Why you’ll love Big Rapids

Artworks to feature mural celebrating Big Rapids

A Big Rapids-themed mural is soon to be painted inside of Artworks, and the muralist needs the community’s help bringing it to life.

Grand Rapids muralist Daniel Cascardo has been asked to create a mural downtown, with the theme based around why people will love Big Rapids. The team planning the project has asked Big Rapids community members to submit artifacts of event narratives, town stories, legends, poems or anything that will induce the emotions of Big Rapids life.

“The community has always been very supportive of the arts,” said Festival of the Arts board member Roxanne Cullen. “The mural will be special because it will visually capture the icons that make Big Rapids a place that people love. It will stand as a reminder of the love the community has for this city.”

Cascardo is a Michigan native and has been painting his entire life. His art is abstract and spontaneous, and he uses strong symbolism in many of his works.

“Daniel’s work is fun, colorful and does not try and be too serious,” said Big Rapids Public Works director Mark Gifford. “I know he will bring his creativity to the project and I hope that rubs off on everyone that comes into contact with him and the artwork.”

Cascardo will begin his work on Sunday, Feb. 21, and has been given one week to complete the mural. It will cover multiple panels inside the Artworks building.

“The exciting part is watching the whole process unfold,” said Cascardo. “My goal is that the mural will represent the energy, offerings and people of the community. I hope that it will be something beautiful, thought provoking and engaging, touching as many lives as possible in the process.”

Ferris television and digital media production students will be filming a montage of story submissions and event coverage to create a narrative of how the mural came to be. Cascardo’s progress is also open to the public, so people may visit Artworks to keep up with his work.

“I look forward to meeting new people, learning more about the community, inspiring and engaging people with my work and also learning and growing from the experience,” said Cascardo.

The mural will be unveiled at the Festival’s closing ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 28. To contribute a story or artifact to the mural, email Roxanne Cullen at cullenr@nullferris.edu.