Project seeks to make Grand Rapids alleyways feel safer

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you take a walk around the city of Grand Rapids, you may notice some new art, but the project proposed by Women’s Way GR is much more than what meets the eye.

The goal is to make Grand Rapids alleyways feel safer. The artist who painted the “Grand Rapids Chicks” mural behind Auto Fixit Body Shop on Ottawa Avenue NW says she’s just glad she’s able to play her part in history.

“They weren’t treated the same. They had to go through courtesy classes,” said local artist Michi Farias.

The mural, located off of Newberry Street, took about six months to complete. It represents the 1945 first all-women’s baseball team in Grand Rapids that broke standards in the city.

“I really hope that people get to know them as people too, cause some of them were the best baseball players, female baseball players of all time,” said Farias. “I think that it’s important to see a lot of different women from the city being brought into the public eye with public art so that everyone has access to it.”

Completing the 150-foot project didn’t come easy.

“Carrying ladders and heavy machinery and you know, paint buckets, painting in the rain, being outside with the elements. It’s been really fun,” said Farias.

Farias says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I think that these women were so strong, and I really want to bring them in the public eye of Grand Rapids, so I’m glad that it was me who was given this project,” said Farias.

More information about the Women’s Way GR’s Alley Activation Project can be found online

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