Making a Mural in Frog Island Park: Ypsilanti Turns to the River

Making a Mural in Frog Island Park: Ypsilanti Turns to the River


So this is day one of getting our mural
started here at the Frog Island Park. This will be a three week project
finished before July 1st. We’re snapping gridlines onto the wall so that we can
more accurately transfer the image. So this is an age-old technique and it
works wonderful on walls where you can’t project the image onto the wall. This is
a very exciting opportunity to do a mural for the City of Ypsilanti funded
by the Huron River Watershed Council. So we’re really hoping to give a beautiful
gem to the City of Ypsilanti and create a new destination spot for people coming
off the river creating a new portage actually. The Huron River Watershed
Council has been a great steward of the river but they’ve also been a good
partner. There’s a lot of conversation, more than I’ve ever seen in the city
before, in terms of what’s happening on the waterfront and people are actually
calling it that. You know we actually have a waterfront. And the benefit for
the residents I believe is the fact that now there’s a cohort of people that are
interested in the river and are starting to take care of it and that draws more
people to the river because people are saying “what are you guys doing?” And so
they come down and we talk about the fact that the river is open, that there’s
access. And so I think it’s a big boon for Ypsi and I think that we need to
capitalize on the fact that we have a great partner and that we now need to
step up and do our part which means that we not only communicate that to our
residents but that we demonstrate that and I think part of that demonstration
is being a part of this mural. We are right now drawing out the image so kind of setting ourselves up with the outlines like you might see in a
coloring book. So we’re featuring our native past along the Huron River over
here and then you start to see wildlife and
animals. This one’s a little beaver buddy Sam’s working on. This is a little boy holding
a fish, he’s wearing a life jacket because safety first. So this is kind of
like a big area here, where there’s just nothing. There’s some lily pads that
are gonna be coming under there. So one of the exciting things that the Huron
River Watershed Council and I came up with was an opportunity to allow teen
artists to help with this project, so Sam Brown here is one of these very talented
artists that will be assisting on this project. We’re getting close to having
most of the sketch drawn onto the wall which is our goal for the day.
Getting it proportional to the drawing on to the wall is probably the most important first step. The sound of the water, the foliage, the birds, it’s a very dynamic spot. We’re within the first week of painting
and this is our first night shift. This is very crude for us.
You’re lucky we’re letting you see it! I’ve been taking AP art at Saline so
pretty used to painting but nothing this big yet. She’s just having me do the
first layer, putting it down. We’re highlighting the beautiful features of the Huron River from people to activities to the wildlife to the native
past. So in that regard people can find themselves in the mural somehow. Are you a local? I’m Jasmine, yeah. So I was just strolling through, just off work to see what’s going on. I caught this piece and it’s absolutely
beautiful. I love it. So I was able to say hi to the artist and wow, her work is
absolutely amazing, the culture, nature, peace. There were four artists: myself
partnered with Lavinia Hanachiuc. We brought in two teenagers: Sam Brown and
Robby Borer. So we had WTMC and Saline High School represented on this project. That’s it. Its over. The legacy is now yours.

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