New event brings local artists downtown
THREE RIVERS — Art and artists will be out in full force in downtown Three Rivers this Saturday.
The first-ever “Art on Main” event will take place this Saturday on Main Street in Three Rivers, running from noon to 7 p.m. The event will feature around 18 local artists from around the area showing off and selling their works on Main Street, which will be blocked off for the event.
Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Tricia Meyer said the event came about through the DDA’s partnerships with local artists and the Three Rivers Artist Guild over the past few years.
“Having really engaged with our local artist guild over the last couple years, even before COVID, we started talking more, they were doing more events downtown,” Meyer said. “With the more relationship building that has come about with the local artists, the event was the natural effect. The Artist Guild contributed right out of the gate, a $100 donation to kind of kick things off.”
Meyer described the event as a “block party” style event, with local restaurants being open as well as the East Alley, which will have an open mic session and live music artists at its stage.
As for the East Alley, it will be officially unveiled with a ribbon cutting ceremony and formal presentation at 5 p.m. during the event. Meyer said it will be exciting to see the newest space downtown finally get an official grand opening.
“It’s very exciting personally, because I’ve been involved every step of the way. It’s really cool to see how it came together, and it’s a great example of teamwork,” Meyer said, adding that some of the artists participating in Saturday’s event helped contribute to the East Alley artwork. “We had a vision, we accomplished it, and we worked together. There’s still some little things to do this week to kind of tidy it up, but it’s exciting.”
Meyer said there is a possibility of representatives from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, who contributed funds to the project through a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2019 for the East Alley, participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony, however it has not been confirmed as of yet.
With the ribbon cutting ceremony, Meyer said it would be a good kickstarter to the upcoming work that will be done to the Mural Mall thanks to a vibrancy grant the DDA just received.
“As we’re getting ready to gear up for the Mural Mall with the vibrancy grant we got, it’s exciting to see one project complete so we can take this vibe and do something down at the Mural Mall,” Meyer said. “I think they’ll be more excited about this other grant we’ve gotten.”
Meyer said the Art on Main event is a big deal for downtown, as the DDA has wanted to do similar events to Saturday’s event in the past.
“I think that we have so much local talent here – in the past, we’ve tried to do different ArtHop-style events, and we just weren’t able to build an event around it,” Meyer said. “We’re confident the approach we’re taking with Art on Main with closing down Main Street, and we have pretty good participation.”
She said the event is a good way to show off what the area has to offer in terms of arts and what downtown has to offer.
“We have so much talent here that it will be a great way to not only show off the beautiful downtown, because whenever you close the Main Street down, it’s fun for people to walk around, and we have the new social district, it will be a great way to add that shopping component to our already-existing businesses,” Meyer said. “The art piece especially will be great to showcase.”
Meyer said she hopes people will enjoy the art on display and for sale, and hopes the event becomes a staple event in downtown’s repertoire.
“A lot of people come downtown and ask if there’s a local art gallery where they can purchase something. I know we have Carnegie and we have great museums like that, but I think they’ll look forward to the opportunity to purchase something to support the local artists and downtown,” Meyer said. “I hope it will become one of our signature events. We have a lot of them right now, and I’d like to see this become one of them. I’d like to see it grow as well.”
Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or email@example.com.