Artist deadline for railroad overpass murals extended to July 24

Murals will be painted on two railway overpasses on Seaway Drive. Photo by Anna Gustafson

Officials said a swell of public enthusiasm over murals planned for two large railroad overpasses on Seaway Drive prompted them to extend the deadline for artists to submit proposals for the project. 

The  Muskegon City Public Art Initiative (MCPAI) announced Thursday that artists now have until July 24 to apply to paint the expansive murals on the railroad overpasses on Seaway Drive; one overpass is located between Broadway and Sherman Avenues and the other is situated between Hackley and Laketon Avenues. Artists must be from Michigan in order to apply; to request details about the proposal, contact Judy Hayner, who leads the MCPAI, by emailing judyhayner@gmail.com

Initiative members will review the applications and ultimately decide upon four artists, or teams of artists, to transform the overpass bridges. Each artist, or team of artists, will paint one side of a railroad overpass.

“We invite concepts and themes that celebrate our community, its diversity and resiliency, our natural resources, and our beautiful surroundings,” the MCPAI said in a prepared statement.

The bridge located between Broadway and Sherman and which reaches both Norton Shores and Muskegon Heights spans 108 feet across; the overpass located between Hackley and Laketon in the city of Muskegon is 210 feet long. The murals on the Laketon and Hackley overpass are expected to be completed by this fall.

“These are really going to be big,” Hayner, the former executive director of the Muskegon Museum of Art, told the Muskegon Times.

Launched in July 2018, the MCPAI is working to add at least 10 new significant works of public art to the city of Muskegon; it operates under the auspices of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County in collaboration with the Downtown Arts Committee. Since its inception, the initiative has privately funded the mastodon sculpture outside of the Lakeshore Museum Center and “A City Built on Timber” sculpture that will be officially unveiled at a ceremony on Tuesday, June 30. The initiative is also working to privately fund a “Celebrating Muskegon” sculpture that will serve as an entryway to Pere Marquette Beach.

Story and photo by Anna Gustafson, the publisher and editor of Muskegon Times. Connect with Anna by emailing MuskegonTimes@gmail.com or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Marla Miller contributed to this article.

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