Thursday, November 21, 2019
I was headed to a movie at Bijou by the Bay. But seeing the movie wasn’t the only thing I was looking forward to.
I took my camera with me because I wanted to photograph the new art murals honoring the Grand Traverse Bank of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians on display in the Clinch Park Tunnel.
The 19 colorful panels depict wildlife, specific animals that are important to the Anishinabek culture, including the bald eagle, wolf, otters, and turtles. There are also images of people, plants, regalia, and various symbols significant to the tribe.
The murals were hand-painted by Denver, Colorado-based artist Bobby Magee Lopez. The artist applied a “glyphiti” style he’s developed through the years, using symbolism and mixed styles to create a more dynamic work.
The tunnel used to contain Anishinabek art but was painted over in 2013 when the tunnel was remodeled. This art exhibit will likely last between three and five years before replacement with another exhibit.
The tribe supported the location of the exhibit because of its proximity to water, a very sacred space for the tribe, especially the Boardman River and the mouth of the Boardman.
Hopefully, the project will inspire both locals and visitors to learn more about the region’s history.
From concept to finish, the whole project was a deep collaboration between the Traverse City Arts Commission and the Grand Traverse Band of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.
Because of my personal interest in diversity, especially Native Americans, I'd followed this project by reading various articles published in the Record-Eagle and The Ticker, which I used again in this blog.
Another reason I was looking forward to seeing this exhibit was an opportunity to use my new 8 mm fisheye lens. A fisheye lens is an ultra-wide-angle lens that produces strong visual distortion to create a wide panoramic image.
I liked the fisheye lens results and think this exhibit was the perfect place to try it out. I hope you’ll get the chance to come downtown and see this art exhibit.