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Albion benches will be turned into art

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 December 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Christine Versteeg of Kendall painted this 6-foot-long bench into a mural featuring a tugboat at sunrise. There will be at least 11 benches painted with local scenes or historical themes in Albion. They will be installed on Main Street and East bank Street in the spring.

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The plain backs and seats for a 6-foot-long benches are being turned into works of art.

Christine Versteeg of Kendall painted a bench into a mural of a tugboat. It’s one of at least 11 planned for downtown Albion.

The benches and the artwork are a portion of a $50,000 streetscape grant awarded for the downtown about two years ago. The Albion Main Street Alliance has shepherded this project through all the local and state government agencies.

It’s been a long journey and I was thrilled to see the first bench today. Other artists are working on their benches.

The grant will also fund potted trees, flowers, bike racks, a memorial, two interpretive panels about Albion history and other improvements.

I’ve been helping come up with a plan for how to spend the grant. I think the benches will draw people to the downtown. The benches will highlight our local history and showcase one of the county’s assets: the artists.

The benches should be out on the sidewalk and at Waterman Park in the spring.

I’m hoping we can work out an arrangement to have the benches stored inside at local businesses during the winter months so they can be enjoyed year-round.