"I haven't sat down and calculated how many hours it's taken us to paint this mural, but the three of us have spent five full days where we've been painting like crazy. We're definitely dragging by the end of the day. But it's a labor of love and we are just honored for the opportunity to bring our vision, combine it with Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network vision.
We met several times over Zoom to discuss location and themes. They had wonderful suggestions, and through that collaborative effort, I started working on designs, going back and forth with the members of The Great Mural Project We have a beautiful nature scene alluding to both a macro and micro level. The animals on the pillars add a three-dimensional element, and the realism combined with the abstraction mimics our everyday world.
The reception, even before the mural was completed, has been overwhelming. The support has been phenomenal, and we just filled with gratitude for the community that has come together to really show their appreciation in their comments on social media, coming down and taking pictures, and interacting with the art. All of those reactions are the power of a public art scene. People can take place that no one knew was there and turn it into a destination.
That's the power of public art: it can completely transform a space that was a dead zone into something that has vitality and springs life from ours."
- Mark Piotrowski, MARKedARTs
"I've worked with Mark for a number of murals over the years, but this is the first one we've done in Saginaw together and it's been a blast. Working with Mark and Kevin on this gives me the same feeling I get when I'm doing snow sculptures and I love it.
Mark showed me the concept and I was floored. The size was initially intimidating to me, but once we got down here and starting about the elements we were going to put into it, it went together so smoothly.
I love the combination of the pictorial elements that Kevin put in. Mark and I lean a little bit more towards the abstract and I think the finished piece is a great blending of the two. It's very immersive, it draws you in. Seeing people interact with the mural - coming down here, kids taking pictures "playing" with the animals - it's more satisfying than seeing your work in a gallery. There, the work sits on a shelf or on a wall, but here, they can get right into.
They'll sit on it, they'll stand on it, they'll immerse themselves in it. There's that collaboration between you and the audience that puts it on an even deeper artistic level.
And to me, that's incredibly satisfying."
- Sean Gallagher, MARKedARTs
"This is a cool mural.
I've done a lot of murals all over, but when it's on a wall, it's tough to feel immersed in it. You're just walking by, and maybe take a few photos.
With this one, you actually feel like you're in it. You can walk on it. This is totally one-off, this is Saginaw's. The abstract stuff blending in with the realistic parts is wild.
Public art creates a space for people to go outside and see something. In Flint, we have bike tours now so people can see the murals around town. They ride their bikes and then stop at a local restaurant. It just boosts the local scene. Public art there has made a difference. And it's spread. Every town I go to, people ask me, "Did you hear about the art going on in Flint?" I love it. It feels good."
- Kevin Burdick, Scraps Designs