Outdoor art coming to downtown Baldwin

BALDWIN — The Baldwin Downtown Development Authority has begun the process of bringing art to the village. The first piece has been selected and will highlight the community's long history as a fishing destination.

"During the past six months, the Baldwin DDA has been working on a project to bring world-class art to the village," said Jane Allison, DDA chairperson. "The DDA distributed statewide 'requests for proposals' and 'calls to artists' in an effort to find just the right artist for the project. On Feb. 18, 2016, the Baldwin DDA retained the services of Mr. Ivan Iler from St. John’s Michigan to design a contemporary sculpture recognizing the historical significance of brown trout in the village.

"The artwork will focus on the historical significance and community pride in being the first place in Michigan to have the brown trout introduced. The sculpture will hopefully provide an appropriate site for ceremonial activities in the Village of Baldwin. Mr. Iler is a uniquely qualified artist with experience in outdoor painted metal designs."

The finished product will portray a leaping brown trout and is expected to be approximately 25 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter.

"In other words, it will be large enough to hold a small automobile inside it," remarked Allison.

The award for the project design and fabrication budget is $50,000. The DDA will be soliciting contributions and donations from individuals, businesses and organizations during the next several months to raise the necessary funds. An opportunity to meet the artist and participate in the planning and design of the big fish will be announced in the near future. The anticipated project installation date is the summer of 2017. Inquiries should be directed to Jane Allison at Baldwin Lumber at (231) 745-4671.