The St. Clair Shores downtown area at Nine Mile Road and Mack Avenue is to be adorned with a mural this summer through a $20,000 grant from Partners in Public Art.
The Cool City Committee will partner with the Detroit Institute of Arts through the Macomb Art Institute Authority to manage the project.
“The PIPA grants are funded through a millage that Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties all passed several years ago,” said Amy Florek, a member of the Cool City Mural Sub-Committee. “Every year they pick a city in each county to receive a grant based upon their story.”
With the advent of bi-weekly social district nights in the St. Clair Shores downtown and the pending creation of a Downtown Development Authority to help foster economic growth in the area, Florek thought the 9-Mack area was the perfect spot for a mural. PIPA agreed, awarded the grant, and now the Cool City Committee is planning the specifics of the project.
“It is really exciting because it will help establish our downtown and put St. Clair Shores on the map,” said Florek.
The Cool City Committee wants resident input with regard to the planned mural. There is a short survey posted on their Facebook page asking residents what style of art they would like to see as well as what subject matter they would find most desirable. The survey will also be posted on the city website and paper copies will be available at the St. Clair Shores Public LIbrary. Florek plans to make the paper surveys available at the St. Clair Shores Senior Center as well.
“I love that this project is cohesive with the community,” said Florek. “We are really trying to make an effort to make sure everyone has an opportunity to take the survey so that we get a good amount of feedback.”
Based on the style of art and subject matter preferred by residents, artists will be selected by the Murel Sub-Committee.
“We will work directly with the DIA and they will help us select a muralist, but we do want to consider local artists as well,” said Florek. “There might be high school artists who can help out or art teachers or people from the St. Clair Shores Lakeside Palette Club. This is going to be a community effort and we want to use local resources.”
As to where exactly the mural will be within the 9-Mack area, a final decision has not yet been made. Weather permitting, Florek anticipates work will begin on the project in late spring or early summer and be completed this year.