Who knows what a fresh coat of paint – or 15 – can do for a town? Bright Walls does. Bright Walls, a public art and mural festival founded and run by the Jackson Young Professionals has left a literal mark on Jackson, Michigan.
It all started with a love story and a passion for the community. It wasn’t just luck that brought Clay and Leslie McAndrews to a LOVE mural painted by Cey Adams in Boston, MA, it was their admiration for murals and the pursuit of a picturesque moment for Clay to pop “the question.” But, what if Clay didn’t have to travel all the way from Jackson to Boston, MA in order to confront his love on that special occasion? Upon returning home, Clay pitched his idea to the Jackson Young Professionals. The idea was to bring murals to Jackson on a scale not typically seen in a community of its size. The Jackson Young Professionals took hold of the dream and made it a reality.
With daily hard work, private and public partnerships, and outstanding support, Bright Walls came to life in October of 2018. Bright Walls hosted 14 artists from around the world who transformed a block of buildings on Pearl Street into a high-end, over-sized art gallery. Throughout the week-long festival, Bright Walls showcased the artists’ talents alongside musicians, local artists, and many other community organizations. In addition to featuring world-renowned muralists, the festival boasted six days of free activities for the community to soak up art.
Bright Walls will be back, September 5-10, 2019. Bigger and better than last year, 15 more murals will be added by artists from around the world plus up to 6 murals by Michigan-based artists. It will all happen in and around the former “Victory Lane,” in between Michigan Avenue and Cortland Street. Similar to last year, free events for the whole family will be curated for the community. You can stay up-to-date on the happenings by visiting www.brightwallsjackson.com or “liking” the Bright Walls Facebook page.
Downtown Jackson’s landscape is changing one wall at a time and the way things are going there is no doubt that the future looks BRIGHT!
Author: Leslie Youngdahl