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The Lansing River Trail is being transformed into a walkable gallery courtesy of Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center. Temporary, sitespecific artwork will be installed at 10 sites along 3.5 miles of the Lansing River Trail.
The stretch of pathway along the river to feature the unique pieces will extend from the historic arts district of Old Town, through the Capital Complex of Downtown Lansing, south of I-496 and Beech Street. By Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center’s estimation, 50,000 visitors will enjoy the art over the summer.
“We wanted to do something that was more innovative and interesting here in Lansing, so I thought of this idea of doing temporary public art along the River Trail,” said Katrina Daniel, Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center’s exhibition director. “We purposely chose sites that were in the urban center of Lansing — areas that really needed activation, needed some attention.”
The pieces were comissioned from artists all across Michigan, including Detroit, Flint and Traverse City. There will be two murals, sculptures, a photographic installation and three different interactive pieces.
“We also created some opportunity for experimentation. I did a lot of research and found that temporary work can change the way that we see something that we walk through on a daily basis,” Daniels said. “When that work is removed, it can really incite a positive change from the community to do something to impact that area in a permanent way.”
Lansing Art Gallery has handled each installation in a unique element-resistant way. Murals are painted directly onto the walls and sculptures are mounted into existing concrete footings using a masonry drill bit. The installation under the I-496 bridge, which is a photograph of homeless veterans taken by Gigi Morton, is being done with a special plasticized paper that can be mounted directly onto concrete.
“That was one of the criteria — for the artist to propose work was that it had to be able to withstand the weather,” Daniels said. “For example, you'll see a stainless steel sculpture at Turner-Dodge House, which could potentially be outside for years.”
Friday’s kickoff event will be at the Lansing Center. The opening reception includes a multimodal curatorial tour for participants to walk, bike, kayak or canoe along the Grand River to experience each of the sites.
Friday, June 8, 2018 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center 119 N. Washington Square, Lansing (517) 374-6400 www.lansingartgallery. org