Month-long celebration of public art kicks off in downtown Farmington

This time last year, public art proponents were gathered in downtown Farmington to help shape the direction of public art in the community.

It was the first-ever Heart the Art event. Guests were invited to weigh in on five potential sites and five themes for two murals. The murals would go on to be painted on the sides of Sunflour Bakehaus and The Vines Flower Garden Shop in the summer of 2020.

This year, of course, is different. Rather than cancel the event, the Farmington DDA has transformed the second annual Heart the Art into a month-long strolling tour of downtown.

“This year, we can’t gather in the same ways that we used to, but this and every Thursday in February we’ll be having Heart the Art strolling events,” says Jessica Westendorf, promotions coordinator for the Farmington DDA.

Every Thursday night, from 5 to 9 p.m., is the Heart the Art: Hot Cocoa Crawl. Participating businesses will be selling special drinks — hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic — as well as treats and more. Even the alcoholic drinks are allowed to be taken outside, this thanks to The Syndicate social district.

A portion of the proceeds from participating businesses will go toward the next public art project in downtown Farmington. A public input session for the next public art project will be held at a time and place yet to be announced.

Live music from local musician Mark Reitenga will be featured each Thursday night. And a scavenger hunt is available all month long.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, beginning at 6 p.m., Public Art Committee member Cathi Waun will lead a walking tour of public art in downtown Farmington. Some of the artists will also be on hand.

“We know that art inspires hope and unity. It brings together a sense of community and placemaking,” Westendorf says.

“That’s why we ask for public input. It’s public art. It’s for the community.”

Visit Downtown Farmington online for a full breakdown of events.

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.