The concession stand at Rosie’s Park in Madison Heights has been fully painted by resident artist Jennifer Ramirez, forming the city’s second outdoor mural, “Nature’s Repose.”

The concession stand at Rosie’s Park in Madison Heights has been fully painted by resident artist Jennifer Ramirez, forming the city’s second outdoor mural, “Nature’s Repose.”

Photo by Deb Jacques


Second outdoor mural in Madison Heights completed at Rosie’s Park

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published November 6, 2020

 The new mural’s theme pay tributes to the animals that one may encounter while exploring the green spaces of Madison Heights. The city’s first mural, in Civic Center Park, celebrated imagination.

The new mural’s theme pay tributes to the animals that one may encounter while exploring the green spaces of Madison Heights. The city’s first mural, in Civic Center Park, celebrated imagination.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MADISON HEIGHTS — The first outdoor mural in the city of Madison Heights garnered statewide attention when it was completed on the shelter building at Civic Center Park in 2019, earning Madison Heights a place in the final four of the Michigan Municipal Leagues’s prestigious Community Excellence Awards.

Now a second mural has been completed, spanning the walls of the concessions stand at Rosie’s Park, 1111 E. Farnum Ave.

The title is “Nature’s Repose,” celebrating the wildlife that one may encounter while exploring the parks and green spaces of Madison Heights, such as squirrels, rabbits, deer, foxes and more. The new mural was funded by marijuana company Holistic Industries.  

The artist is resident Jennifer Ramirez, selected from among numerous artists who submitted project proposals. She also painted the first mural, spanning the walls of the Jaycees shelter building at the foot of the sled hill in Civic Center Park. The theme there was “The Power of Imagination,” and it was funded by private donations from the Madison Heights Arts Board, raised in part through the sale of art-themed T-shirts and a calendar featuring entries from a citywide photo contest.

Ramirez did not respond to requests for comment by press time, but members of the Arts Board and city officials were all excited by her new mural, which continues a trend in Madison Heights of bringing art to the parks.

“Due to COVID-19, the Arts Board suspended the majority of our fundraising efforts, and without (Holistic Industries’) generous donation, we may not have been able to fund the second mural so quickly,” said Amber Platzke, the chair of the Arts Board.

Added fellow Arts Board member Vita Palazzolo: “We put the word out for artists to send in their proposals and a small portfolio of their work. There were so many fantastic designs, but ironically, both of Jennifer Ramirez’s submissions embodied what we as a board felt the community could relate to and engage with their families.

“Everything we have done has been generated by fundraising and generous donations from local businesses,” Palazzolo continued. “We were extremely honored to have been a finalist for the (Michigan Municipal League’s) Community Excellence Award, especially since we were barely a year old as a board!”

The new mural was completed in the midst of the pandemic. The Arts Board announced the mural selection June 8, and the work commenced in early July. It was completed Oct. 24.

“I absolutely love this mural and how the three-dimensional design and colors just pop out at you and come alive so vibrantly,” Palazzolo said. “I’ve witnessed families in the park actually touching our mural, trying to figure out how Jennifer painted it to actually come alive. We need this as a community, and the artists need to express themselves too. Whether it’s on a canvas, dance, theater or through music, art is the heartbeat of a vibrant city.”  

Roslyn Grafstein, the mayor of Madison Heights, said that such artwork can be a powerful tool for promoting the city. She said she is looking into funding opportunities for more art projects at various points in Madison Heights.

“These could be a combination of bright, welcoming wall murals or garden murals that greet you as you enter the city, and interactive sidewalk murals that encourage walkability and promote foot traffic to our walk-in businesses,” Grafstein said.

Mark Bliss, a member of the Madison Heights City Council, said the mural breathes new life into one of the city’s staple parks.

“This mural is absolutely incredible,” Bliss said. “It completely changes the experience of going to Rosie’s Park, and our talented local artist Jennifer Ramirez put so much locally found wildlife in it that you’ll likely find something new and inspiring every time you see it. That’s what public art is supposed to do — it creates an experience and inspires those fortunate enough to see it.

“This mural and the others popping up in our city make our community better,” Bliss said, “and I’m so proud of the Arts Board and Holistic Industries for making this possible.”

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