Arts & Entertainment, Economic Development, and Travel & Tourism

DDA backs mural downtown

May 15, 2019
TAGS DDA / DGRI / UICA
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partial The Legend of Giants by Natalia Rak
A partial shot of “The Legend of Giants” by Natalia Rak. Courtesy DGRI

A Polish artist is leaving her mark on downtown Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority recently approved funding of up to $23,000 to support the painting of a mural at the Richmond Stamp Works building at 26 Ionia Ave. SW.

GR Forward Goal 5 Alliance members have recommended working with Natalia Rak of Poland, who has work in Austria, France, Germany, Poland and the U.S.

Rak is best known for her work titled “The Legend of the Giants” in Bialystok, Poland, which depicts a girl in traditional Polish dress raising a watering can to water a real-life tree growing next to the mural.

The Richmond Stamp Works mural supports the Exit Space Project, a series of “artistic interventions” on publicly viewable properties to increase vibrancy and build the city’s identity.

Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. pursued a partnership with the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2015 to help deploy the Exit Space Project. Since its launch, the project has supported the creation of five murals across downtown painted by local and international artists.

The Richmond Stamp Works mural will be installed on the south-facing wall of the building between July 13 and 25. Current conditions of the wall are fair, and the surface is painted stucco and brick. Appropriate paint and anti-graffiti coating for stucco will be used, per the requirements of the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission.

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