Sept. 29 2017 11:34 AM

Grand Ledge unveils three LEAP-funded functional art pieces

    Island Park rollercoaster's bike rack.
    Min Wang

    The City of Grand Ledge has unveiled three sculpture pieces funded by a Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and a PNC Foundation Public Art for Communities Grant.

    According to LEAP’s policy, these funds are aimed at helping communities identify "important considerations when investing in the public art including maintenance" and they want the public to "enjoy the art and feel that the placement greatly enhances the physical aesthetic."

    Commissioned by Flatlander's Sculpture Supply and Art Galleries from Blissfield, Michigan, these three artistic pieces will also serve as bike racks. They will be installed along the Grand Ledge river trails this month.

    Ken Thompson, the owner of Flatlander’s, said he enjoyed the production process in order to help develop "a cool city."

    These unique pieces also visually reflect the natural landscape of this city by showcasing its rich history, recreational destinations and academic ambiance.

    The first installation is by the Island Park rollercoaster, the second is near the boat launch at Jaycee Park and — still under construction — an installation will be located in the parking lot of Grand Ledge Area District Library.

    "Art installations are incredibly valuable to cities like Grand Ledge where we place a high value on creating a sense of place in our community, " announced Kalmin Smith, the city’s mayor.


    The Green Fish near the boat launch at Jaycee Park, Grand Ledge.
    Min Wang


    "Placing here bike racks strategically around our downtown, within our parks will encourage the active lifestyles that make Grand Ledge such an enjoyable and healthy community," added Smith.

    "It's part of our placemaking initiative, we wanted some pieces that promote more interactions and serve a functional purpose," said Hannah Bowman, Grand Ledge’s Planning & Communications Coordinator.

    So far, two bike racks are in use along the riverside as fall continues. To learn more about public art in the City of Grand Ledge, visit cityofgrandledge.com.