Native Midlander comes full circle by working on a local mural

Those who cycle and walk along the Pere Marquette Rail Trail in downtown Midland will have a new instillation of art to admire, courtesy of Joey Salamon and Cam DeCaussin. The two artists created a large mural that pays homage to what makes Midland unique.

Salamon, from Midland, and DeCaussin, from Marine City, Michigan, met while studying design at Grand Valley State University. Salamon is now based in Detroit and has worked as a wall painter for five years on private and public commissions, spanning his work from Hawaii and Colorado to Detroit and Grand Rapids. DeCaussin, now based in Phoenix, Arizona, painted murals for a few years, but is more familiar with studio art. He is currently working as an instructor at the School of Art at Arizona State University.

Public Arts Midland, an initiative of the Midland Area Community Foundation, issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) in November 2020 calling for artist designs under the M20 Traffic Bridge. When Salamon saw the request, he thought it was a great opportunity to reconnect with his hometown. He brought in DeCaussin, who worked with him on another public mural project in Chandler, Arizona.

While DeCaussin grew up in a city that didn’t have much access to art, museums, or places that inspired younger generations, he appreciates how this mural will provide a more accessible art form for the community. For Salamon, the Midland mural project is also fulfilling on a personal level.

“I knew from the age of five that I was going to do something with art. Being so young and being inspired by things here and going for as many years as it takes and coming back and using those skills while choosing the things that inspired me is a very full circle, ”said Salamon.

One side pays homage to the city’s various landmarks, including the Santa House, the Old Midland Theater panel, and the Midland Center for the Arts. Opposite columns represent the iconic Cathy cartoon created by Midland native Cathy Guisewite, the juggernaut skull that was once on display at the Alden B. Dow Science and Arts Museum, Alden B. Dow architecture, and local wildlife . Salamon and DeCaussin also slipped into their own branded styles, melting circles and sparkling rainbows.

“We wanted to make sure it matched the neighborhood, whether it was monuments or special events or whatever was important to here,” DeCaussin said. “The times we’ve worked together, we always want to make sure it’s a mural that belongs here, not like someone took it from anywhere else and placed it here.”

Work began on July 6 and the first set of columns lasted about four days. Salamon and DeCaussin expect to complete the second set early next week.

Salamon and DeCaussin will be giving a presentation on their mural work at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 22 at Creative 360, 1517 Bayliss St., Midland. Participation is free, but donations to Creative 360 ​​are appreciated. You can read more about the presentation in today’s Section C in the Midland Daily News.

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