Upper Peninsula Artist Willing to Help Decorate Jackson at Bright Walls

Upper Peninsula Artist Willing to Help Decorate Jackson at Bright Walls

Jackson, Michigan – Growing up on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Rhiannan Sebald and her three younger sisters had to get creative when it came to entertaining themselves.

“We didn’t have internet until high school — and we just had to be creative,” said Sebald, 26, who is from Sault Ste.

Sebald said the craft, illustrating short stories and even a little costume design stage in middle school, really pushed her creative brain, and now this artist is ready to show off her talents to Jackson at the Bright Walls Mural Festival.

Sebald is one of 33 artists who painted the walls of buildings in downtown Jackson as part of the festival’s closing September 8-11. By the end of the festival, Jackson will be decorated with 74 murals created by artists from across the region, state, country and world since 2018.

Related: Bright Walls is one step away from its grand finale in Jackson

“It’s really surreal, there was an invitation for artists from Michigan to be in the Bright Walls and I applied and got in,” Sebald said. “I was very surprised when I got it because I know a lot of my art colleagues and friends have been trying to get into this festival for a while.”

Growing up, the Sebald family really liked music, especially her father, who she said had an extensive recording collection. Because of this, she was constantly surrounded by photos, band titles, and illustrations on album covers, specifically Pink Floyd, she said.

Those visuals found their way into Sibbald’s artwork, and she’s now focusing on drawing the letters with some of the illustrations behind them, she said. She describes her style as “60s hippie and psychedelic art.”

After high school, Sebald transferred her artistic talents to the art and illustration programs at Grand Valley State University. She said her main project at GVSU was a psychedelic poster made out of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, consisting of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Ravi Shankar.

After graduating from college, most of Sebald’s work focused on graphic design until 2022, when she decided to focus on her own work and became involved with the Lions and Rabbits Center for the Arts and was able to draw rainwater drainage in Grand Rapids, she said.

Along with some murals in her hometown, she has also done some live murals at the Breakaway Music Festival in Grand Rapids.

“All of these experiences serve as a really good primer for Bright Walls,” Sebald said.

Sebald said she is particularly excited about representing the Upper Peninsula in Bright Walls.

“It feels like UP is being neglected or forgotten, so it’s nice to be able to show that there is artistic talent that comes from that area,” Sebald said.

The final end of Bright Walls was originally planned for 2020 and then again in 2021, but has been postponed due to COVID-19. This year’s mural sizes will vary, including large walls, alleys and doors.

Related: A new mural is forming in Jackson in preparation for the end of the Bright Walls

Sibbald’s wall is split between slides by seven other Michigan artists, and is located at The Assembly Jackson, 141 E. She said, of course, some weird lettering.

“I just want to inspire people to be really happy when they look at it,” she said.

Besides drawing artists, the Bright Walls finale also features themed events each day, including a dog parade and a drawing competition. Food trucks will also be downtown on the weekend and there will be live music on Friday and Saturday.

Jackson’s performers at this year’s Bright Walls include Clay McEndrose, Ted Lever, Zack Snyder Zack Cox, Julie Durucher, Sissy Moina, Audra Olivia and Danielle Ward.

Among other artists:

  • My dog ​​sighs – England
  • Mantra – France
  • Pikismo – Puerto Rico
  • JEKS ONE (Two murals) – North Carolina
  • Lidonia – Colombia
  • Etafi – France
  • Detour – Colorado
  • Zach Curtis – Pontiac
  • Joy Salmon – Oak Park
  • Walid Johnson – Detroit
  • Jason Abraham Smith – Detroit
  • Kevin Burdick – Flint
  • Erin Miller and Ray – Los Angeles
  • Kate Bennett – Australia
  • Stevie Lane – Brooklyn, New York
  • Michelle Hogfield – Canada
  • Alex Ann Allen – Indiana
  • Ricky Watts – California
  • Amanda Valdes – Miami
  • Crazy 51 – Athens, Greece
  • Daniel Sparks – Texas
  • PREF – London

More about Bright Walls can be found on their site Facebook page And the website.

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