Most Ann Arbor residents, and even non-residents, are aware of the variety of murals around downtown. These murals are curated and fundraised for by the Ann Arbor Art Center. According to the A2AC website the murals around town are “the culmination of pairing downtown building and business owners with local, regional, and national artists who transformed the building walls into spectacular murals—providing the community and visitors the opportunity to experience and enjoy these large, vibrant works of public art in Ann Arbor and the SE Michigan area.”
Through the Canvs app (available through the Apple App Store) as well as Google Maps, people interested in the murals are now able to have a more interactive and structured experience.
Even though today I was specifically searching for murals, I have seen many of these murals before in passing. Everytime I see one, even if it is just for a moment, I always consider how much effort and thought was put into the amazing work of art in front of me. All 15 of the murals in Ann Arbor are created by different artists with diverse styles and focuses.
Walking around Ann Arbor just for the sake of looking at art is something that I, and everyone else, should consider doing more often. In the bright summer sun, the murals feel larger than life, even more than usual. I was able to see murals I had never seen or taken the time to look at because of the services provided by A2AC.
As an avid Google Maps user, I love being able to search up “murals” and see the different attractions around town. I also used the mural map and tried out the Canvs app. The app has a “mural hunt” feature which, if activated, will alert your mobile device when you are 150 feet away from a mural. This app works not only in Ann Arbor, but anywhere that murals can be found. A2AC also provides an online mural activity book that includes the mural map, coloring and identification activities, as well as descriptions of the Ann Arbor murals.
Ann Arbor is a unique city. I feel that sometimes we might not fully appreciate the multitude of opportunities we have with museums, libraries, school, programs, and more, but especially with the focus on public art and visual enrichment.
We host a gigantic art fair every summer, rain or shine, bringing in thousands of people from Michigan and beyond. The A2 Summer Festival brings together musicians of all backgrounds free to the public. All around town are gigantic art installations and sculptures.
Although the public art is available to everyone, A2AC also offers opportunities for people interested in art to learn and create. Although A2AC curated murals around Ann Arbor, there are tons that are not from them but still demonstrate the immense artistic talent of our community. For these reasons, I hope that you consider taking some time to appreciate the natural and human-made art we have in this city. I thoroughly thank A2AC for enriching Ann Arbor and supporting local artists.
Check out the Ann Arbor Art Center website for more information.