experiencing a lot of exciting development and community growth. It is the perfect space for an exciting placemaking initiative such as the installation of lights and art. The underpass project seeks to change the negative perception of the area, using vibrant art and creativity, along with subthemes of cultural appreciation and multi-jurisdictional connections between MSU, East Lansing and Lansing.
Taking a seat
Thanks to the generosity of Dean Transportation we have a comfy bus with 20 free seats available for the excursion. Artists must be members of the Arts Council and must register to participate. Seats will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis. On the way to the site, we will stop by the Biggby on Michigan Ave., so bring along some spending money if you'd like some morning sustanance or a hot beverage. We encourage artists to bring sketching materials and other items that will facilitate their creativity and imaginations. For complete information and to register for a seat on the bus, head over to our registration page.
To find out more about the corridor project check out the Patronicity Crowdfunding page that is launching soon.