Thursday, September 29, the East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new mural created by Dustin Hunt of Muralmatics. The new mural, located on the west-facing exterior wall of the Maker Studio, features four real East Lansing residents, and delves into some of East Lansing’s civil rights history.
“We are so thrilled to bring this mural to the East Lansing Public Library,” said Kristin Shelley, Director of ELPL. “This mural will be an incredible tool for community members to learn more about civil rights past and present, and it will be a great addition to the library as a place centered on sharing information and community learning.”
The people depicted in the mural are modeled after real East Lansing residents. In the mural, they’re sitting at the kitchen table discussing current social justice issues, with historical artifacts from East Lansing’s civil rights history scattered through the scene. The mural tells the story of these East Lansing residents, while also educating the public on the city’s past, and illustrating how conversations on justice continue today.
In the near future, the artist will install a QR code near the mural, which will allow interested community members to explore the mural in a more interactive way. Through the QR code, people will be able to read about the significance of certain details in the mural, and how it relates to East Lansing’s own history. They'll also be able to explore the featured residents' stories more in depth.
The ribbon cutting ceremony included short remarks from city and library officials, as well as the artist. The East Lansing community members depicted in the mural and its interactive online portion also spoke, and shared their family history and what this mural means to them.
This mural was paid for with funds approved by the East Lansing Arts Commission.
You can watch muralist Dustin Hunt and ELPL Director Kristin Shelley discuss the mural more in the video below: