Sept. 27 saw a DIA reproduction walk take place in Mount Clemens. It was led virtually by Ian Rapnicki, DIA community engagement manager. It was hosted by the Macomb Cultural  and Economic  Partnership.

Sept. 27 saw a DIA reproduction walk take place in Mount Clemens. It was led virtually by Ian Rapnicki, DIA community engagement manager. It was hosted by the Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership.

Photo by Alex Szwarc


DIA reproduction walk comes to Mount Clemens

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published October 6, 2021

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MOUNT CLEMENS — Seeing art in public spaces was the focus at recent art walks in Mount Clemens.

A couple of art and sculpture walks took place in September, hosted by the Macomb Cultural and Economic Partnership, or MCEP.

Each walk consisted of three or four sculptures on display throughout Mount Clemens. August included a sculpture walk and a Detroit Institute of Arts walk.  

“The artist calls in when we’re in front of the sculpture,” said Ed Bruley, secretary of the MCEP Board of Directors. “They describe what it is, and people can ask questions.”

The walk took about one hour, with art pieces changing for each walk.

A DIA reproduction walk happened Sept. 27 in Mount Clemens with four reproductions.  The walk began at the corner of North Main Street and Macomb Place.

Ian Rapnicki, DIA community engagement manager, virtually provided the audience a description of each piece. Reproductions on display Sept. 27 were Noah’s Ark: Genesis by Charles McGee, Ellen’s Isle, Loch Katrine by Robert S. Duncanson, and The Hazelnuts by William Adolphe Bouguereau.

Matthew Fortier, of Mount Clemens, attended the walk with his family.

“I thought it would be an interesting cultural experience, and we’ve been to the DIA many times, and it’s local, so we can get here very quickly,” Fortier said. “Kids can look at the history of culture and what is expressed in the artwork.”   

One of Fortier’s sons, Michael Fortier, is homeschooled and said his mother does picture study.

“Ever since we were in kindergarten, she prints out pictures of different authors and we put them in binders,” he said.    

Phil Gilchrist, the executive director of the Anton Art Center, said since March 2020, the DIA has had reproductions of their collection on display in local downtown storefronts.

“These reproductions and associated interpretive programming have helped increase local interest in visual art, beautify the downtown core and create opportunities to see museum-quality artworks in everyday places,” he said.  

A Sept. 20 sculpture walk featured three sculptures — Harmony in Nature by Lesanne Burchell, Pescados by Mike Sohikian and Ark by Charles Pilkey.

“Walks like this certainly bring the community together,” MCEP Executive Director Doris Modrak said. “I think it creates a great deal of interest for art in public places.”

This is the first year for the DIA reproduction walk in Mount Clemens. Bruley said pieces were installed in March 2020, but COVID-19 lockdowns prevented it from happening.   

In October, a sculpture changeover will take place.

“It’s a year-long program, and we have the sculptures from Oct. 1 to Oct. 1,” Bruley said. “We’ll change to the 2022 program.”

He said the number of sculptures will increase next year, to about 20.

“I think we should see art as an economic development tool,” Bruley said when asked what events like this do for Mount Clemens. “People come to visit the city, they could stop at a local restaurant.”

To raise money to bring sculptures to the city, he said the MCEP in the summer encouraged people to get takeout from local restaurants.

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