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Former ArtPrize Public Art Piece Installed On Lansing River Trail

Community Partners Leveraged LEAP’s ENGAGE Placemaking Pilot Program to Bring Public Art Installation by Lansing-based Artist to Lansing River Trail

LANSING, Mich. – This afternoon, the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero unveiled a new public art installation generously funded by the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau’s (GLCVB) Greater Lansing Destination Development Foundation and gifted to the city by LEAP.

“The city is thrilled to be adding this unique piece to Lansing’s public art collection as part of our targeted economic development and placemaking efforts,” said Mayor Bernero. “Thanks to our partners at LEAP for facilitating this acquisition, to our friends at the GLCVB for this wonderful gift, and to the artist, Ben Graham, for his ingenuity and creativity.”

The acquisition and installation of the piece titled Sign Language was coordinated through LEAP’s new placemaking pilot program, ENGAGE.

“As a key piece of our economic development strategy, LEAP partners with people, businesses, cities, and all kinds of organizations across Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties to promote the true atmosphere and image of our region – one that is international, culturally rich and welcoming,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “This is a great piece that makes a strong statement, and inspires really interesting conversations. The kind of piece that works to shift us away from the antiquated ‘rust belt’ moniker that doesn’t match with where we currently are.”

Sign Language, designed by Lansing-based visual strategist and designer Ben Graham, explores the social construction of meaning through the use of traditional communication symbols, and was featured at ArtPrize in 2015. Graham’s intent is to encourage the community to interact with the piece and each other, and to become more intently aware of our collective impact on shaping common symbols.

“My installation, Sign Language, is a positive, uplifting statement which engages its audience and the general public directly, on many levels and adapts beautifully to its site,” said Graham. “The viewers, taking selfies, sharing moments and creating memories with the artwork, are an important component of this work. I am thrilled to have Sign Language on permanent display in my adopted hometown.”

The Sign Language installation is comprised of seven individual signs, which are placed on Lansing’s River Trail beginning at Impression 5 and stretching North along the river.

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About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.