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Mosaic mural under Shiawassee Street bridge underway

Posted at 8:35 PM, Oct 26, 2021

LANSING, Mich. — Two years after she initially proposed the project, mosaic artist Alexandra Leonard began laying tiles on a large mosaic mural under the Shiawassee Street bridge in Lansing last week.

The mosaic is composed of tiles made by people in the Lansing community, who had the opportunity to make clay tiles of their own.

Leonard said she did this to create a piece of art that was a collaboration with the Lansing community at large.

"The inspiration for this mural honestly was thinking about this city," Leonard said. "I've lived here for quite a while now... for most of my life."

The mural is supposed to represent a particular aspect of the Lansing River Trail.

“The general theme of what I was telling people when they were making these tiles is that it is how the natural environment meets the human built environment," Leonard said.

The left side of the mural is meant to look natural, like water meeting the sky, Leonard said. And the right side contains warmer-toned tiles in straight, rather than curved, lines to represent a man-made environment.

A mosaic tile on the mural
A mosaic tile on the mural

Close to 900 people participated in making the tiles, but the community involvement in the project doesn't stop there. As she works on laying the tile, Leonard welcomes passersby to help out.

Leonard said she would like to finish the mural as soon as possible, but the pandemic and weather conditions delayed the original plan to complete the project by the summer.

The end date of this project is uncertain. But in the meantime, Leonard encourages people to stop by and help.

To keep up with the mural's progress, follow the Shiawassee Street Mosaic Project Facebook page or Instagram page.

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Tianna Jenkins

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