Mural on downtown CADL building celebrates creativity’s ‘superpower
One of Lansing’s newest public art installations has transformed a brown wall into an inspiring, colorful mural. Nine feet high by 165 feet tall, “Creativity is a Superpower” is on the east side of the Capital Area District Libraries building in downtown Lansing. The piece was designed by Dustin Hunt of Muralmatics and completed with the help of students, local artists and volunteers.
Hunt, who founded Muralmatics, decided to use his background in art and design to help young adults build math skills. He created Muralmatics as a way to tutor math by using tangible things like architecture and carpentry. Initially, it began for adult students pursuing a GED, but today it includes younger students getting to paint massive murals.
“One mission of Muralmatics is to provide high-quality creative programming to youth in a way that is engaging, empowering, interesting and impactful. In doing so, I aim to increase students’ creative confidence and their sense of agency in their communities,” Hunt says. “Muralmatics creates commissioned murals to add striking, vibrant, colorful, inspiring murals in Lansing and beyond. Lastly, by bringing in emerging artists to assist on mural projects, Muralmatics provides hands-on learning opportunities to those who aspire to paint big and make a living doing so.”
Around town, Muralmatics has completed murals at local schools, community organizations, and outdoor spaces downtown. The latest mural, “Creativity is a Super Power,” features Lansing poet Keyante Saxon’s original poem.
“The theme of the poem that was created for the piece is about the power and potential of creativity,” Hunt says. “Along with that, the location of the piece, a public library, played into an additional theme around accessibility. There are a series of feet, standing or sitting, from all walks of life. The piece is designed to leave the viewer imagining who the feet belong to.”
Hunt, 15 different middle and high school students and five adult volunteers and assistants spent hours outside planning, priming and spray painting the mural in August. Students brainstormed creative writing prompts, participated in letter-bending exercises, and had conversations on public art.
For many artists, this was their first time using spray paint and working outdoors on a large-scale project. Lansing artist Mila Lynn was brought in to support and assist students throughout the process. Volunteers included Marian Bryant, Ana Holguin, Nancy DeJoy. Hunt said students felt proud to be involved in a highly visible art project. He hopes viewers feel inspired to think deeply about the power of creativity. “And, if they feel so moved to create something themselves, that’s great too,” he says.