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LEAP Funds New Public Art in East Lansing’s “Artist Alley”

New Artistic Fence Panels Reflect Community Character and Improve Aesthetic Appeal of Busy Parking Lot

LANSING, Mich. –This morning in East Lansing, local officials and community partners officially unveiled a new public art installation funded by a Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) and PNC Foundation Public Art for Communities Grant.

The functional artwork, four artistic fence panels, were installed in two key areas of the parking lot located on the 500 block of Albert Ave, part of what is known as Artist Alley. The Artist Alley project, completed in summer of 2016, encompasses the parking lot and the pedestrian alley that also serves as a pathway leading to the Broad Art Museum.

“The Downtown Development Authority has worked to promote a culture in the downtown where art is celebrated and supported. The DDA was instrumental in supporting the Artist Alley Project and the Bailey Artistic Fence is yet another example of our commitment to the arts.”

Artist Maureen Bergquist Gray envisioned the new fence panels with the viewer in mind and intended to draw a connection to existing visual elements in East Lansing. “The color of each fence panel lends to a playful nature and draws upon other color elements in East Lansing such as the banners and the colorful parking ramp,” said Gray. “My goal was for these panels to lead one down the mystical pathway of the imagination, and to illustrate that even the most mundane public barrier can be sculptural. A friend described the Bailey Street panels as friendship gates, I hope they continue to elicit this response.”

The City of East Lansing was awarded grant funds earlier this year as one of three 2017 Public Art for Communities grant recipients, along with the cities of Grand Ledge and Mason (in partnership with Dart Bank). East Lansing received Public Art for Communities funding from LEAP in 2014 to produce six functional artistic bike racks Bicycle YogaGBCCircle Back, Peace Tree, Budget Friendly, and Dream Mobile No. 1, which are placed at various locations along and near Grand River Ave.

“Over the past five years, LEAP’s Public Art for Communities grant program has successfully helped expand arts and culture across the region, with 20 strategically placed permanent art pieces now in place,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP. “This intentional effort not only works to shift our image from ‘rust-belt’ to global, but also instills local and regional pride by showcasing the diverse and unique character of each community.”

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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.

About the PNC Foundation

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great®, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a multi year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.