Gichi-Ode’Akiing Park Receives Bright Upgrade

The stairway to Lake Superior got a makeover as part of a community collaboration Thursday

DULUTH, Minn.- The stairs over at Gichi-Ode-Akiing park in downtown Duluth are getting a makeover as part of a community collaboration.

People of all ages, and races packed the stairway at Gichi-Ode’Akiing Park formally Lake Place Park Thursday afternoon to paint murals of fish and other animals to honor the Anishinaabe presence and their leader Chief Buffalo.

Organizers say it’s all about bringing people together to learn more about the history behind Indigenous people.

“There’s just a lot of overlap of different communities that happen in this spaces which makes it exciting because you meet new people and you learn new stories and new histories about the place. A lot of people have been residents in Duluth their whole lives and their families have always lived here and they didn’t know the story of Chief Buffalo or they didn’t know just the history of the place or where we are at”, said Moira Villiard, Organizer and Artist.

The project is in partnership with the Duluth Indigenous Commission, the City of Duluth, Minnesota Government, and Zeitgeist.

Now, Zeitgeist had leftover funds from a project last summer, and knew this would be a good idea to brighten up the stairs as people walk down to Lake Superior.

“I think there sometimes can be a fear of public art where people aren’t going to like it or it’s just easier to keep it beige but just the amount of vibrancy that public art can bring to a space is so incredible and worth it”, said Brooke Wetmore, Zeitgeist Community Development Manager.

Organizers are hoping this is just the beginning of more art in Gichi-Ode’Akiing Park. They’ll be looking for more funding to sand, strip, paint and seal all the stairs there as soon as they can.

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