MARQUETTE – Those who walk around Marquette should look for little faces that will stare at them all over the neighborhood in the coming days.
The community art project, “Gnome Place like Marquette”, was part of Art Week, which runs until Saturday in the city.
The activity took place Tuesday at HOTplate Clayworks, located at 110 N. Third St. It was originally scheduled for Clark Lambros’ Beach Park, but questionable weather conditions moved the event indoors.
Frankie McGinley, an instructor at Clayworks, oversaw the making of Tuesday’s gnomes.
“We will end up baking them in the oven, then we will start to hide them around Marquette” she said. “People can go ahead and try to find them through the community. If you end up finding one, don’t hesitate to grab that gnome and bring it back.
She said after the gnomes are “fired,” they will be placed in hidden places for people to find. People can then keep the finished gnomes after they have been glazed.
“It’s almost like a little gift to whoever finds it” McGinley said.
People can get updates on the project through the Facebook and Instagram pages of HOTplate Clayworks or the HOTplate Pottery & Art Studio, located in the UP Masonic Center, 128 W. Washington St.
In fact, they can bring their found treasures to either location for finishing touches.
McGinley said it’s fun for people to work on something together.
“A lot of times people come here and it’s more individual, so it’s kind of cool to kind of be with all these people coming together.” she said.
By noon there were plenty of gnomes already placed in HOTplate Clayworks, all one of a kind with wizard hats, long beards, and other features.
“It’s really cool to see all the personality and the stuff that everyone has given them,” McGinley said. “We let them fly free and come up with their own ideas. “
Little clay creatures don’t have names, but that doesn’t mean anyone who finds one can’t name it for a little while. “gnome-menclature.”
Vincent Camilli, 8, from Marquette, chose a particularly difficult gnome to make: a Medusa, which in Greek mythology has snakes for hair.
The creature was also dangerous.
“Anyone who looks at the eyes turns to stone” said Camille.
The Boy’s Medusa doesn’t have that power, thankfully, but these hair snakes were probably difficult to sculpt, given their slender shape.
“It’s really scary” said his mother, Theresa Camilli, who helped her son during the event. “There are eyeballs at the end of these things.”
A full program of Art Week events, event descriptions, locations and times is available online at www.mqtcompass.com/art-week.
An information booth will also be available at the Marquette Commons from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. His email address is [email protected]