Traverse City tunnel art gives vision to Anishinaabe heritage

Oct 28, 2019

New public art is now on display in Traverse City at the Clinch Park Tunnel, and it once again features art murals honoring the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

The location used to contain Anishinabek art but was painted over in 2013 when the tunnel was remodeled.

“Really honoring the indigenous people of our region is the goal of this project,” says Colleen Paveglio, with the Traverse City Arts Commission. “Honoring the people that were here before us.”

The murals are copies of the original artwork and hang in the tunnel as different pannels. Paveglio says the art will likely last between three and five years before replacement.

“We are calling it a rotating exhibit and it offers us the opportunity to revisit this process again,” she says.

Artist Bobby Magee Lopez represented Anishinabek culture with 19 brightly colored murals featuring native animals, plants and regalia.
Credit Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Paveglio says the arts commission would target Anishinabek culture in future exhibitions.

There are 19 murals in total. They were hand painted by Denver, Colorado-based artist Bobby Magee Lopez. The brightly-colored art depicts native animals, plants and regalia.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the art installation is set for 4 p.m. Monday at the Clinch Park Tunnel.