Downtown Houghton Placemaking Group asks artists to apply for mural project

The group is looking for an artist who is familiar with the culture and heritage of the western U.P and will award the selected artist $6,000 for the project.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 7:23 PM EDT|Updated: May. 3, 2023 at 12:02 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - The Downtown Houghton Placemaking Group (DHPG) hopes to promote the Copper Country artist community and add a splash of color to the downtown area.

The plan is to paint a new mural on the municipal parking deck across from the Vault Hotel.

However, the DHPG is not looking for just anyone to do it.

“We’re looking to tap a local artist,” said Rozsa Center Audience Manager and DHPG Member Hannah Rundman Lowney. “And someone with ties to the area. Someone who either currently lives or has lived in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, or Ontonagon counties, and who is really familiar with the place.”

The selected artist will be given $6,000 to use for the project, and $1,450 will be available for supplies.

Applications should prioritize vertical elements for the deck.

“It’ll be the concrete base along the edge, the street side of the parking deck, as well as any visual elements, whether they be panels that be installed above or other creative ideas that utilize the vertical elements of the parking deck’s structure,” continued Rundman Lowney.

The city of Houghton, the Copper Country Community Arts Council and the Rozsa Center are partnering to support the project.

Visit Keweenaw is pitching in as well by providing funds from its Destination Development Grant Program. The Vault Hotel is also contributing funding to the project as the matching grant sponsor.

Visit Keweenaw Executive Director Brad Barnett says public art could be an additional draw for tourists.

“The key is to celebrate local culture and the local heritage of the area, and what makes this place special,” added Barnett. “So, when visitors come through downtown Houghton and they see a lovely mural, it just makes the place seem more inviting, more vibrant, and a great place to stop and visit.

Submissions for the project are due May 12. The mural itself is expected to be completed between July and August.

To submit an application, click here.