The Alpena Aplex was full of music and dinner as the Thunder Bay Arts Council celebrated it’s 45th anniversary. The anniversary dinner was held to unveil the Alpena sculptured bikeway, walkway bicentennial project.
This year the sculpture was themed “Departure.” Created by Ann Gildner, President of the Thunder Bay Arts Council, Tim Kuehnlein said the council wanted to leave a legacy with the new public sculpture to remind everyone that the arts is still important in the community.
“Arts and culture grounded in the tourist industry are a must for any community that is multifaceted and diversified in the economic base. I think Alpena and Northeast Michigan get that. We will be there; we’ve been there from the beginning of this. Not just us, but art in the loft, the theaters, museum, NOAA. It’s really amazing what this community and this little part of northeast Michigan or I should say this corner of Michigan has to offer,” Kuehnlein said.
A board member for over 7 years, Karen McConnell said the art in Alpena is truly unique.
“I think it’s very unique that we have two theaters that we can go to. Our high school gives wonderful plays, and we have great shows. There’s always something going on in Alpena musically. The Besser Museum has so much wonderful things to offer and there’s so much going on that if you can’t find something to do, I think you’re not looking,” McConnell said.
If you’re looking for the public sculpture the piece will be completed by September and located at the downtown bi path. The Thunder Bay Arts Council was founded in 1972 and is the longest art council in the state of Michigan.