2018-05-10 / Front Page

‘Discover’ selected for mural

Power of Words Project to begin in area this summer


A crowd gathered Tuesday afternoon outside the Peoples Store in Manistique to watch the reveal of the word at the center of the Power of Words Project mural this summer. The mural will be painted on the south-facing wall of the store. From left to right, holding their customized letters to spell the word “discover” are Manistique High School art students: Alex Lakosky, Lenna Smith, Lucas Gould, Morgan Miller, Reeves Kingren, Patrick McNamara, Chloe Desjarden, and Tony Williams. At right, Jeff Gurchinoff speaks prior to announcing the students who would reveal the mural’s word. 
Pioneer Tribune photos A crowd gathered Tuesday afternoon outside the Peoples Store in Manistique to watch the reveal of the word at the center of the Power of Words Project mural this summer. The mural will be painted on the south-facing wall of the store. From left to right, holding their customized letters to spell the word “discover” are Manistique High School art students: Alex Lakosky, Lenna Smith, Lucas Gould, Morgan Miller, Reeves Kingren, Patrick McNamara, Chloe Desjarden, and Tony Williams. At right, Jeff Gurchinoff speaks prior to announcing the students who would reveal the mural’s word. Pioneer Tribune photos MANISTIQUE – “Discover” will be the word at the center of a mural to be painted on the south-facing wall of the downtown Peoples Store. The Power of Words Project revealed the word, selected via popular vote by the public, during a special ceremony Tuesday.

The Power of Words Project is a humanitarian mural campaign designed to engage and inspire community members to participate in the creative process by coming together to elect words that define the vision they hold for the future of their community. These words become the themes for works of art designed by Mia Tavonatti, an internationally award winning artist and native of Iron Mountain, and created by her and her team of professional muralists, local artists, and student scholarship recipients.

The Svelata Foundation and Schoolcraft Tourism and Commerce, in partnership with the Lake Effect Community Arts Center, are partnering to bring Manistique’s first mural to the area in July.

The community was invited to participate in the creative process through an online vote to determine the word that would become the theme of the first Manistique 2018 mural.

The project is funded with an Artplace grant recently awarded to CUPPAD, as well as local corporate and individual sponsorships.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, Alan Barr, CEO and executive director of the STC, explained the significance of the mural.

“We are very, very lucky to be one of three communities and only three communities in the Upper Peninsula this year to be selected for a mural, and so this is a big deal,” he said. “This is the gateway to our community – this is going to be a lovely way for people to see us – one of their first pictures of us is going to be this mural.”

Teresa Bratton, president of LECAC, also addressed the crowd, thanking the community for the nearly 1,500 votes received in the word search process.

“Which is pretty amazing for a first-time mural,” she said. “We want to definitely thank the community for standing behind us.”

Jeff Gurchinoff, from the Power of Words Project, noted that the mural project centered on a specific question asked by Tavonatti – “What one word defines your vision for the future of your community?”

“This mural is not going to be a reflection of where you are right now, but it’s going to be a reflection of where you see yourself in the future,” said Gurchinoff. “This is a mural that we hope becomes a catalyst for positive change in your community.”

He noted that the Power of Words Projects are meant to be “community-owned” and that community participation is vital in the process.

“This really is a community project and we want you to be proud of owning this when it’s all said and done,” Gurchinoff said.

Since Manistique has many “beautiful walls” in town, he added that the project would accept the opportunity to return to the area.

“We really would love to come back and decorate all of these,” Gurchinoff explained. “We expect that this is just going to be the first of many projects in Manistique. Mia and the Power of Words have absolutely fallen in love with Manistique and definitely plan to be back.”

Following Gurchinoff’s comments, students from Casey Hinkson’s art class at Manistique High School held up letters to reveal the word “discover” would be the word at the center of the mural.

For more information, visit www.lakeeffectsarts.org.

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