Mount Clemens celebrates new mural on Grand Prix day – Macomb Daily

Firefighter Noah Lesner reflects on the mural painted on the eastern side of the Mount Clemens Fire Department on Dickinson. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PHIL GILCHRIST/ANTON ART CENTER)

The latest public art in Mount Clemens had its formal unveiling over the weekend during the Mount Clemens Grand Prix.

City officials gathered Saturday morning along with representatives of the Anton Art Center and the Detroit Institute of Arts to get a good look at the mural on the exterior wall of Mount Clemens Fire Department.

Designed by the local mother-artist team Angelika and Alana Wynes, the mural was part of the DIA’s Partners in Public Art initiative. The mural shows a fire truck driving down Main Street with Macomb County government buildings on one side of the street and various businesses along with other.

“This initiative solidifies Mount Clemens’ commitment to public art and confirms our purpose of becoming Art City,” Mayor Laura Kropp said in a news release before the dedication ceremony.

Phil Gilchrist, executive director of the Anton Art Center, said the mural is a “vibrant addition to the cityscape, capturing the spirit and essence of the Mount Clemens community.”

A pair of racers compete on the track, heading neck-and-neck for the finish line on Crocker Boulevard Saturday afternoon. (DAVE ANGELL — FOR THE MACOMB DAILY)

“The PIPA program aims to foster collaboration between local communities and the museum,”  Julie McFarland, DIA executive director of Public Affairs and Community Engagement, said in the release. “Our
hope is that these murals strengthen and celebrate our communities through art, and we are happy to partner with the City of Mount Clemens on this project.”

Tiana Barnes has an intense focus on the route ahead of her as she gets ready in her “Barbie” car. (DAVE ANGELL — FOR THE MACOMB DAILY)

Meanwhile, about 60 racers took part in the annual Grand Prix event, a soapbox derby-style race down Crocker Boulevard in front of City Hall. The race track forced the closure for Crocker for much of the day.

Members of the Mount Clemens Lions Club, who run the Grand Prix with various volunteers, were pumped up because the number of drivers and sponsors is on the increase in 2023.

Brooklyn Goodell gets weighed along with her car before the race on Saturday. Cars and drivers averaged around 215 pounds, officials said. (DAVE ANGELL — FOR THE MACOMB DAILY)

According to race director Darryl Hissong, a retired GM engineer, about 60 drivers had signed up, compared to 48 in 2022. Also up were the number of sponsors, he said.

Proceeds from the sponsors — who each chipped in between $200 and $5,000 — help pay for a program and other expenses, while some is donated to various charities. Organizers say more than $370,000 has been donated over the years, including $20,000 in the past year.

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