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Art in Clinch Park tunnel to honor Anishinabek culture once again

There used to be Anishinabek art in the Clinch Park Tunnel in downtown Traverse City. But in 2013, the tunnel was remodeled and the art was painted over. Now, the Traverse City Arts Commission is returning native American art to the tunnel. 


Commissioners selected Colorado Springs-based Bobby Lopez to paint a new mural honoring the native Anishinabek culture. Cindy Winslow, the director of the Eyaawing Museum in Peshawbestown, helped oversee the selection process on behalf of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

“I was looking for an artist that could potentially understand Anishinaabe art and be willing to talk with us as a community,” she says. “I was also looking for more of an organic flow with their art than the hard edges.”

A final draft of the mural will be submitted by Lopez to the the Arts Commission in June. The project is expected to be completed in July.

“We should be definitely portrayed more extensively than what we are in Traverse City culture,” says Winslow.

But she says the mural is a good first step.

Dan Wanschura is the Host and Executive Producer of Points North.