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Art Week comes to Marquette

Artist Elizabeth Howe directs the installation of a public art piece along the Rosewood Walkway along South Front Street in Marquette on Thursday. It’s the third year running that Downtown Development Authority has teamed up with partners such as the Vast Insurance Agency to place a large public art installation has along the walkway for the city’s Art Week, which runs through Friday. Howe said she anticipates the installation to be completed by today, just in time for Art Week, and remain through the end of the summer. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

MARQUETTE — It’s that time of year when the city of Marquette is more colorful and musical than usual: Art Week 2019.

Art Week, which is in its fifth year, runs through Saturday in various venues throughout town with special exhibits, workshops, demonstrations and community participatory events planned for the public.

Tiina Harris, Marquette arts and culture manager, said other cities, including Marquette, have arts-related festivals such as the Marquette Areas Blues Fest.

“We don’t have a lot in the streets here, so this was that kind of opportunity to bring art out into the streets just like the Halloween Spectacle did, giving people opportunity to engage with the arts and our local artists — just that exposure, that engagement,” Harris said. “And it’s all free.”

She hopes people will develop a bigger connection with the artists and become involved in the groups involved in Art Week possible, such as the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, the Marquette Regional History Center and the Marquette Maritime Museum.

Artist Elizabeth Howe directs the installation of a public art piece along the Rosewood Walkway along South Front Street in Marquette on Thursday. It’s the third year running that Downtown Development Authority has teamed up with partners such as the Vast Insurance Agency to place a large public art installation has along the walkway for the city’s Art Week, which runs through Friday. Howe said she anticipates the installation to be completed by today, just in time for Art Week, and remain through the end of the summer. (Journal photo by Cecilia Brown)

Travel Marquette, Harris said, also supports Art Week because of the tourism aspect.

“It does bring tourists here,” she said. “It something for people to do when they’re up here biking or hiking or whatever they’re doing.”

In fact, Harris wants to see Marquette focus on art in this manner the entire summer, such as having a Art Stroll every Thursday night, or at least once a month.

In the meantime, she expects Art Week to continue to flourish.

“I think it’s going to keep growing,” Harris said. “It’s going to get bigger.”

If nothing else, Marquette could take on a particular creative bent.

Harris also wants the area to be known for plein air painting — painting done outdoors.

The Third Annual Fresh Coast Plein Air Painting Festival is set for Friday and Saturday during Art Week. A “dusk-to-dark” segment will take place Friday at Presque Isle Park where artists may paint anywhere within the park boundaries.

Artists may paint at any city location during the main all-day competition on Saturday.

Festivities will conclude with a free public barbecue and art showing on Saturday evening at the Presque Isle Pavilion, with over $2,500 in cash prizes awarded.

“Plein air festivals are big all over the United States,” Harris said, “and some artists, that’s how they make their living. They go from festival to festival because some of the prize money is so enormous, and you can purchase the work too.”

Marlene Wood will lead a community project, “Woodland Wonders,” from 3 to 6 p.m. today at the Marquette Commons, 112 S. Third St., where participants can paint two wooden bears, which will be donated to the city after they’re completed.

The “papa bear” measures 4¢ by 5¢ feet, and the “baby bear” is about 3¢ by 4¢ feet, she said.

“Everybody can come in and do whatever they want,” Wood said, “and I’ll be there to either help them or give them ideas. They can just do abstract design. They can do a scene.”

There are many other ways people can tap into their artistic sides during Art Week.

For instance, “Poetry on the Steps,” a sidewalk chalk poetry contest, is set for 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday on the steps of the Peter White Public Library, while artist receptions will take place at the library and the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, located in the library’s lower level, from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

People can “Paint the Piano” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Phil Niemisto Pocket Park at 136 W. Washington St. Also on Wednesday at 6 p.m., the Marquette Symphony Orchestra will present a Summer Strings concert at the Commons. The rain location will be Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic St.

The “8-Hour Comic Challenge” will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the MACC where people of high school age or older can make comics, which will be displayed at the MACC through July 27.

The famous Downtown Marquette Art Stroll will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday when the streets come alive with workshops, demonstrations by artists such as local jewelry maker Beth Millner, music, artist receptions and more. Over 50 local artists will be featured during the day.

The Marquette City Band will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Commons.

Classical music will be a feature during the Pine Mountain Music Festival, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at the Presque Isle Park Bandshell. The rain location will be First Presbyterian Church, 120 N. Front St.

A fun event should be the Community Drink & Draw set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Ore Dock Brewing Co., 114 W. Spring St. Participants of all ages and skill levels are invited to draw together, and share styles and techniques — while enjoying refreshments, of course.

For Art Week, the Marquette Artist Collective has created a mural inspired by Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), famous for using the primary colors of blue, red and yellow as well as the two primary directions of horizontal and vertical. The mural can be seen at Northern Lights Glass, 412 N. Third St.

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority, with support from Vast Insurance Agency, again has transformed the Rosewood Walkway leading from South Front Street to Lakeshore Boulevard. This year, the walkway has colorful cut-out trees, whereas in past year, it was dotted with umbrellas and cut-out butterflies.

For a detailed listing of Art Week events, visit www.marquette365.com, contact the MACC at 906-228-0472 or arts-culture@marquettemi.gov or visit the MACC from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.