NW MI Arts & Culture Network
Art on the TART
Traverse Area Recreation and Transportation Trails (TART) have received several minigrants to support public art along its lengthy trail system, including this recent project, “Conservation Conversation” by artist collective Sous la Ciel at the Tenth Street Trailhead in Traverse City.
The goal of the 10th Street Trailhead project along the Boardman Lake Trail was to transform this underutilized public space into an enriching environment for everyone to enjoy – placemaking is at the very heart of it. We are turning a simple access point to the trail into a destination, and make the area safe, comfortable, and accessible. Through intentional landscaping with project partner Inhabitect, a formal sitting area and parklet have been installed at the trailhead. This parklet offers not only a spot to rest after recreation on the trail, but also a place to commune with nature, as well as art. The landscaping includes multiple edged garden beds, filled with indigenous and sustainable plantings, as well as the pruning of existing trees, and the removal of current brush. A total of five benches have been installed at the trailhead, and these seating areas are frequently full during the lunch hour, and in use throughout the day.
The artist collective Sous la Ciel, comprised of Michigan-based artists Adrienne Pickett and Kellie Bambach, installed their permanent interactive exhibition at the trailhead. Their installation includes custom, hand-painted furniture pieces that encourage people to sit down, relax, and gather in the beauty of nature, as well as vertical “mural” panels that are diagonally stacked and viewable from all sides as those traverse the trail. These pieces each explore various flora and fauna indigenous to the Traverse City region, as well as the Latinate names of the species depicted. The backgrounds are bold and fun, inviting and engaging to all who visit.
For more on Art on the TART: https://traversetrails.org/art-on-the-tart/