Student artwork to adorn vacant downtown buildings


 November 20, 2015

  , Battle Creek Enquirer 5:31 p.m. EST

Downtown Battle Creek is about to appear a little more artsy in time for the holiday season.  A partnership between the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority, the City of Battle Creek and the Calhoun Area Career Center will provide a series of student artwork to be displayed in vacant downtown buildings. These properties include 119-121 W. Michigan Ave., 64 W. Michigan Ave. and 17 W. Michigan Ave., two of which recently were announced to be sold to David Sciacca and Alexa Smolinski of 180Urban by the land bank.

“We’re excited to partner with the Calhoun Area Career Center and City of Battle Creek to spruce up downtown ahead of the holiday season,” Calhoun County Treasurer and land bank board Chair Christine Schauer said in a media release. “This is just one way to highlight the potential of downtown buildings that we’re working to redevelop so we can improve downtown Battle Creek.”

The artwork was created by students in the Graphic Communications Technology at CACC. Students in the program drew the holiday-themed pictures by hand, depicting their individual areas of study such as printing, design, nursing, cooking and teaching, before adding color to them on the computer.

The images were scheduled to be installed in the buildings this week and will be on display for the community by this weekend’s annual Christmas parade.

“We’re proud of our students for working so hard on this art project to spread holiday cheer for the parade and throughout the holiday season,” CACC instructor Heidi LaGrow said. “This project is helping our students build skills they need to go on to careers.”

Earlier this month, Sciacca told the Enquirer he has plans for the properties at 64 W. Michigan Ave., and 119 W. Michigan Ave., the former Anson Hotel, which he and Smolinski agreed to purchase along with the property at 15 Carlyle St. He said 64 W. Michigan Ave. has potential to be a mixed-use property, attractive for restaurants and downtown living purposes; the 119 W. Michigan Ave. property likely will have to be rebuilt, he said, as the “past two winters have not been kind to (it).”

Terms of the sale of the properties have not been made available.

Contact Dillon Davis at 269-966-0698 or

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer