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A place for the panels

Mosaics find a new home

December 15, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The mosaic mural panels created by the late artist Ed Lantzer are back on display in Marquette.

This summer, the panels were set up at St. Peter Cathedral to give the public a chance to look at the collection called My Father's Love.

Now, through Easter at least, the panels are set up at 2168 U.S. 41 South in Marquette, in the storefront space between Lawry's Pasty Shop and AT&T.

Article Photos

Meg Engelhart, left, and Nancy Rife talk about the display of the work of Ed Lantzer, which is now set up at 2168 U.S. 41 South, Marquette, between Lawry’s Pasty Shop and AT&T, across from Pizza Hut. Rife is holding her grandson, Gavin Bruns. Lantzer’s work, done in marquetry technique, will be on display through Easter. (Journal photo by Renee Prusi)

"It's wonderful, wonderful to have them back," said Nancy Rife, the exhibit's project manager. "It was great to have them at the cathedral, but here, you can get closer to them."

Kalkaska native Ed Lantzer, who passed away in 2009, created the 30 4-foot by 8-foot panels which weigh 400 pounds each, over the course of his adult life, much of the time while he was homeless. Using a technique called marquetry, small pieces of wood are overlaid onto another wood surface to form a picture.

About 1 million tiny pieces of wood "diamonds" cut either on a 30- or a 60-degree angle were glued together to make the panels, which depict the life of Jesus Christ. The wood is finished with simple varnish rather than painting or staining so the natural hue of the material remains.

Fact Box

More info:


- New location for My Father's Love, Ed Lantzer's marquetry panels:

2168 U.S. 41 South, between Lawry's Pasty Shop and AT&T, across from Pizza Hut

- Exhibit hours are: 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays

5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays

2 to 4 p.m. Sundays

- Group tours can be arranged by calling Nancy Rife at 249-3352 or emailing her at

- An open house celebration for the exhibit will take place sometime after the first of the year.

Before they were set up earlier this year at the cathedral, the panel had only been displayed two other times: Once in Kalkaska and once in Indiana.

Rife said a guestbook set up at the earlier Marquette showing was signed by nearly 1,000 visitors to the exhibit.

"But we know a great number more did not sign the book," she said. "And many people came back two, three, even five times, to look at the panels."

The hope is this showing will draw in even more people to see Lantzer's amazing work.

Along those lines, Northern Michigan University professor Carol Steinhaus has had her Management 341 Event Planning class work on helping to publicize the display for class credit. Students have created a website, will put together flyers, will make a Facebook page and will work up postcards, brochures and posters.

Other students became involved, Rife said, by helping unload the panels from a truck into the new space.

"We were blessed to have some NMU students - including United States Olympic Education Center wrestlers, boxers and weightlifters - unload the 400-pound panels last Saturday," Rife said.

Meg Engelhart, another volunteer involved with the project, hopes the visitors include not only newcomers, but people who have looked at Lantzer's panels before.

"I encourage anyone who has already seen them to come see them again," Engelhart said. "You will see something you might not have noticed before. The panels really come to life in this setting."

Rife agreed.

"I am looking at the panels all over again myself," Rife said. "I am looking forward to seeing things I have missed before."

An open house will be taking place for the exhibit, probably some time just after the first of the year. Docent training - for those who want to serve as guides to the exhibit - will take place in mid-January.

Anyone wishing to volunteer to become a docent should email Rife at and she will be back in contact when the training is being set up.

The exhibit's hours are listed in the accompanying sidebar. There is no admission charge but a free-will offering will be accepted.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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