Outdoor Art Installation Launched as Paint Creek Center for the Arts Continues Its Mission Amid COVID-19 Restrictions

Photos courtesy of Paint Creek Center for the Arts

Paint Creek Center for the Arts (PCCA) recently installed two new sculptures outside the historic building located in downtown Rochester in a commitment to bring art to the community amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Installed in late July, Honey Bee on Cone Flower (6 feet tall) and Hummingbird on Trumpet Lily (5-and-a-half-feet tall,) now greet members of PCCA and Pine Street visitors with bright pops of color and metallic shine. The works are created by Troy Anderson, a Rockford, Mich., resident, and are just two examples from his large portfolio of work. Both pieces are available for purchase.

A 25-year veteran of art fairs, including PCCA’s Art & Apples Festival®, Anderson has honed his sculpting craft alongside his family. His father, Steve Anderson, and brother, Chad Anderson, are also master sculptors. Having graduated with his BA in English and elementary education and a master’s degree in educational technology, both from Grand Valley State University, he would typically alternate between teaching at North Rockford Middle School in the fall, winter and spring, and selling his work at art fairs in the summer.

Troy Anderson, a Rockford, Michigan resident, and one of the sculptures he created.

Like most art fairs this year, PCCA was forced to cancel its Art & Apples Festival earlier in July over safety concerns surrounding social distancing and the increase in COVID-19 cases across Michigan. Knowing that the festival typically draws 80,000 in general attendance, and artists and vendors from across the country, PCCA was hyper aware of the void that would be created following the cancellation.

While staff are hard at work to ensure the continuation of PCCA’s mission and provide opportunities for all to experience the arts through classes and outreach programming, the PCCA team is thankful for other opportunities to support artists affected by the cancellations of art fairs.

Hummingbird on Trumpet Lily, by Troy Anderson.

“So many of the artists that we work with rely heavily or entirely on strong festival seasons to survive financially from one year to the next. They dedicate thousands of hours perfecting their art with the expectation that they will be able to sell at shows and this year has just pulled the rug out from underneath a lot of them,” said Jenny Creech, PCCA manager of galleries and digital media. “It is terrifying to think that there is no real end in sight for some of these artists.

“If we want to keep the art scene in Michigan alive, we have to be looking for ways to offer low-cost or free opportunities for artists in our communities to show and sell their work. Outdoor art installations are just a beginning for us.”

To view the new sculptures, visit Paint Creek Center for the Arts at 407 Pine St. in Rochester. For more information about the outdoor exhibition and upcoming virtual art options, or how you can help support Michigan artists and Paint Creek Center for the Arts, visit www.pccart.org or email exhibitions@pccart.org.