Farmington

Help guide the direction of public art in downtown Farmington at weekend benefit

It was around this time last year when Farmington’s Downtown Development Authority hosted an event with John Martin, the artist responsible for the Welcome to Farmington mural first installed in late 2018.

And despite the event’s inadvertent scheduling during the 2019 Super Bowl, organizers were pleased with the turn-out. That’s one of the great things about Farmington’s public art programming so far, says Kate Knight, executive director of the Farmington DDA, the public has been really engaged with all of the pieces.

Now the public can really show their enthusiasm for public art with the DDA’s latest event, Heart the Art: A Public Art Event.

Located at the Legato Salon on Saturday, Feb. 22, the fundraiser and public forum will feature live music, food and drink, and a cash bar.

At the heart of the discussion is a potential three-mural public art push in downtown this summer.

"We’re working with property owners and local businesses, gathering public input to identify the locations and genres of our next murals," says Knight.

"This is a really nice opportunity for the local art community to come out and weigh in on what’s next for public art in downtown Farmington."

The DDA has been in talks with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Patronicity to develop a mural program through the state’s Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative. The program awards a matching grant for every dollar raised through a crowdfunding campaign.

Before the DDA launches the campaign, however, they’ve decided to consult with the community first. The Heart the Art event opens the floor to discussion while at the same time raising important early dollars.

"The MEDC and Patronicity program can really enhance what we can do. It allows us to go further with less," Knight says.

"We’ll have a limited time frame for the crowdfunding so we want to be prepared for it. This is a great opportunity to plan."

Tickets for Heart the Art: A Public Benefit are available for $35 online or cash-only at Kickstart Gallery & Shop, Legato Salon & Spa, Sidecar Slider Bar, and Farmington City Hall.

Also raising money for the campaign was a Feb. 15 yoga event by Bodhi Yoga. For the month of February, ten Farmington establishments are donating the proceeds of specially-crafted Art Cocktails to the cause. Art Cocktails are available at 1UP Barcade, Basement Burger Bar, Browndog, Chive Kitchen, Cowley’s, Farmington Brewing Co., Loft Cigar Lounge, Mi.Mosa, Page’s, and Sidecar Slider Bar.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.
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