Renovations paint a space for local artists

Renovations+paint+a+space+for+local+artists

Isabelle Tavares

Tall white walls were adorned with scattered paintings, floor looms and a metal ladder stood in the middle of an open space, waiting to be used by an art curator. The construction dust settled while the smell of fresh paint loomed in the air. Newly renovated rooms sectioned off the center from the open-floor space plan. Each room serves a different purpose and could be the home of a messy ceramics studio, or a professional art conference, all intended for the creative minds
of Marquette.

The City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center (MACC) is part of the Department of Community Services, consisting of three divisions: Arts and Culture, Parks and Recreation and Senior Services.
City of Marquette Arts and Culture Manager Tiina Harris explained that the MACC works closely with the Senior Center as well as Parks and Recreation, in which they helped with the restoration project for Father Marquette. Additionally, they partner with the Peter White Public Library (PWPL) and
its exhibits.

There’s a lot of interaction with NMU, Harris said, and shared that the MACC offers internships and other opportunites for NMU students. In the past, these students were from the Art and Design department, and the Marketing and
Communications department.

Harris recalled a class that did research on a “cultural trail” — a pathway throughout the city, highlighting significant historic ideas and natural environments — in Marquette. According to Harris, their study contributed majorly toward new ideas for the city of Marquette.

In regards to the renovation and new additions sculpting their way into the MACC, Harris said it’s an improved and flexible
space to work with.

Harris said she thinks the Center is “prettier” and “more attractive” because it now offers proper meeting spaces for visitors and creative thinkers. There are now conference rooms and installed ceiling projectors, providing benefit to those with presentations. These changes provide more privacy for visitors in a better-looking, organized environment, Harris said.

“Students come here and talk to us about their dreams and have coffee,” Harris said.

Connecting young artists, specifically Northern students looking to create a business, start a new hobby, get involved in the community or learning how to make a living in Marquette as an artist, is that of a bigger picture which Harris explained the MACC paints on the community.

Harris explained the spaces provided by the MACC are free and available for a variety of art mediums. The MACC encourages those to apply to see if they’re eligible to receive funding from the department, Harris explained, adding they would even help market the
approved program.

“It’s a great opportunity for someone that wants to develop themselves as a teacher or wants to coordinate some kind of program. We want people to do creative things in here,”
Harris said.

For those that don’t have an office, “It’s just another venue for people to do things,” Harris said. “The demand is that people need a place to meet.”

Office hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“It’s important for the community to have a creative space,” Harris said. “You have to nurture and encourage that.”