Butterflies enhance Main Street in Lansing


Enhancing Main Street in Lansing ... Our Savior Lutheran Church in Lansing has been making large wooden butterflies that have been painted and decorated by the youth and other members of the congregation over the last several weeks (pictured below). The painted butterflies have been placed in the decorative flowerpots in downtown Lansing to help enhance Main Street, such as those pictured above that represent just some of the inspiring creativity. Submitted photos.

by Susan Cantine-Maxson

Giant butterflies have been hovering over the potted flowers on Lansing’s Main Street. Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Lansing has created a public art project which they are sharing with the residents and visitors to town. Children and adults have met for several weeks to paint the large wooden butterflies.

Pastor Laura Gentry, an artist as well as the church’s pastor, conceived of the idea and brought the congregation on board to create a public art project which engages people. Many of the butterflies are both motivational and beautiful since they have positive phrases or biblical encouragements on them. The participants have created 19 butterflies to be  displayed in each of the  flowerpots of the downtown district.

The Main Street Lansing Board of Directors was very enthusiastic  about the addition to the flower pots. Through the seasons, the flowerpots have been a fun addition to the downtown sidewalk space, housing Christmas trees in winter. They’ve even been the spot for scarecrows in the fall.

Church member Dr. Mike Schweitzer is a woodworker and was willing to cut out all the butterfly shapes out of thin plywood. After they were sanded and primed, the church people gathered regularly throughout the month of May to design and paint them using weather -resistant paints.

Every butterfly has a different theme and includes a positive word or phrase. This was Pastor Laura’s innovation. She wanted each one to convey an uplifting messages to the people passing by. A few have scripture versus like “Give thanks with a grateful heart” while others have an affirmation like “You are beautiful”. Another states, “Keep Calm, Go Fishing!”, an appropriate phrase for many of the people who stroll down Lansing’s streets and venture out into the river.

The beautiful  butterfly project has been very time-consuming as each one is really comprised of four paintings, one for each side of two wings. Lots of adults and kids as young as five have been working on them. After the initial design, the butterflies receive a final coat, putting on the finishing touches. Soon all of the butterflies will be complete. As each is completed, they may be seen on the church’s  Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lansinglutherans/.

At the end of the season,  the church is interested in having a silent auction and then donating all the proceeds to a local charity. Contact the church at lansinglutherans@gmail.com for more information.
 

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