International muralist comes to Muskegon

Chamber Blog |Jun 14, 2019|3 min read

The Lakeshore Art Festival, in conjunction with the JCI Greater Muskegon, is bringing a one-of-a-kind masterpiece to Downtown Muskegon. Internationally known street artist, Kelsey Montague, will be installing one of her famous winged murals to usher in the festival taking place this July.


The mural will be permanently displayed on the east side of the Frauenthal Center building, continuing the revitalization of Downtown Muskegon. The transformation of the Muskegon Lakeshore community served as inspiration for this project. Not only will the mural be a spectacular work of art, but the butterfly wings also represent the change that has inspired growth throughout the county. The visual elements inside the butterfly wings, a Blue Heron, Black-eyed Susan, water, lighthouse, and music notes bring attention to aspects of the Muskegon Lakeshore that are beautiful, timeless, and celebrate our natural environment.


The mural will be available for public viewing on June 14, as a prologue to the annual Lakeshore Art Festival that will take place July 5 and 6.


Montague brands each mural with the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou, encouraging viewers to step into the art and share it on social media. In doing this, Montague hopes that the human experience can have a hand in creating the art itself. There are 77 of these works on display around the world, including one piece commissioned by Taylor Swift and two pieces located in Michigan (Ann Arbor and Detroit).


“We’ve been so impressed with her work and how intentional and interactive it is. Her pieces are inspirational, inclusive and uplifting. It’s a great message and a perfect fit for the Lakeshore Art Festival and for the Muskegon Lakeshore area,” said Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director. “We are thrilled that Kelsey’s work is going to be a part of our community and that her mural will find a permanent home among one of our most historically iconic venues. The Frauenthal Center stands as a symbol of a community that is deeply dedicated to the arts.”


“This project is a fantastic collaboration by community-focused organizations to enhance Muskegon,” said Brennen Gorman, JCI Greater Muskegon’s President. “Through the efforts of chapter members like Danielle Conley, who also serves on the art festival committee, we are able to bring organizations together to create something wonderful in our community.”


“We are inspired by this uplifting project and the community collaboration behind it,” said Eric Messing, Frauenthal Center Executive Director. “This piece highlights and celebrates the vibrant transformation happening in our area, and the Frauenthal Center is thrilled to serve as home to a work of art that will spark conversation for our community and visitors alike.”


A special thank you to the following for making this installation possible: Lakeshore Art Festival, JCI Greater Muskegon, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation for Muskegon County, City of Muskegon, Muskegon Downtown Development Authority, Mart Dock, Mike & Kay Olthoff, Parmenter Law, Arconic, Muskegon Lodge No. 140 Free & Accepted Masons, and the Marty & Heidi Sytsema Family Fund. Preparation for the project was provided by: Port City Construction, Redi Rental, Weber Lumber Company, Glen Selle, and Eric Higginson.