ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – Now through Saturday, Downtown Escanaba will be a little more colorful thanks to its inaugural Art Week.
Art Week is a collaboration between the Bonifas Arts Center and the Escanaba Downtown Development Authority (DDA). According to DDA Director Craig Woerpel, it gives artists of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to create.
“The people within our community create the art,” he said. “It tells us who we are as a people, as a community, and it also just is a good atmosphere to be in. We feel good when art is a part of us.”
Each day has a different focus. On Tuesday, adults can take classes on making clay jewelry, beading, and decorating a sun hat. Thursday classes include movement, belly dancing, self-defense, culinary, and plein air painting.
Kid’s Day kicked off the entire week on Monday.
“Kids need the creative part of their lives to learn how to express themselves,” said Woerpel. “Creating is a thing that when you picked up the crayons a long time ago to now paintbrushes today, or whatever way that you express yourself, it’s important to be able to do.”
Youth volunteers helped Delta County’s youngest artists make windchimes, jewelry, paper crafts, and paintings.
“It’s nice to have youth volunteers to show that they have some really good skills they’ve learned over the years,” said Bonifas Education Coordinator Nicole Nelson. “It’s just good for the younger kids to see older kids helping them out.”
Kids like Grady Lancour said they had fun trying out different crafts.
“I like that sometimes you get messy and stuff,” said Grady. “I like to make cards for my friends when they’re sick and stuff so then they can feel better.”
The DDA is also tying the Music Monday music series, Wednesday Lunch on Ludington music series, Wednesday evening City Band concert, and Friday Pop-Up Market into Art Week.
“The idea is there is already some art activity going on, and we just want to focus on it this week,” Woerpel said.
The week of activities leads up to the annual Waterfront Art Festival on Saturday, August 5. The festival will be held in Ludington Park from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It will feature more than 40 local artists, youth activities, food, and live music.
Nelson says the Waterfront Art Festival also showcases the wealth of artistic talent right here in Escanaba.
“I think our art community has really stood out and continued to grow over the years,” she said. “With the Bonifas being right in the center, it really just seems to draw people in and continue to build that love for art in the community.”