Williamston Art Committee applies for grant to construct murals

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The Williamston Art Committee applied for a $10,000 grant from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership to build welcome murals.

After little deliberation, the Williamston City Council passed a resolution to allow the committee to apply for the grant.

If granted, the committee will commission a local artist or artists to create four murals at the north, south, east and west entrances of the city, said Mayor Tammy Gilroy and City Clerk Holly Thompson. 

“I think it will be such a big thing for Williamston,” said Thompson. “I’m very, very excited.”

This is the closest thing Williamston has to a “Welcome” sign at the moment. Photo by: Ian Gilmour

Thompson said the project began a year ago as a way to welcome people into the city, since there are no welcome signs in Williamston.

“This is something that we’ve wanted to do in our downtown community,” said Gilroy. “Because of our membership with LEAP, we were able to learn about that grant.” 

The money is slated to cover all costs related to the project, which means no fundraising or taxpayer money is required. 

Thompson said LEAP will release its decisions on grant proposals during the first week of March.

The Bistro

Among the four sites for the murals is The Bistro, a downtown eatery located at the corner of South Putnam Street and East Middle Street.

The Bistro sits along one of the streets of downtown. Photo by: Ian Gilmour

“I think this would be a prime position for everyone,” said Emily Brennan, The Bistro’s general manager. “This is the gateway into Williamston from the (I-96) highway. It’ll be the first thing people see.”

The south wall of The Bistro is seen by passersby in both cars and on foot. Photo by: Ian Gilmour

When the city selected The Bistro as a site for one of the murals, it found it to be a perfect match.

“For us as a business, we expect it to draw attention to our sign,” said Brennan. “People will see the mural and go, ‘Oh! The Bistro. What’s that about?’”

To listen to how city officials used an unorthodox method to select The Bistro, click here

A benefit for the community

Art is an essential component to the value of any community. Adding it to Williamston can only help, said Thompson.

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