Muskegon initiative adds public art to the area

Muskegon initiative brings art throughout city
Posted at 9:48 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-06 22:29:00-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Hundreds of cars circle through the roundabout near Lakeshore and Beach Street by Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon each day.

Just concrete and sand fill the traffic circle’s center, but soon a 22-foot sculpture made of steel and glass with LED lights will sit in its middle.

“It should be beautiful,” said Judy Hayner. “Very airey, very tall.”

Hayner is the project director. She says the sculpture is called “Celebrating Muskegon.”

“With an emphasis on US in Muskegon, celebrating US,” said Hayner.

It’s part of the Muskegon City Public Art Initiative, a project started by a philanthropist in 2018. The goal is to partner with organizations and donors to bring 10 public art pieces to the city within the next three years.

The first project, “Mastodons on the Loose,” was unveiled in August 2019 at the Lakeshore Museum Center. The second piece, “A City Built on Timber,” is located at Heritage Landing and came out in late June.

“It excites people, it gives people a point of pride in their community, it gives them a sense of place,” said Hayner.

The initiative’s newest partner for its third project is the City of Muskegon.

“Obviously that lake out there, gives everyone the wow factor, but we want to have a sense of place,” said Dave Alexander, development manager for the City of Muskegon Economic Development Team.

The city has secured a $50,000 matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help pay for the $115,000 project.

Right now, community donations total $28,000 according to Hayner.

Hayner says if the grant’s goal is not met by August 13, MCPAI will take the money and find other ways to fund the project. No city dollars will be used.

“This is going to be something unique,” said Alexander. “Muskegon is in a historic transformation. Our public art is just part of that transformation. It’s economic, it’s social, the development of our public infrastructures and people just want to come here.”

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