City gets mini-grant for mural installation at Chalets



The Grand Chalet Shoppes will provide a backdrop for a new mural this summer. Photo by Lania Rocha

The Grand Chalet Shoppes will provide a backdrop for a new mural this summer. Photo by Lania Rocha

GRAND BLANC — Looking to add more visual interest to downtown, the City of Grand Blanc is planning to install a new mural in the rialto known as the Grand Chalet Shoppes.

Assistant City Manager Christina Irwin said the Chalet Shoppes are the perfect location, “because it’s a ‘stop-and-see’ kind of place.”

“I just wanted to have one more experience for visitors to the Chalet Shoppes,” Irwin said. “We have picnic tables and benches, people can come and have lunch, sit and relax. I thought a mural or something artsy would be nice.”

The I-69 Thumb Region awarded the city one of 15 Placemaking mini-grants. The $2,000 grants were made possible through funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The mural project includes the construction of a concrete wall, roughly 5 feet tall by 4 feet wide, Irwin said.

The city will work with the Grand Blanc Arts Council to find a local artist to create a nature scene on the wall, she said.

Deadline for completing the project is Sept. 4.

The Chalet Shoppes provide an incubator opportunity for the local cottage industry.

“The Chalets bridge the gap between crafters and people who are ready for brick-and-mortar businesses,” said Irwin. “It’s an opportunity for them to test their products.

“We opened them up last year and they did really well. We had a couple (of tenants) who moved on and got a storefront.”

Located adjacent to City Hall, the six Chalets measure about 160 square feet each. Currently, only two are occupied so far for the summer 2020 season.

Students in the Grand Blanc Community Schools’ Geometry in Construction classes built the structures, which opened in June 2019.

The project was funded through a $70,000 Harding Foundation grant.