The finished mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St., features Clawson landmarks and celebrations.

The finished mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St., features Clawson landmarks and celebrations.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik


Officials unveil new mural celebrating Clawson

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published October 29, 2019

 Garabedian and Homanick address a crowd gathered for the unveiling of the mural.

Garabedian and Homanick address a crowd gathered for the unveiling of the mural.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

 The tarp covering the new mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St., comes down during an unveiling ceremony Oct. 26. Artists Ani Garabedian, of Detroit, and Megan Homanick, of Berkley, completed the mural the night before.

The tarp covering the new mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St., comes down during an unveiling ceremony Oct. 26. Artists Ani Garabedian, of Detroit, and Megan Homanick, of Berkley, completed the mural the night before.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

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CLAWSON — On Oct. 26, dozens of residents, many younger ones clad in Halloween costumes, joined city officials and representatives from the Detroit Institute of Arts for the unveiling of a new mural on the south side of Clawson Grill, 41 S. Main St.

Clawson High School art teacher Megan Homanick, of Berkley, and DIA Community Arts Coordinator Ani Garabedian, of Detroit, have worked on the 15-by-40-foot mural almost every day for the last three months.

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

Homanick and Garabedian embarked on an approximately two-month design phase in July, drawing from a community survey sent to Clawson residents, as well as their own research.

The two main themes that emerged from the survey, Homanick said, were “community” and “neighborhood,” and the pair thought it was important to celebrate Clawson’s past and present.

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

Before beginning the painting portion, Homanick and Garabedian power-washed, primed, assembled scaffolding and used a projector to trace the outline onto the wall.

Homanick also recruited a handful of her art students from Clawson High School to paint some of the larger blocks of color to speed up the process. Seniors Brianna Parish, Amber Ellerby and Alyssa Johnson attended the unveiling ceremony.

The students said it was their first time painting a mural and that the experience was “fun” and “cool.”

“I liked the whole process, really. There’s a few animals in there — some details which are kind of cool,” Garabedian said. “We had regular visitors come and offer support, people driving by and honking their horns. It was really nice to feel that community support.”

Clawson Mayor Deborah Wooley said the mural creates a gathering space for the whole city.

“Clawson as a community should be really proud and grateful for the new program the DIA has offered,” Wooley said. “They’ve turned a space into a place, and they turned a wall into a canvas and created a beautiful piece of artwork.”

David Flynn, senior vice president of public and community affairs for the DIA, said the Partners in Public Art program began last year, and at least two projects are on the docket for each of the three counties included in the millage next year.

“There’s such a public demand for art, and we work with community partners and create the murals to reflect the history or the sentiment of the community,” Flynn said.

The 0.2-mill millage passed in August 2012 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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