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Posted on: May 14, 2020

Traveling Muralist Lauren Asta to Create Center City Mural in Downtown East Lansing

lauren asta

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The East Lansing City Council, with support from the East Lansing Arts Commission and East Lansing Art Selection Panel, have approved entering into a partnership with HB BM East Lansing LLC (HB BM) to bring traveling muralist and artist Lauren Asta to East Lansing to create a public art mural on the eastern wall of the Center City District (Center City) development.

The mural will be located at street level within the walkway between Jolly Pumpkin’s upcoming East Lansing location and Pinball Pete’s, and it will be 22 feet tall and 56 feet wide. HB BM worked closely with Chicago-based art consultant Anna Cerniglia, founder of Johalla Projects, in the selection of Lauren Asta for the mural, which is being installed in fulfillment of the City’s Percent of Art requirement.

“Center City was formed through a long-term commitment and partnership with the City Council, East Lansing Downtown Development Authority, East Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and HB BM,” said HB BM Manager Mark Bell. “We knew that we had to find the right muralist to capture the togetherness and enthusiasm that Center City was built upon. Lauren Asta’s artistic talents will accomplish this.”

Lauren Asta, based in Chicago, Ill., specializes in illustration, oddity art, doodle art, street art and murals. Her murals are all hand painted without any aid of a sketch, projector or traced outline. She works completely freehand.

“We are excited to have an artist of Asta’s caliber come to East Lansing to create a piece of public art that will be enjoyed by our community for many years to come,” said East Lansing Art Festival and Art Initiatives Coordinator Heather Majano. “The City’s Percent for Art program has resulted in a growing collection of public art around the community, and we are excited to be able to add one of Asta’s murals to that collection. We also would like to thank HB BM for their partnership in bringing this new, exciting public art piece to East Lansing.”

Asta’s mural is scheduled to be completed in downtown East Lansing this summer. Currently, it is anticipated that Asta will begin working on the mural in early July and be finished by August, weather and executive order permitting. The Center City Mural is being funded with $19,800 of HB BM’s initial payment of $25,000 to the Percent for Art program’s Public Art Fund. Instead of utilizing the balance paid to the Public Art Fund, HB BM also agreed to fund the remaining $4,700 for the mural in order to preserve the remaining funds contributed to the Public Art Fund for other art opportunities in downtown East Lansing.

“When I began exploring the opportunity to work in East Lansing, I was blown away by the City’s commitment to public art.” said Lauren Asta. “Public art is created to inspire and create hope. In challenging times, such as this, I am looking forward to creating a mural that will remind us of the joy and love that continuously remains around us.”

In addition to this exciting news, community members are reminded that there will be a virtual East Lansing Art Festival (ELAF) this Saturday, May 16, featuring a full day of video content on the ELAF Facebook page: Learn more about the virtual event here:

East Lansing’s Percent for Art program (Ordinance No. 1339) requires developers to commit one percent of their project’s cost (with a $25,000 cap) to public art, through the installation of a piece of public art within their project, the donation of a piece of public art to the City of East Lansing or through a payment to the City’s Public Art Fund for future commissions of public art. 

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