New "Art Seen" in Downtown Midland

June 03, 2023

Local artists invited hundreds of Midlanders to help paint a new mural downtown during the annual Art Seen Festival on June 3, an effort sponsored in part by Dow Credit Union.

"It seemed like there was a sense of community, inclusion, and togetherness," Walter Hall, Dow Credit Union's marketing program coordinator, said.

The towering fresco now coats the rear edifice of Little Forks Outfitters on E Main St., though it began the weekend as a simple outline. Lead artist Dacia Parker wanted locals to have a role in realizing her brainchild, which took the form of a gargantuan paint-by-numbers project.

"The community has loved coming out and painting on the walls," Parker said. "It's always nice to be able to make your mark and say 'I helped paint some of that'."

Parker added that the project united people from all walks and stages of life. She observed that seniors had just as much fun painting on the wall as the children.

Midland County's vision statement, "Together. Forward. Bold." inspired the creation. The work incorporates an eclectic assortment of art styles and disparate influences, which reflects the diversity in our community.

2023 marked the festival's third year. Organized by the Midland Area Community Foundation, the event is intended to celebrate local art and artists. Creators from across the county erected booths displaying their latest works, while local musicians played to enthusiastic crowds.

"I only recently moved to Midland," Hall said. "This was my first Art Seen, and it definitely gave me a better sense of the culture here. It's also great to see that these are the kinds of events that our credit union supports."