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Public Art Passport offers adventure throughout Great Lakes Bay Region

The Boy and Bear, by Marshall M. Fredericks
Saginaw Valley State University Photography Staff
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Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
The Boy and Bear, by Marshall M. Fredericks

Public Art Passport is a portal to more than 400 works of art in Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region. Ashley Ross, associate director of collections and impact at Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw, is our tour guide.

Ashley Ross, Associate Director of Collections and Impact, Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.
Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
Ashley Ross, Associate Director of Collections and Impact, Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum.

Ashely Ross: Absolutely. We are going on a great art adventure. Public Art Passport is a comprehensive portal to all public art in Michigan's Great Lakes Bay Region. So all throughout Bay County, Midland County and Saginaw counties, we are uplifting all of the public art throughout all three of those counties this summer. That means that the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is calling out all of our public artists--all of the works that we might drive by every day-- and really trying to elevate and uplift what we have, but also curating some new experiences for our visitors. So part of the Public Art Passport is our website. On that website you can find maps, you can find adventures to go on all throughout the region that take you to all of the different artworks through the different three counties. But also you can go through all three counties and make it all-encompassing, explore as much or as little as you want. All of the public artwork throughout the region is getting new labels throughout this entire summer, so if it's not up yet, you will be able to find out more information very soon. A lot of times I'll walk by a mural or a bench and not necessarily know who the artist is or what I'm seeing in front of me. And so part of this Public Art Passport is you'll be able to find labels on all of the art throughout the region. Click on a little QR code and find out more about the artist. And then you'll be able to find out more about the art that is close to you and where you're at at that moment. Additionally, the Marshall M. Fredericks Museum is curating an exhibition throughout the region, so there are sculptural works throughout all three counties this summer, they are all in place and you'll be able to see those all around. We have a special map on our website. So those are temporary installations, so I encourage everyone to get out, see all of those different artworks in their counties and their neighboring counties. But then we also have some really exciting events coming up throughout the summer. So for example, we have a Public Art Passport pedal trolley tour, so it's going to be bring your own drink, and we are going to be touring some public art throughout Bay City on a pedal trolley. And then we also have a sculpture garden party here at the museum, which is based at Saginaw Valley State University. And so we have a bunch of public art sculptures. We have Marshall Frederick's works, but then we also have some guest artists out in the gardens this summer as well. And so, throughout July and August, we have all sorts of different events going on with Public Art Passport. Again, you don't need an actual passport, but it's a way to kind of tie in everything all together. We also have drop-in art activities here at the museum on weekends. So there's a lot going on. We're just really trying to highlight the wonderful art that is in our region and draw people out to see it all and understand what's going on around you.

Judy Wagley: Ashley, there is a lot happening there. How many works of art are there altogether?

AR: Nearing 400 works of art throughout the three different counties that we have identified.

JW: Wow!

Together, Forward, Bold, by Selena Bender, Jazz Benitez and Dacia Parker.
Anne Martin
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Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
Together, Forward, Bold, by Selena Bender, Jazz Benitez and Dacia Parker.

AR: That number is always growing because we have great organizations who are working on public art throughout the region. So, for example, the Shine Bright mural that just was elevated in Saginaw, we work with Public Arts Midland too, they're always doing projects as well. Same thing in Bay City. So the list is growing, so we're at almost 400. If you find a work of art in your region that is not on the passport list yet, let us know, because the whole point of this is to tie it all together to elevate what's out there.

Sunflower, by Fritz Olsen
Ellie Frysztak
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WCMU
Sunflower, by Fritz Olsen

The exhibition that we're having right now this summer is 13 different sculptures throughout the three different counties. And so those are temporary. Those are only on view through the end of August. So if you want to see those, they will only be around for a little while. But our permanent works all throughout our communities, is ever growing and ever expanding. But right around 400 right now.

JW: It really is a great adventure to go and find all of that art. And it looks like the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, in partnership with all of the other artists and organizations, are truly-- literally putting the Great Lakes Bay Region on the map.

Moon Pearl Infinity, by Plamen Yordanov
Erin Pilarski
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Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
Moon Pearl Infinity, by Plamen Yordanov

AR: And that's what we wanted to do with Public Art Passport. We know that the Great Lakes Bay Region is a great place to live, work and play. We know about the art. We see it every day as we're, you know, going to the store, going down to the beach, whatever we might be doing. So we wanted to not only uplift it internally, here in our community, but share with the rest of Michigan to say, “Look at what we have right here. Make sure you come on your way up north this summer!” The Great Lakes Bay Region is a great place to be and we have so many offerings and this was kind of one of those hidden gems that we don't want to be hidden anymore. We want to show you all of this great public art that we have on display.

For more information about Public Art Passport click here.

 
And we note that Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is a sponsor of WCMU. We report on them as we do with any other organization.

Judy Wagley is WCMU’s midday host, and is the producer of The Children’s Bookshelf from From the Ground Up! She guides listeners through their weekdays from 9am to 3pm.