Lately we’ve shared several social media posts with the hashtag #MapMacombArt. We’ve also written an art-focused blog on MMYH and created a colorful art-centric flyer. If you’ve seen those things and wondered what we’re up to, you’re in luck! Today we’re sharing the whole story behind Macomb County celebrating its public art!
Earlier this afternoon, Macomb County and OneMacomb leaders officially launched their newest digital resource, a map of all public art located throughout its 27 communities. The map is a comprehensive tool for all residents and visitors that allows them to search for and find local sculptures, paintings or murals. So, if you’re a parent looking to a fill an afternoon with a cultural activity for the kids, you can pull up the map on your phone and hit the road to some of Macomb’s public artwork. Or perhaps you have family visiting the area and you want to show them the sights – you can visit the map on your tablet and plan a personalized tour to local pieces. Our county is lucky to have world-class art right here in our backyard. We should celebrate that by getting out and experiencing it all in person! This new digital map allows us to do just that.
The map was unveiled in front of leaders from the arts and cultural community and members of the general public at an event held at the Anton Art Center. County Executive Mark A. Hackel kicked-off the afternoon.
“We are thrilled to offer residents and visitors another tool that will help them ‘make Macomb their home,’” said County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “Communities across the county have made big investments in public art. Our hope is that the map will inspire people to get out, explore their neighborhoods and experience these works in person.”
Deputy County Executive Pam Lavers, who developed the idea for the map alongside leaders from OneMacomb, shared several of the reasons for the map’s creation. These included being inspired by the growing belief that public art adds value for communities beyond its visual benefits. According to the Association for Public Art: “Public art can express community values, enhance our environment, transform a landscape, heighten our awareness, or question our assumptions.”
The event also featured a step-by-step demo of the map from its creator, Jessica Worley, a Macomb County Planning and Economic Development GIS specialist, and remarks from Anton Art Center Executive Director Phil Gilchrist and Jennifer Goulet, with Creative Many. It wrapped with a walkabout to some notable pieces of public art in downtown Mount Clemens, where guests were able to hear directly from artists like John Suave, creator of the 10 ft. tall sculpture Selbsterkenntnis.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the afternoon was the call for public support in building the digital map. Currently the map features several pieces of art catalogued by the county, but officials announced that they are turning to local residents and visitors to ensure all works are represented. Now that that news is public, we are asking you, the readers of MMYH to help in this effort! Is there a mural you love? An incredible sculpture that others should experience? Help us track that art by sharing your favorite Macomb County pieces through this link! Submitting art is a fun and simple thing to do that will benefit everyone in our community. But if that doesn’t entice you, maybe some great prizes will! All individuals that submit art to the above link will be entered into a drawing* to win great prizes donated by the Anton Art Center, the Starkweather Arts Center and the DIA. Prize packages and drawing dates include:
- Friday, September 7 – Two tickets to the Anton Art Center Art Party valued at $130
- Friday, September 21 – Starkweather Arts Center swag and a $20 gift card to the center’s gift shop
- Friday, October 5 – Recipient’s choice of a DIA Inside|Out replica
So don’t wait – submit art today and win some great prizes. And of course, visit the map and check out the great public art located throughout our region. We’d love to hear from you via Facebook or Instagram while you’re out and about, so make sure to take pics and use the #MapMacombArt. We’ll share some of our favorites!
*Drawing rules: There is no purchase necessary to be considered for this drawing. Participants from all demographics and geographic locations are allowed. However, the Art Party tickets must be given to an individual that is 21 or older due to alcohol being served at that event. The three winners will be randomly chosen and only one prize will be awarded to each individual. Winners will be emailed on the dates designated above with their prize information and how they can receive it. The deadline to submit art and be considered for any prize is Friday, October 5 at 8 a.m. EST.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.