Attend the Fresh Waves Documentary Premiere this Thursday!

August 9th, 2021 | Written By Kingsli Kraft

Fresh Waves Documentary Premiere 2021 Graphic

We are so excited to be collaborating with Irving Entertainment to host the Premiere of the Fresh Waves Documentary shot by Irving Entertainment in 2019, the year Fresh Waves, Downtown Alpena’s Mural Project first kicked off. The premiere is at Art in the Loft on August 12th, 2021 starting at 6:00pm.

The Fresh Waves documentary tells the story of the mural project’s first year—how it all started, why the first artist, Aaron Golbeck, an Alpena native dreamed of bringing this project to our community, and how the DDA and other members of the Downtown Arts Community hope to see the project grow in future years. 

Tickets are free for students and children 18 years of age or younger and are $10 each for all adults over 18 years of age. Starting at 6:00pm there will be an opening cocktail hour where some small bites will be provided on a first come, first serve basis, and Art in the Loft will also provide a cash bar. Attendees are welcome to mingle with past and present artists that are in attendance and enjoy live music from Rich Rider.

2021 Mural Installation at the Alpena Boat Harbor

The viewing of the documentary will begin at 7:00 pm and runs for about 30 minutes. A Q&A panel with past artists and the Fresh Waves Downtown Mural Project organizers will follow the documentary premiere beginning around 7:40 pm. There will be a mix of prepared questions and room for questions from the audience. 

The Q&A Panel will be moderated by Anne Gentry, the Executive Director of the Alpena DDA. Panelists for the Q&A include

  • Aaron Golbeck (2019 Fresh Waves Artist & Founder)
  • Mark Piotrowski (2020 Fresh Waves Artist)
  • Sarah Bedford (2021 Fresh Waves Artist)
  • Cristi Johnson (2019 Mural Location Representative & DDA Board Member)
  • Zach Irving (Irving Entertainment and Documentary Producer & Videographer)
  • Kingsli Kraft (Marketing & Outreach Coordinator at the Alpena DDA)
2020 Artist Mark Piotrowski working on his mural, Wave Journey.

This year marks the third year that we’ve worked on the Fresh Waves Mural Project. It’s been amazing to be a part of this project as it grows and evolves and it will be awesome to watch the documentary and remember how it all started. Seeing the impact the artwork has had on our community truly inspires me. It’s always so cool to see someone’s profile picture using one of the murals as a back drop and to realize you played a role in bringing that artwork to the community.

We’ve heard so much amazing feedback about this project. I love hearing what each mural means to different people, because the answer is always different. It’s beautiful that so many people drive by these murals on their way to work or walk by while they’re shopping on a Saturday morning and they all have their own, unique connection to the artwork. Which is kind of the whole point.

Public art can beautify and transform ordinary, occasionally neglected spaces and inspire community investment and pride. Public art can also build connections on a large scale. Everyone sees something a little differentin each mural, and still everyone experiences joy when they engage with the artwork.

Left to Right: Scotty Johnson, Cristi Johnson, Chad Bolsinger, Aaron Golbeck, Anne Gentry, & Kingsli Kraft, Fresh Waves artists and organizers 2019

I remember walking down to the DDA Office with Anne, our Executive Director, after the Fresh Waves Celebration Party in August 2019. I remember the excitement and I remember the hope we had to continue this project and bring beautiful, one-of-a-kind artwork to this community that we both love so much.

So often public art is used as a vehicle for other agendas, celebrating history, or promoting science, or any other plethora of reasons. While using art for those purposes is wonderful, that is not what we wanted to do with Fresh Waves. Working with Aaron Golbeck and Chad Bolsinger, the first two artists that year, and chatting with others in our ever-growing arts scene, we saw the need for art for art’s sake. We started to have a vision for this project honor creative freedom and bring fresh new fine art to the downtown landscape. Art that exists for its own purpose, to make you feel something, to make you ask questions. That is why we didn’t want to have a specific theme drive Fresh Waves, but instead a mission to bring beautiful, one of a kind artwork by professional artists to our community. 

Art is invaluable and it is so important in this community. I am so glad to be a part of it and to have had a hand in bringing the Fresh Waves Mural Project to the community these last few years. Since I moved home from college in 2018, I have seen the arts continue to transform and grow our community and reshape familiar and forgotten corners into inspiring landscapes that we all love. From performance art to visual arts, from galleries to sides of buildings, I truly believe that the Arts are the spirit and lifeblood of this wonderful community nestled on the shores of Thunder Bay. I am so proud that this is the place I call home.

To purchase tickets and learn more about the Fresh Wave Mural Project and Documentary Premiere, visit:

Kingsli Kraft wrote this article for Blog Downtown Alpena. Kingsli is an Alpena native and a graduate of the University of Michigan. She now works at the Alpena Downtown Development Authority as the Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. She volunteers on Thunder Bay Theatre’s Board of Directors and is a dedicated advocate for the arts and environment. She enjoys reading, writing, yoga, hiking, caring for her numerous house plants and all things coffee. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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