A Vision for Hope – Addressing Vandalism

ARTpath: A Community Partnership

ARTpath is a partnership between Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center and the City of Lansing’s Parks and Recreation Department in its third year. Annually, we activate spaces for Michigan artists along 3.5 miles of the Lansing River Trail during the months of June, July, and August. ARTpath 2020 required months of planning, execution and evaluation from our team and the inspired leadership of its co-founders Katrina M. Daniels and Emily Stevens.

Walk With Me – a Vision for Hope

This year’s additional mural of George Floyd, titled Walk with Me, was included in ARTpath 2020 as a reflection of current affairs and artist Isiah Lattimore’s vision of hope for the future. Isiah’s mural of George Floyd embodies how art can help communities begin to transform, heal, and move forward together against systemic racism.

Addressing Damage

Walk with Me was recently discovered with significant damage from white spray paint. This harmful alteration to the artwork is damaging to the spirit of the work and to the artwork itself. Each year, we attempt to prevent damage to artwork through intentional artwork placement, security, lighting, and signage. Despite these measures public art has at times been damaged, destroyed, or intentionally altered.

Our Community’s Response

Our community’s response has been swift and supportive. Our team for Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center is working directly with the artist Isiah Lattimore and our partners at the City of Lansing to repair the vandalized artwork, and Isiah’s positivity has been an inspiration. Within just a few hours of the discovery of damage, multiple online fundraising campaigns have sprung up through various entities to cover Isiah’s costs to repair the mural, such as paint and mileage.

How You Can Participate

Thank you to all who expressed interest in supporting this project’s restoration and public art for the future. Your contribution will support supplies to protect the mural after its restoration and future public art projects via Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center. You can donate here. Please know that Isiah will present his perspective at his mural on Tuesday, August 11, from 6 – 7 p.m. as part of our series of Artist Talks. I hope you will join us to hear his perspective and join the conversation.

Increasing Access to the Arts through Our Mission

Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center is dedicated to strategic plans toward increasing access to the arts through diversity, inclusion, and equity. We are speaking out against the systemic racism that underlies inequity in our country. I hope you will join us in listening, learning, reflecting, and looking to actively contribute to a better community through our mission: to provide public awareness, education, and enjoyment of the arts by promoting Michigan artists.

Hope for the Future

We’re proud to support Isiah’s vision toward hope for the future and are in the process of coordinating his repair of the mural. We recognize that ARTpath 2020 reflects the contributions of many, the voices of our community, and the perspectives of artists from across Michigan. We know that well over 50,000 people will experience the arts in person. This year, we’ll make that experience live through Lansing Public Media Center, as well! 

Next Steps

Please help us share ARTpath 2020 and our ongoing series of Artist Talks. We are actively seeking comments from those who #lovelansing and who use the Lansing River Trail. If you have questions, comments, or thoughts feel free to contact Exhibitions and Gallery Sales Director Katrina Daniels at katrina@lansingartgallery.org or contact me directly at barb@lansingartgallery.org.

Barb Whitney
Executive Director
Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center

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