Artful plans: Art Week Committee holds brainstorming session
By CHRISTIE MASTRIC
Journal Staff Writer
MARQUETTE — No two Art Weeks will be alike, and to bring more unique creativity to this year’s event, the city of Marquette’s Office of Arts and Culture hosted a brainstorming session on Wednesday afternoon to solicit ideas.
The session, which took place in its office in the lower level of the Peter White Public Library, also focused on educating the public about how art can fit into the Community Master Plan.
The Office of Arts and Culture is accepting proposals for projects to be part of the annual Art Week, scheduled for June 19-24. Local artists, organizations and businesses are invited to collaborate and present a series of free arts and cultural events, concerts, workshops, performances, exhibits, demonstrations and more for the Marquette community.
Proposed Art Week projects should connect to and play off this year’s theme of “home,” inspired by the city’s Community Master Plan update.
Joy Cardillo, chair of the Marquette Planning Commission, said of the plan, “It’s not actual legislation or rules, but it’s the opportunity that the city has to really reach out to the community and gets tons of community engagement on these things that are really important.”
One of those things, she noted, is arts and culture.
“We’re using Art Week now as a tool to talk about things that matter to the community,” said Tiina Morin, city of Marquette arts and culture manager.
She sees Art Week as a catalyst to be the change that people want to see in the community to guide it into the future.
Tristan Luoma, Arts and Senior Services coordinator for the city of Marquette, helped lead Wednesday afternoon’s session.
“It’s a very seamless fit in connection with these bigger city initiatives, and it’s really exciting to be able to use Art Week as a tool to address this Master Plan update, make it a little more impactful for city planning purposes, justify the value of arts and culture and really articulate that to people who need to know it,” Luoma said.
Art Week themes such as the 2022 theme of “water” and this year’s “home” theme are adaptable, he said.
“Everybody has a different interpretation of home,” Luoma said. “So, we’re really interested, through Art Week events, capturing not only artists’ perceptions of what home means to them, but how they can get the community to share what homes means to them.”
Highlighted areas for Art Week are McCarty’s Cove/Lighthouse Park, June 19; south Marquette, June 20; downtown, June 21; the north lakeshore from the Picnic Rocks area to the mouth of the Dead River near Clark Lambros’ Beach Park, June 22; south of the Lower Harbor Ore Dock, June 23; and Presque Isle Park, June 24.
Art Week 2022, he said, focused a lot on the Lake Superior lakeshore since water was the theme.
This year will be different.
“With that theme of home comes appreciation for neighborhoods,” Luoma said.
Morin said that partly because of the new basketball mural at Hurley Park, more attention is desired for the south part of Marquette. Another possibility for Art Week is holding “porch concerts” along Blemhuber Avenue.
Other ideas discussed during the brainstorming session included integrating fiber arts into activities, using homes as subjects for plein art painting and holding a loud community “ruckus time.”
Another brainstorming session had been scheduled for Wednesday night at the Office of Arts and Culture.
Artists and organizations interested in proposing an Art Week project must complete and submit a proposal form by Feb. 24. Funding opportunities are available for qualifying projects through a grant received from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council.
For details, visit www.mqtcompass.com.
UPHP makes donation
The Upper Peninsula Health Plan has made a $2,000 commitment to the Marquette Office of Arts and Culture to support the Artists in Excellence program, a new initiative that provides arts-based extracurricular experiences for students from high schools in Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming.
This funding was matched by the Community Foundation of Marquette County’s Youth Fund for Marquette. AIE is administered by the Office of Arts and Culture and created in partnership with local art teachers Jake Fether, Alex Trotter and Kimberly Shefchik.
According to the UPHP, students will explore the area’s cultural offerings and creative careers available locally in arts education, business, marketing, design, public art, placemaking, tech arts and others. Students wiill meet three times per month for field trips and interactive experiences, and will identify and lead a community art project and install the city’s Annual High School Art Show this spring.
Collectively they will advocate for their school’s arts programs and AIE through presentations to classmates and incoming freshmen, the UPHP said.
“The arts do not recognize municipal boundaries and that by partnering with our neighboring communities, we are stronger,” Morin said in a news release. “Since this is the first year, we asked students to design the program’s logo. They discussed how high schools always seem to be in competition with one another, and that they are often identified by where they live and go to school. It was important for them not to use school colors or symbols in the logo, and that they be seen as one.”
Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is email@example.com.