Board of Water & Light and Arts Council Reveal Central Substation Mural Project Team

Dick Pefley, BWL General Manager, presented Caitlin Gwinn and Dane Vermuelen of Michigan Imagery with a $20,000 “Big Check” for their mural project, which will serve as an entryway to REO Town.

May 24, 2018 — Lansing, Michigan – The Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) are excited to announce the creative
team chosen for the BWL Central Substation murals. Nearly 20 applications were received in response to a request for proposals (RFP), with “City Rhythm,” proposed by the Lansing-based Michigan Imagery team, chosen as the most innovative proposal.

The new Central Substation, located at the corner of W. Malcolm X St. and S. Washington Ave., is designed to replace the Eckert Power Station and adjacent Eckert Substation with the goal of providing affordable and reliable power to its customers. The Central Substation is a key component of BWL’s modernization program, “Lansing Energy Tomorrow.” The BWL has committed
$20,000 every three years for new public art to be displayed on the substation walls. The park surrounding the Central Substation will also include new trails and pathways, upgraded parking and landscaping as well as a plaza for arts and cultural events, making it a vibrant addition to the REO Town community. “The structure and surrounding park improvements will be a landmark gateway that will connect downtown Lansing and REO Town,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “This project means that downtown Lansing will gain more reliable power when the substation becomes operational in the fall, plus the park improvements will create more opportunity for people to enjoy our beautiful city.”

“I’m pleased that the BWL was able to work with community members who made recommendations on how the walls of the Central Substation should look,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “I’m also pleased we’ve committed to invest and support public art for the substation walls that will reflect the cultural diversity of our community.”

“City Rhythm,” will tell the story of an ever-changing Greater Lansing region. Using colorful lighting and site-specific metal panels, the team will create three murals for installation on the north and south sides of the substation. “Our team is really proud to have been chosen for this project,” said Michigan Imagery co-founder Caitlin Gwinn. “We believe the installation will reflect the ebb and flow of the community and its constantly changing landscape. It will use light to simulate movement and energy, which will serve as an example of REO Town’s colorful past and bright future.”

The solar-lit, three-panel art installation will be a welcoming beacon to REO Town, lighting up the entry way to the community. “We are excited for this new gateway to our neighborhood,” said Jeff Barker, REO Town Commercial Association President, “and we are glad that Michigan Imagery has found a way to blend our industrial past with this fusion of art, technology and renewable energy.”

The Michigan Imagery team consists of co-founder Dane Vermeulen; co-founder and lead graphic designer Caitlin Gwinn; production manager and graphic designer, Danielle Eley; graphic designer and sculptor, Jacob Hudgins; and shop assistant, Jarad Cornett. Fabrication of the galvannealed steel murals will begin immediately, with an estimated early October 2018 installation date.

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing facilitated the RFP process in collaboration with the BWL, City of Lansing and REO Town Commercial Association.

Three murals will be installed and will be powered by solar panels so that they light up at night.