If you walk along Lansing River Trail over the next few months, you may see a few new objects along the way which catch your eye and maybe your ear. WKAR’s Jamie Paisley has more about Lansing’s new ARTpath.
For the better part of a decade, the Lansing Art Gallery and Education Center has been branching out of their downtown Washington Square location and bringing art to the public. This year, it’s called ARTPath.
“What’s different this year is the true partnership with the city, which make things early seamless and easy in a lot of ways.” says Lansing Art Gallery Executive Director, Barb Whitney, while practically singing. “and then also, haven’t they been saying for about 10 years: What’s the ArtPrize for Lansing? And we keep saying, let’s keep it genuine to our community. Let’s not copy Grand Rapids. Let’s do something that’s really authentic about our community and we know we have this incredible river, where people use the River Trail, love the River Train, again activating the space through the public art becomes a challenge and an opportunity.”
To underscore the city’s support for ARTpath, Lansing Mayor Andy Schor made an appearance at ARTpath’s opening ceremony this past Friday. “We think that Lansing is this incredible city, Lansing’s time is now, and we’re going to look the part." says Mayor Schor. "So, you know, we have a lot of people who come and use the River Trail. You know, they walk it, they bike it. But now, they get to see art as part of it. They get these 10 stations where they get this incredible public art. You know, we’re doing a whole lot of work on the river. We’re trying to activate the spaces along the river. So, art is a tremendous part, economically, and culturally, and visually of a community. So, we’re trying to maximize that. We have great partners like the Lansing Art Gallery who are doing the ARTpath and so many others, So, we’re really excited.”
ARTpath goes along 3.5 miles of the Lansing River Trail with 10 public art stops stretching from the Turner-Dodge House in Old Town, down to the Beech Street Bridge between Cedar Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Right near the midpoint, you’ll find a giant mural of wings, that you are encouraged to take your photo with. It’s a mural painted by Lansing artist Tea Brown. But while her artwork is large, you won’t see it from the street because of it’s location. “Underneath the Shiawassee Street Bridge." explains Brown. "Since I wanted to do a really big mural, this was the ideal place. And plus, it’s right by Adado and the Lansing Center. So, I wanted to get it close to where people could see it and be involved in it. So, they were like ‘Yeah! Sure, absolutely.’ ‘Cause I wanted a big, big area."
Further down ARTpath, near the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum and Impression 5 Science Center is a twisted set of pipes with large chimes dangling from them. It’s the sonic art of husband and wife Jacquelynn Sullivan and Samuel Gould. "The initial idea was how to think about how we could incorporate something that would create a wind chime." says Sullivan. "But also have a structure that not just informed how the sound was revealed. But also visually told you about it when it was silent, so it’s a series of arcing forms that as they rise, they also fall. So as sound builds, it also dissipates."
ARTpath is free for all ages and can be found along 10 stops of the Lansing River Trail throughout the summer. More information is available at LansingArtGallery.org