‘It’s a destination’: New mural goes up in downtown Port Huron

Ribbon-cuttings. Grand openings. Grand re-openings.

The Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce has commemorated them all. But on Thursday, Nov. 19, it will be a first: A Celebration of Art.

The mural on the MiMutual Mortgage building has been completed. Now it’s time to celebrate.

“This is the first time we’ve ever done a celebration of art. We’ve never had that before,” says Joyce Doyle, membership sales manager for the Blue Water Chamber.

“We have a very walkable downtown and that mural is becoming another thing to walk to. It’s a destination.”

The work of local artist Laura DeNault was selected earlier this year after more than 40 submissions, the result of a contest first dreamed up by Jody Parmann, an artist herself and co-owner of the Raven Café.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County and MiMutual Mortgage funded the project.

“I drive by the mural every day. It’s nice to see it there,” Parmann says.

“Wanting it to go up wasn’t completely unselfish — it’s kitty-corner from the Raven. But it looks amazing there.

“It’s humbling to have the community back the idea and fund it. To see it come to fruition is amazing.”

Parmann and many others involved in the project hope to see DeNault’s painting spark the creation of more murals and public art works throughout Port Huron.

That’s undoubtedly the position of artist David Stoneberg. He’s the muralist who was hired to paint DeNault’s piece on the side of the building.

“I think it’s a nice catalyst for other mural projects to happen downtown. This painting, the design appeals to a lot of people. It’s very colorful and people appreciate that,” Stoneberg says.

“It puts a foot in the door. I hope it leads to more.”

The Celebration of Art is free and open to the public. The ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the MiMutual Mortgage building in downtown Port Huron. Masks and social distancing measures will be in order.

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