As I head east on Grand River Avenue through downtown, rising gently on my left is a beautiful sight on the west side of the Heart of Howell building. It’s a warm, welcoming mural, a symphony of greens tempered with dark oranges and golds, contrasting brightly with the surrounding brick, a work that makes traveling through town a surprising delight. The mural is visible from so many vantage points — high and low, near and far — and it’s accessible to drivers and pedestrians alike. It grabs your attention, and then makes you smile.
“Top Floor Apartment,” by Chicago artist Sick Fisher was part of the the 2019 Howell Art Project. The week-long event brought artists, food and fun to Howell’s downtown, while giving birth to four new murals, and crowning Howell’s historic downtown the hippest in Livingston County.
Cathleen Edgerly, Howell Main Street COO and DDA director, couldn’t be happier with the event.
“It was amazing to see how art could further strengthen Howell’s strong sense of community, foster excitement and energy in all ages, while also addressing diversity and acceptance of different styles of art,” Edgerly said.
That’s all good news for Howell.
Even better news is that the Howell Art Project will be adding more murals next year.
“We definitely plan to … bring even more creativity to the downtown,” Edgerly said. “Once we get through the winter, we will begin to share ‘Call to Artists’ and announce what our residents and visitors can enjoy.”
The Howell Art Project deserves a huge round of applause, and its organizers deserve great thanks, too; I know organizing such an event isn’t a simple feat. But all the hard work and vision paid off big time: In addition to the great stuff successful special events can do — like entertain and connect and build community — the 2019 Howell Art Project left behind some impressive art for us to enjoy for years to come.