ARTpath Brings Color and Positivity to the Lansing Community
If you haven’t visited the Lansing River Trail recently, you’ll want to pencil it in for this summer.
The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center has partnered with the City of Lansing’s Parks and Recreation Department to bring art to life along a 3.5-mile stretch of the the trail in a new community project called “ARTpath.”
The ARTpath trail features 10 unique pieces of work from artists all over Michigan. The pieces include sculptures, murals, interactive displays and a photographic installation piece. The finalists were selected out of over 60 applications by a panel made up of various art professionals along with the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center.
The artwork represented throughout the trail brightens up dark walkways under bridges, enhances the river habitat, and brings hope and positivity to the area. Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center’s Exhibitions and Gallery Sales Director, Katrina Daniels, says, “Lansing’s river front is a cultural asset and a focus of redevelopment for the City – we see ARTpath as a vital part of this revitalization.” While ARTpath started as a temporary project, some pieces of work will continue to brighten up the Lansing community for years to come, such as the colorful mural called “Break Free” by Tea Brown. This piece illuminates the concrete underside of the Shiawassee Street Bridge with 760-square feet of colorful intricate designs.
Some artwork installed along the trail will change with the individuals it encounters. The “Follow Your Bliss” by Jane Reiter features a stretch of the trail in Old Town that has been converted into a unique, colorful walkway. This piece features bright, multicolored umbrellas and yarn interlaced within the wooden fence. This art work encourages interaction from viewers such as tying colorful tags onto the fences or umbrella handles to further enhance this piece. This allows the artwork to adapt and change with each new visitor, enabling the art to grow and flourish.
A few pieces also educate viewers about history and different cultures. “Kiauitzin, Little Rain” by Kia Lx Arriaga beautifies the underside of Beech Street Bridge in a mural reflecting the artist’s Aztec Mexican heritage and exploring her connection to the land. This mural depicts flowers blooming and crops becoming plentiful from the rain. Traditional Aztec symbols can be found throughout the piece as well as native Aztec words. This piece allows viewers to gain a broader understanding of other cultures while also enhancing the River Trail.
The ARTpath will be on display for the entire summer, with some pieces being able to withstand the elements and remain for years to come. Daniels mentions that the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center has plans to produce a second ARTpath next summer as well. For more information on ARTpath check out Lansingartgallery.org, and for a map of where the various art is placed along the trail, click here.
There are multiple ways to view the various pieces of work including biking, kayaking, running, canoeing or walking. The River Trail is even wheelchair accessible in most spots. It provides a great way for individuals to get outside in nature, while viewing thought-provoking works that can spark conversations among families and friends.
Bringing art to public spaces is a great way to expose individuals who may not frequent art galleries to the art world, and The Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center has been displaying artwork for eight years. Daniels says, “As a community-based arts organization, we are always trying to find authentic and accessible ways to bring the best of Michigan art to the community.”
Projects like ARTpath also help to expose kids to the creative arts at an early age, helping to inspire their dreams and creativity. Each piece of artwork is unique and can be interpreted many ways, holding various meanings from person to person. Artwork mixed with the relaxing effect of being outdoors in nature can help alleviate stress.
The ARTpath will be open for the summer, and Daniels adds, “ARTpath is free to the public and is available for anyone to see and interact with it at their schedule and at their pace.” Be sure to check out this immersive art experience this summer.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check these out:
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- Where to Hike in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Photo credit: Madison O’Connor