Anton Art Center’s new outdoor mural in Mount Clemens inspires inclusivity – Macomb Daily

Anton Art Center’s Holiday Market and its collection of work submitted by Macomb County’s finest artists is a gift to everyone.

This year’s edition, however, promises to be more inclusive as members of the art community along with county residents and community leaders gather Dec. 8 at 6 pm to celebrate Mount Clemens newest public art installation, a mural created by Jay Hero that’s been mounted on the exterior wall of the art center along with a poem by Jessica Care Moore.

Two years ago, Anton Art Center recognized the need to make the arts community more accessible and inclusive of minority groups who were not equitably represented in the local arts community.

It’s this effort to change that prompted the creation of the Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Council, which serves as an Advisory body to help the Anton Art Center staff and Board of Trustees become a more welcoming organization. One of the council’s recommendations culminated into the mounting of the colorful mural created by Hero titled, “Power.”

“This new mural represents an acknowledgment of the importance of all members of our community, and positive change towards inclusion and equity in the arts,” Phil Gilchrist, executive director of the Anton Art Center said, in a news release. “Everyone is welcome to join the event as the Board of Trustees, IDEA Council, staff and volunteers of the Anton Art Center celebrate moving towards a better future.”

Since its creation the IDEA council has participated in a series of community conversations open to the public, Exploring topics like the importance of art in education or how art can help us have difficult conversations like why some people feel excluded or disenfranchised from the art community.

It’s the desire of the IDEA council to move forward that led to the upcoming Celebration featuring the literary work of Moore, an award-winning poet and musician from Detroit, and a mural by Hero, who is a Mount Clemens native and graphic artist. Both pieces are intended to create discussion in the community about underrepresentation in the arts, and champion the contributions of black artists.

The Anton Art Center Holiday Market runs now through Dec.23.

The market features a wonderful collection of holiday decor and gifts for sale including fine art, unique handmade items, jewelry, ceramics, glass artworks, photographs and more. Hours for the market are: 11 am – 6 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 11 am to 8 pm Thursday; 11 am to 6 pm Friday and Saturday; and 11 am to 3 pm Sunday.

For more information visit theartcenter.org

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