Placemaking on the Rise in Manistee

The students and teachers recently presented four painted benches to our community, and placed them outside the Ramsdell Theatre. Visitors and  locals can now enjoy beautiful artwork and take pictures by them. Posting pictures online will promote Manistee in a positive way. “Placemaking is on the rise in Manistee, and its projects like these that promotes the unique characteristics of our community,” said Xavier Verna, Executive Director of the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts.

Placemaking is a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public palces. Placemaking capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being. Teachers Mary Wahr and Lynn Williams, with students from Manistee County, have done just that.

 “It was a pleasure to work with both the Jefferson and Kennedy elementary school students on this project. I was in awe of the positive support we received from the staff, especially the custodians. The most gratifying moment was when I was attending the recent Manistee Dance Conservatory performance and I heard students say, “I painted that bench!” For me, it’s all about building that confidence and love of art and I enjoy teaching that with Mary Wahr,” said Lynn Williams, local art teacher.

The art is inspired by four notable artists. ANDY WARHOL (strawberries), PABLO PICASSO (face), WASSILY KANDINSKY (circles), and HOKUSAI (waves). Go see them in person at 101 Maple Street in Manistee.