Local artists Megan Homanick, of Berkley, left, and Ani Garabedian, of Detroit, right, work on a Clawson-themed mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St., Sept. 25. The project is part of Partners in Public Art, a program funded by a millage passed by voters in the tricounty area to support the Detroit Institute of Arts and its community partnerships.

Local artists Megan Homanick, of Berkley, left, and Ani Garabedian, of Detroit, right, work on a Clawson-themed mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St., Sept. 25. The project is part of Partners in Public Art, a program funded by a millage passed by voters in the tricounty area to support the Detroit Institute of Arts and its community partnerships.

Photo by Deb Jacques


New mural captures all things Clawson

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published September 24, 2019

 Homanick and Garabedian hold up the design  for the Clawson-centric mural they are painting.

Homanick and Garabedian hold up the design for the Clawson-centric mural they are painting.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Megan Homanick, of Berkley, works on the fine details of an apple in a mural on the south side of Clawson Grill.

Megan Homanick, of Berkley, works on the fine details of an apple in a mural on the south side of Clawson Grill.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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CLAWSON — A Clawson-centric mural — a collaboration between two local artists, the city and the Detroit Institute of Arts — is materializing on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St.

At press time, Clawson High School art teacher Megan Homanick, of Berkley, and DIA Community Arts Coordinator Ani Garabedian, of Detroit, had poured a combined 45 hours into the 15-by-40-foot mural in four days.

Homanick spent six hours on the highly detailed apples alone.

The pair began the approximately two-month design phase in July, drawing from a community survey sent to Clawson residents, as well as their own research.

“A lot of the feedback was community, family and ‘Little City with a Big Heart,’” Garabedian said, referencing the city of Clawson’s motto. “We tried to create something that everyone would enjoy.”

The concept includes prominent city sites, such as the library; the Police and Fire departments; the historical museum; and Clawson City Park, including the farmers market and the playscape. Local flora, families on a path illuminated by street lights, and the city’s signature Fourth of July fireworks round out the mural.

Prep work included power-washing, priming and assembling scaffolding. On Labor Day weekend, Homanick and Garabedian used a projector to trace the outline onto the wall after sundown.

“The goal is to get it done by Oct. 26, tentatively,” Homanick said. “It’s weather-dependent.”

So far, the only setbacks have been a thunderstorm during the first night of tracing the outline and the hot sun drying out the exterior acrylic paint, she said.

“We’ve been very lucky so far. There’s been no rain since we’ve started painting,” she said. “It’s been beautiful weather all week, but the heat is tremendous.”

Eventually, Homanick added, the plan is to recruit some high school students to help with some of the bigger block areas as the mural progresses.

“We started in the foliage because it had a lot of forgiveness, to be honest, and then I can speak for myself that when I get tired of something, I move to something else,” Garabedian said as she filled in a head of lettuce with vibrant green paint.

The artists each have different painting styles and often work different shifts, but they agreed that, with practice, they have fallen into a smooth rhythm for painting the mural.

“We get a lot of community talk in this location, a lot of people stopping by. It’s very positive,” Homanick said. “It’s a great experience for us as artists to have a large canvas like this to experiment and hopefully bring some joy to the people of the city.”

The project, part of the Partners in Public Art program, is funded by a millage passed by voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties in August 2012. Murals are currently going up in Romeo and Lake Orion and have been completed in Clarkston and Sterling Heights through the initiative.

Next year, Garabedian said, six more PIPA murals are on the docket in to-be-determined locations.

The 0.2-mill millage also gives residents in the tricounty area free unlimited general museum admission, discounted social exhibition tickets, free school field trips with free transportation, free group visits for seniors on Thursdays with free transportation, and more.

Call Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at (586) 218-5006.

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