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Community, Creativity, and Craft

I hope to forever feel bewildered by the conduits of energy created by art in our community. Last month, Chafe had the opportunity to partner on a mural on the mall in downtown Kalamazoo. Heidi Weiss, owner of Spruce Interiors and our dear friend for years and years, was hired by Earthly Delights at Amy Zane to create a piece on their storefront, and she invited Chafe to collaborate. Amy’s store holds a vital trove of work by independent artists. She pumps life blood into our artistic community by connecting artists with an audience, financial support, and one another. We felt, and feel, honored to contribute to Amy’s mission and the ecology she is cultivating.

Chafe and Heidi have wildly different styles. He came home most days talking about how much he was learning from her relaxed brush strokes and the ease she brought to the process. He laughed about the contrast with his own ascetic focus, but the flow of a river is underpinned by its bed. The energy of their dynamic relationship is evident in the work.

The unexpected element of the project, though, was the constant outpouring of support from passersby. Every day, people stopped to ask questions, shout praise, ask for business cards and instagram handles, offer business cards and instagram handles, and take selfies in front of the mural. Folks who live across the street came by to introduce themselves and express gratitude that they would now get to see the work as part of their day-to-day, and former coworkers came by to reconnect. Chafe’s been creating and connecting in this community for more than 30 years and he was moved to see the perennial bloom of those seeds long planted.

True to form, Amy’s growing connections from art and hosting an opening event for the mural July 21, 2023 from 6–9 pm. Come say hello. We’d love to see you.

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