OWOSSO ARTIST LINDA BEEMAN designed, organized, and even wrote the grant from the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network for a large-scale, public mural project under the Washington Street Bridge in Owosso. Beeman shared that she actually “loves writing grants” and is particularly passionate about the installation of public art throughout the community.
A large number of volunteers from the Shiawassee Arts Center, downtown merchants and Owosso residents volunteered their time and talents to assist Beeman in accomplishing the feat of painting the mural along the Shiawassee River. The mural is painted mostly in bold blues and greens, with a number of local symbols included in the overall design such as the lifecycle of a dragonfly and a heron silhouette representing the Friends of the Shiawassee River logo.
Obviously this is not a mural that a passerby is going to readily view from a vehicle; instead, this particular artwork should be viewed and enjoyed from the river trail, aesthetically combining the beauty of the artwork with the beauty of the Shiawassee River.
Gathered for the photo on Friday, July 27 are (from left) Heather Dunham, Linda Beeman, SAC director Piper Brewer, Catherine Popowich and Rich Lowe. Dunham, who is from Corunna, happened to be walking along the river that morning and was inspired to volunteer to help with the project.
Unfortunately, as of Saturday, July 28, the mural was temporarily vandalized before it was even finished, but that did not stop Beeman or any of the volunteers from quickly stepping in to repair the damage and move on with the mural. The process of beautifying the downtown Owosso area is not going to be waylaid by disrespectful mischief-makers. The crime is under investigation and stronger security measures are in the works.
Beeman’s mural, thanks to the spirit of volunteerism that is so prevalent in Shiawassee County, has now been sealed and is ready for public viewing and enjoyment.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)