ART ABOUT TOWN

MARQUETTE – Judy Johnson was on a cross-country trip, visiting welcome centers and rest stops on her journey.

“I saw this mosaic in a welcome center someplace in the middle of the country, I forget where,” said Johnson, an artist who lives in Skandia. “I was looking at it – it was a mosaic about the iconic spots in their area – and thought maybe it could become another community art project here in Marquette. That was it.”

And so “About Town” was born.

The project takes five photos of important landmarks in Marquette and breaks them into grids of nine: 12-inch by 16-inch pieces. Each of these grids has been made into a laser print. Local artists will use their own media to interpret the laser print from one of the 45 grids into a finished work of art.

The 45 completed panels will be put together to form five mosaic paintings, 36 by 48 inches each, to be displayed during July’s celebration of the unveiling of the refurbished Father Marquette statue.

“It might have been my idea,” Johnson said. “But Michele is the one who took off with it.”

Michele is Michele Tuccini, who has worked to coordinate “About Town” for the Lake Superior Art Association, the sponsoring organization.

“It was Judy’s idea and she chose the buildings,” Tuccini said. “Two of the photos (being used in the project) are mine. One is of the (Marquette) lighthouse which I took last year when they let some of us got out there and paint. The other I took is of the Graveraet (Rydholm) fountains, which I took when I was there with my grandchildren.

“The buildings Judy chose all have interesting architecture.”

The five are the lighthouse, the fountains, the Marquette County Courthouse, Old City Hall and the Peter White Public Library.

About 20 of the 12-inch by 16-inch panel sections LSAA is providing for the project are still available for artists to pick up, Tuccini said. They can be picked up during normal business hours at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, which is on the lower level of the Peter White Public Library or other arrangements can be made by contacting Tuccini via email at mtuccini@chartermi.net.

The artwork should be returned to the MACC between June 1 and June 8, but also can be brought in sooner. However, June 8 is the absolute deadline, to allow time for the assembly of the final paintings.

During the month of July, the five completed works will be on display at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, with an artists’ reception to be scheduled in conjunction with the citywide celebration of the Father Marquette Statue’s unveiling.

The finished works will be the property of the LSAA and will be offered for sale after the showing, with proceeds going to support various community projects.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is rprusi@miningjournal.net