Art Project Under Way in U.P.
from four Upper Peninsula regions are working to create and decorate
large-scale, inflatable air structures depicting the uniqueness
of the areas in which they live.
four individual projects, which began taking shape at regional art
workshops earlier this summer, will
converge for a "grand
finale" display Aug. 18 and 19 at the U.P. State Fair in Escanaba
(at left is a concept illustration of the final product).
pARTners: World Peace Art Initiative is funded through
a grant awarded by the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies
and administered by Northern Michigan University. Its goal is to
bring together people of different backgrounds, interests and talents.
idea is reflected very well in the theme of the project, which is
'The Oneness of Humankind: Unity through Diversity,'" said
Dick Ross of Ishpeming, an NMU alumnus and retired educator who
is serving as an artist in residence for the program. "Each
structure will uniquely acknowledge diversity, address creative
learning and problem solving, and illustrate the value of a collective
thought process. This is a world-class project and I'm absolutely
thrilled that a cross-section of Upper
Peninsula residents have had
an opportunity to get involved."
four U.P. geographic divisions identified for purposes of the grant
are as follows: the northern region, which covers Marquette
the southern region, consisting of Delta and Menominee
the eastern region, which includes Mackinac and Chippewa Counties;
and the western region, comprised of Baraga, Houghton, Ontonagon,
Gogebic and Keweenaw Counties.
and Lou Rizzolo, a Western Michigan University professor, led the
project will leave with participants and viewers a memorable example
of how the collaborative creative spirits of many can nurture significant
changes toward peace-filled ways to relate and work together,"
said. "Together participants can create symbolic and meaningful
large scale inspiring art works. Some selected selfscapes and domes
will be integrated into World Peace Art Initiatives in two cities:
where Serbian, Bosnian and Albanian youth are working together to
reconcile the past; and in Kerala,
to honor the tsunami victims."
large-scale, environmental artworks have been installed in Australia,
China, Italy and Norway, as well as other locations in the United
U.P. region was expected to make the following air-inflated structures:
a dome about 25 feet in diameter; a cylinder 100 feet long and 18
feet in diameter; four helium-filled tubes of 18-inch diameter,
each of which spans 200 feet; and one section of another dome. When
the latter is joined with the other regional sections at the U.P.
State Fair, "the four directions will reflect humankind and
our relationship with Mother Earth."
in the World Peace Art Initiative are: Michigan State University
Extension offices and 4-H organizations in Chippewa, Mackinac, Delta,
Houghton, Keweenaw, and Baraga Counties; the Alberta House; Boniface
Fine Arts Center; Copper Country Community Arts Council; Sault Area
Arts Council; Eagle Condor Institute; Ojibwa Culture Center; the
U.P. Children's Museum; Nah Tah Wahsh Public School Academy; the
Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce; the Downtown Developmental Authority
of Sault Ste. Marie; and Starr Commonwealth.