Michigan museum mural to trace city's immigration history
Jul. 10, 2018
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — A history museum in southeastern Michigan is set to unveil a mural celebrating the city's immigrants, despite the artist being behind schedule.
Artist Dennis Orlowski told the Detroit News that at least two-thirds of the Hamtramck Historical Museum installation will be complete in time for the unveiling on July 19. The "Coming to Hamtramck" mural will be 175 feet long (53 meters) and over 6 feet tall (2 meters) inside the museum located in the Detroit enclave of Hamtramck.
The Michigan Humanities Council funded the mural with a $15,000 grant.
Each of the mural's panels will be devoted to a specific immigrant group instrumental to the city's evolution, from French, German and Polish immigrants to today's Yemenis and Bangladeshis. The segment dedicated to Albanians features Luigi Gjokaj, a Hamtramck police officer, standing in front of the Albanian-owned Hamtramck Coney Island near the owner of the Hamtramck Review newspaper.
"As far as we know, we're the most diverse city in Michigan now, and one of the most diverse in the nation," said Greg Kowalski, a founder and chairman of the museum.
The city has a majority-Muslim city council and a Polish-American mayor.
Orlowski is working to convey the immigration patterns in acrylics, and the process to paint one panel can take four to six weeks. He was supposed to finish the mural by November, but it's taking longer to capture details and accuracy. Any change in a figure's pose or color causes a chain reaction requiring Orlowski to adapt other figures and tints to create a balance.
Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/