Downtown Alpena Mural Project kicks off this summer

In only a few months, snowbanks will be melted, ice puddles will be gone, and another beautiful Alpena summer will be on its way– outdoor tables put out for sidewalk dining, fresh flowers full in bloom, and the buzz of a full schedule of summer downtown events.

A new project and event can be added to that list: The Downtown Alpena Mural Project, a multi-year project that will add a new public mural each summer to a different wall in Downtown Alpena. To celebrate the completion of the mural, the Alpena DDA (Downtown Development Authority) will host a new summer event: a downtown party complete with live music, food, and drinks.

The mural project will kick off this summer, with artists Aaron Golbeck and Chad Bolsinger designing and painting the project’s first mural. The artists will be in town the last week of July to paint the mural, and the party to celebrate its completion is scheduled for Friday, August 2, 2019 from 6 pm- midnight.

Artist Aaron Golbeck painting. Photo by Aaron Golbeck.

The idea for the project came from mural artist Aaron Golbeck, an Alpena native who currently works in Breckenridge, Colorado and has been commissioned for murals for businesses, events, cities, and other installations. He’s also worked closely with Denver-based mural artist Chad Bolsinger, who will help with this summer’s mural.

As he got more involved in the art and mural scene, Golbeck came up with the idea to bring something special to the Alpena community. When discussing locations with other community members, he connected with the Alpena DDA to see if downtown could be a potential location. The DDA quickly jumped on board– as way to not only beautify our downtown, but to celebrate the vibrant arts community that is here and artists that have ties to Alpena.

Golbeck and the Alpena DDA have identified a list of potential walls for murals and have been working with property owners to solidify final details. This year’s mural is planned to be on the back wall of the previous Shoreline Church building on the corner of 3rd Avenue and the parking lot behind Mango’s and the Center Building. The building is currently vacant. Details about the August 2nd event will be released shortly.

According to Golbeck, he is excited to bring a new art installation to the Alpena community because this is his home.

“This idea came from wanting to give back to the community that raised me and looking to produce something big that people can enjoy and get behind,” he says. “Very excited to bring something new and fresh to my friends, family, and peers of Alpena.”

Aaron Golbeck is an artist based in Breckenridge, Colorado. He grew up in Alpena and studied Graphic Design at Northern Michigan University. In addition to being a professional artist, he is a semi-professional snowboarder and has worked in the resort industry and the retail side of the ski and snowboard industry. His work can be seen here.

Chad Bolsinger has his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Fort Lewis College and is a Denver-based artist who is a painter, muralists, street artist and illustrator. His recognizable style often brings a realistic approach to surrealistic settings. View examples of his work here.

The mission of the Alpena DDA is to implement positive physical, aesthetic, and economic changes in Downtown Alpena. This article was written by Executive Director Anne Gentry.

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