LiveBuchanan announces downtown mural project

Published 2:03 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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BUCHANAN — A project aimed at beautifying and enhancing downtown Buchanan is now underway.

LiveBuchanan, in partnership with the Buchanan District Library and Roti Roti Art Center, unveiled an ambitious community art project Wednesday aimed at revitalizing Days Avenue into an immersive cultural destination. Supported by grants from the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation and the Berrien Community Foundation, the initiative marks a significant step forward in enhancing the artistic landscape and cultural vibrancy of Buchanan.

According to a news release, an interchangeable art framing system, made possible by the funding from the Michigan Gateway Community Foundation, will serve not only to protect the library building but will also provide a dynamic platform for showcasing a rotating collection of large-scale artworks. The project is launched with the intention of curating a fresh selection of art annually, poising Days Avenue to undergo a continuous evolution, offering residents and visitors an ever-changing visual experience.

Playing a pivotal role in this initiative is the Buchanan District Library, which offered its venue to house the curated art pieces. Library Director Meg Paulette and the library board have been instrumental in bringing this vision to life, aligning with LiveBuchanan’s mission to activate Days Avenue and foster community engagement through the arts. 

“For years people have told us our building is perfect for murals, and we are excited to have found a way to host an ongoing public art project that will create enthusiasm for our library and give our community a new and exciting art installation every year,” Paulette said.

This year the art will be created by local muralist Alex Ann Allen who will center the work on the community and celebrate the library. In conjunction with this project, the library will launch the “I Heart My Library” campaign to showcase the diverse range of interests and passions that your local library is equipped to nurture and support. This portion of the project was funded by the Berrien Community Foundation. 

Inspired by “A Vision for Buchanan,” a comprehensive document crafted by Andrews University architecture students with extensive community input, this community art project aims to enhance public spaces and cultivate a strong sense of place within Buchanan. Highlighted on pages 20-21 of the vision, the project underscores the collective commitment to creating a vibrant and inclusive cultural landscape.

“We firmly believe in the transformative power of public art to reshape environments and forge connections within communities. This project is particularly exciting because it celebrates the invaluable role the library and art center play in championing arts and culture within our community and invites the community to actively engage in and shape that culture,” said Ashley Regal, Executive Director of LiveBuchanan.

For more information about the community art project, please visit the Buchanan District Library website here.