THE WILM Team (from left): Adriana Zardus, Mary Kleshefsky and Kate Roos with the traveling art studio, which will be in front of Curwood Castle in Owosso noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1. (Courtesy Photo)

The AartWorks Project has introduced an interactive art initiative, Why I Love Michigan (WILM). The campaign is a traveling community art project requesting input from residents throughout Michigan.

The Why I Love Michigan Project provides art-making opportunities for people to creatively express why they love Michigan. Individuals are asked to share their thoughts and images on WILM postcards.

The postcards are collected and will be assembled into one large art piece – connecting the diverse communities and people throughout the state. A special WILM mobile art studio is traveling into communities to provide access to the postcards and art materials. The studio is capturing the creative expression of people from Detroit to Escanaba through early August. Additional elements of the project include recording people’s Michigan stories and a pen pal program, connecting people in different regions of the state by mailing postcards.

Throughout the summer, the AartWorks team is constructing the installation that will reflect the images, words, sounds and stories of shared passions that connect the residents and visitors of Michigan. The interactive design of the installation will encourage guests to walk slowly and view the postcard details. Over 2,000 postcards will guide the design of the piece which includes 50 columns arranged to reflect the shapes of the Upper and Lower Peninsulas with paths created to represent the rivers and roads traversing Michigan. Audio story recordings will be integrated into the 900-square-foot installation, which is expected to debut this September at a location to be announced.

The Why I Love Michigan Project also includes a Pen Pal Program. Anyone creating a postcard may choose to give the WILM team their name and address and make a postcard to send to someone in another town who has also participated in the WILM project. Each participant then has an opportunity to receive a handmade postcard from someone in a different Michigan town…another way to connect our communities.

On Sunday, May 16, the WILM mobile art studio made its first stop in the community of Empire, during its Asparagus Festival. There are three ways to acquire a WILM postcard—all are free: *1. Stop by the mobile art studio when it is in your area.

*2. Many local coffee shops and stores will have the postcards. *3. Request a postcard through the website (

To request a specific visit by the WILM art studio, persons may contact The AartWorks Project at or (734) 417-8838.

**About The AartWorks Project: Based in Ann Arbor, The AartWorks Project serves as an umbrella organization under which other art-based projects are developed, administered and implemented. All projects undertaken meet the criteria of promoting creativity, community and/or positive change through art related experiences. More information is available at:

The AartWorks Project New Initiative – Why I Love Michigan was last modified: July 29th, 2015 by Karen Elford