Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA) has partnered with local artist Bernard Williams and New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on the west side of Michigan City to create a mural emphasizing the history and values of the church. The mural project idea was ignited by LCA staff participating in community arts programming webinars and learning how others have transformed their neighborhoods with community driven public art. “Public art is a very engaging way to activate the environment for people’s enjoyment and reflection. Everyone gets to weigh in on what they think about the art. For community participatory art, it gives the community voice and power. Where art exists, so does value and power, and LCA has made a commitment to serve our residents and neighborhoods outside of the downtown area with art and art experiences,” said Janet Bloch, LCA executive director. With 30 years of experience painting murals, Williams stated, “It’s a unique project. It’s literally in neighborhoods. LCA is really trying to do something new. When communities see themselves reflected in artworks, there’s a sense of energy and pride that gets generated. I think art has inspiring and rejuvenating potential for people.” Williams is no stranger to Michigan City or LCA. He designed the Naomi Anderson Project art installation in Michigan City’s Westcott Park unveiled earlier this year, and he has shown in multiple group shows at LCA.
The planning and implementation process happened in a span of four months. LCA talked with Pastor Jacarra Williams and his wife, Aleshia, of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church to determine if this project was something they wanted in their community. LCA identified an experienced artist to lead the project. A huge, 14 feet by 140 feet wall on the church was agreed upon by the church pastor, deacons and the artist, and LCA held four meetings to discuss the mural themes with churchgoers. The design was finalized, and wall prep and painting will begin next week, the first week of August. Photos and videos are being documented throughout the entire process, so LCA can duplicate the mural project in Michigan City.
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is located at 819 W 7th St, Michigan City, IN 46360, and the community is welcome to watch the mural come to life or help paint.
For more information about this project or LCA, please contact LCA’s marketing manager, Samantha Bean, at 219-874-4900 or firstname.lastname@example.org.