I recently had a wonderful visit with Melody Angel, founder of Art In The Wild, a non-profit focused on keeping our water clean to improve the overall quality of life within the Lansing area. Both Melody and her husband, Patrick Lindemann (Ingham County Drain Commissioner), are artists. They started Art In The Wild early in 2015 with a vision to improve our environment and utilize local artists in a way that educates the public and includes the local community in a conversation about clean water.
Drain Commissioner, Patrick Lindemann, will soon be rebuilding the Montgomery Drain as part of a public works infrastructure project soon to break ground. The storm water drain was the dirtiest drain in our area, so he made a plan to remove 95% of its pollution via above ground, low impact design (waterfalls, streams, wetlands). This environmental public works initiative has also triggered over half a billion dollars in private investment in the Frandor area of Lansing, including the redevelopment of the Red Cedar Golf Course.
Art In The Wild is a privately funded nonprofit organization that will be placing about $10 million worth of outdoor art in and among the engineered wetlands and waterfalls and pathways of the rebuilt Montgomery Drain. Next to each piece of artwork will be a plaque with information about how we can change our behavior to keep the river clean. Ranney Park and the Red Cedar Park will eventually be the locations of the majority of the artwork.
Even before the Montgomery Drain breaks ground, Art In The Wild has started with an ambitious mural project, called “Murals on Frandor”, and intends to place 50-100 Murals around the Frandor Shopping Center area in the next year.
Art In The Wild is able to educate our local community about clean water with environmental information next to each mural. The biggest goal when selecting which murals are displayed is to choose from local artists whenever possible. Artists can email Melody with artwork they’d like to propose for the project. The art will then be voted on and approved via a selection committee. Art pieces may also be selected by a sponsor interested in displaying a specific piece.
Art pieces are photographed then printed large scale for display. Each mural is heat shrunk onto walls and includes information about the artist as well as environmental tips for locals to read and learn from. These murals can currently be viewed on the retaining wall at Frandor behind JoAnn Fabrics and will soon be spreading to additional walls within the shopping center.
Art In The Wild’s biggest need currently is sponsors interested in getting involved. Sponsors may donate $100 to get their name on a mural as a sponsor or help put an entire mural up for $28/square foot.
Art In The Wild has wonderful plans and goals regarding keeping our local water clean while encouraging community engagement. In the future there will be school involvement, competitions, kids camps, and many other opportunities for our community and resources to thrive.
You can read more about Art In The Wild in this article written by Lansing City Pulse. Consider supporting Art in the Wild by attending their upcoming events and silent auctions. You can find more information on their website and Facebook.