Sightseeing in Northern Michigan: Petoskey Mural Project

You could call this an art lesson on a grand scale, but today’s Sightseeing in Northern Michigan is really the story of a community working together, providing opportunities and beautifying the area around them. 

"The building didn’t really have anything on it, so there wasn’t really anything to look at. So now you can actually see something when you drive by, so I think it’s pretty cool," says artist Molly Malec.

A blank canvas, now teeming with life.

Bay life.

A brand new mural on the side of the Kilwins building on US 31 in Petoskey.

"Public art brings art to people who might not see it. It bring it outside of a museum or outside of a gallery. It exposes talent locally,” says Abby Kent.

This is the brainchild of mural instructor Abby Kent.

She taught a class through the Crooked Tree Arts Center.

Her artists are three middle and high school girls.

"We’re painting a 45 by 8 foot wall, and I’m short so that’s a lot to take in."

Kaitlyn Smith was one of them.

"The first thing we painted the backdrop, and we made it all, so there was sand on the bottom all kind of sort of turned up by the fish that were swimming by," explains Kaitlyn.

Molly adds, "Then we used a pounce pattern. You poke holes in a paper, and basically you have the design on the paper, and then you tape it on to the wall and you spray-paint through the holes, so when you take it down you have all these dots and you connect the dots.”   

Molly Malec was also part of the team, taking advanced art lessons on a huge scale.

"I would show them a technique to use a blending technique or a sponging technique and they just grabbed it and took off," says Abby.

It was four days of hard work on a very high traffic area.

"A lot of people driving by really liked it. A lot of them honked, some would yell out their windows compliments and then some would give a thumbs up, a lot of that," explains Molly.

A fun, memorable experience for these young girls

"When we finished we kind of just stepped back and look at it and said, ‘Wow, we did this’," says Kaitlyn.

Girls who will be able to grow up enjoying their work, along with the community that supported them.

"Everybody cares about each other, and everybody kind of works together to make sure that things get done. That way we can all kind of rely on each other to make things happen,” explains Kaitlyn. 

Categories: Northern Michigan In Focus