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‘Paint the Town with Love’: Event blends community and art

Chalk artwork by families along West Crescent Street in Marquette is shown. The chalk art was made as part of the recent ÒPaint the Town with LoveÓ event, which was organized by the Upper Peninsula ChildrenÕs Museum organized. It was a type of Òchalk art festivalÓ in which people could draw in their own driveways. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Snyder Drugs were event sponsors. Other help came from: Mares-Z-Dotes, Campus Pharmacy, 44North, Marquette Automotive, Upper Peninsula Periodontics, 906 Technologies, WNMU Public Radio 90, Closner Construction and Sales, Marquette Food Co-op, Thrivent of Marquette, Jamieson Orthodontics, Eagle Mine, Community Foundation of Marquette, Jean KayÕs Pasties, Tammy Gerou, TogoÕs, Crescent Street Gang, VangoÕs Pizza & Cocktail Lounge, Kendricks Bordeau Keefe Seavoy and Larsen, P.C., and Anderson Tackman and Company, PLC. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Drozd)

MARQUETTE — Chalk it up to community togetherness and youthful creativity — literally.

The Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum recently hosted the “Paint the Town with Love” event, sort of a “chalk art festival” in which people could draw in their own driveways.

The event took place Aug. 28-30.

Supplies were ready for participants via touchless pickup at the museum on Aug. 26-27. with support coming from a variety of sponsors.

UPCM Director Nheena Weyer Ittner was pleased with the event.

Chalk artwork by families along West Crescent Street in Marquette is shown. The chalk art was made as part of the recent ÒPaint the Town with LoveÓ event, which was organized by the Upper Peninsula ChildrenÕs Museum organized. It was a type of Òchalk art festivalÓ in which people could draw in their own driveways. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Snyder Drugs were event sponsors. Other help came from: Mares-Z-Dotes, Campus Pharmacy, 44North, Marquette Automotive, Upper Peninsula Periodontics, 906 Technologies, WNMU Public Radio 90, Closner Construction and Sales, Marquette Food Co-op, Thrivent of Marquette, Jamieson Orthodontics, Eagle Mine, Community Foundation of Marquette, Jean KayÕs Pasties, Tammy Gerou, TogoÕs, Crescent Street Gang, VangoÕs Pizza & Cocktail Lounge, Kendricks Bordeau Keefe Seavoy and Larsen, P.C., and Anderson Tackman and Company, PLC. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Drozd)

“Paint the Town with Love, in its inaugural year, was a complete success with over 50 groups painting driveways all over town sharing love, which we all need right now,” Ittner said in an email. “The event also helped to support the Children’s Museum as we work through this trying time looking forward to a better and brighter future. It’s all about love.”

Karen Bacula, a retired Marquette Senior High School teacher who loves along West Crescent Street in the city of Marquette, organized her neighborhood’s involvement, with nine families taking part.

“We had much pretty much the whole block, including around the corner,” Bacula said.

This summer, because of COVID-19, resulted in fewer activities for people, but Bacula and her neighbors found time to talk with other “casually over the fences and things.

Bacula then got the idea to participate in the Paint the Town effort, and suggested it to others.

Chalk artwork by families along West Crescent Street in Marquette is shown. The chalk art was made as part of the recent ÒPaint the Town with LoveÓ event, which was organized by the Upper Peninsula ChildrenÕs Museum organized. It was a type of Òchalk art festivalÓ in which people could draw in their own driveways. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Snyder Drugs were event sponsors. Other help came from: Mares-Z-Dotes, Campus Pharmacy, 44North, Marquette Automotive, Upper Peninsula Periodontics, 906 Technologies, WNMU Public Radio 90, Closner Construction and Sales, Marquette Food Co-op, Thrivent of Marquette, Jamieson Orthodontics, Eagle Mine, Community Foundation of Marquette, Jean KayÕs Pasties, Tammy Gerou, TogoÕs, Crescent Street Gang, VangoÕs Pizza & Cocktail Lounge, Kendricks Bordeau Keefe Seavoy and Larsen, P.C., and Anderson Tackman and Company, PLC. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Drozd)

Their answer?

“Sure. Let’s see how this goes,” Bacula said.

She set up a time to pick materials, and everybody showed up.

Then came the actual artwork.

“We had almost 30 painters and several other support people hanging on the sides for probably almost four hours on Saturday morning,” Bacula said.

Chalk artwork by families along West Crescent Street in Marquette is shown. The chalk art was made as part of the recent ÒPaint the Town with LoveÓ event, which was organized by the Upper Peninsula ChildrenÕs Museum organized. It was a type of Òchalk art festivalÓ in which people could draw in their own driveways. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Snyder Drugs were event sponsors. Other help came from: Mares-Z-Dotes, Campus Pharmacy, 44North, Marquette Automotive, Upper Peninsula Periodontics, 906 Technologies, WNMU Public Radio 90, Closner Construction and Sales, Marquette Food Co-op, Thrivent of Marquette, Jamieson Orthodontics, Eagle Mine, Community Foundation of Marquette, Jean KayÕs Pasties, Tammy Gerou, TogoÕs, Crescent Street Gang, VangoÕs Pizza & Cocktail Lounge, Kendricks Bordeau Keefe Seavoy and Larsen, P.C., and Anderson Tackman and Company, PLC. (Photo courtesy of Sandy Drozd)

The results were as varied as the artists who created them.

Some art had lots of hearts, city landmarks, random designs and messages of caring, she said.

“One of the houses had done a beautiful stretch of just a diversity of people,” Bacula said. “The statement was ‘Hate has no home here.'”

Ittner said Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Snyder Drugs were event sponsors.

Other help came from: Mares-Z-Dotes, Campus Pharmacy, 44North, Marquette Automotive, Upper Peninsula Periodontics, 906 Technologies, WNMU Public Radio 90, Closner Construction and Sales, Marquette Food Co-op, Thrivent of Marquette, Jamieson Orthodontics, Eagle Mine, Community Foundation of Marquette, Jean Kay’s Pasties, Tammy Gerou, Togo’s, Crescent Street Gang, Vango’s Pizza & Cocktail Lounge, Kendricks Bordeau Keefe Seavoy and Larsen, P.C., and Anderson Tackman and Company, PLC.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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