PATHWAY TO RENEWAL
A Restoration of Chelsea's Art Mosaic of Reflection, Beauty & Grace
The mosaic, created in 2003, is in need of repair due to time, vandalism, and neglect.
As part of a broader TimberTown renovation -- including the installation of a B2B trailhead -- the restoration of the Pathway to Renewal is organized and/or funded by the City of Chelsea, HWPI, Washtenaw County Parks & Rec, Gestamp, grant support from the Chelsea Community Foundation and the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, and donations from people like you.
Donations are processed by Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that facilitates trail development and use in Washtenaw County.
The Pathway to Renewal was created after a series of tragic losses shook the Chelsea community in the early 2000s. Artist and therapist Lorin Kummer sought a way to bring healing and hope to those who were feeling shattered. She saw the mosaic as a way for those who had suffered the loss of a loved one to come together to make something beautiful out of what had been broken.
More than 250 members of the Chelsea community volunteered their time on the project in the summer of 2003.
The community public art project is comprised of more than 45,000 pieces of glass and tile and forms an 18 x 20 foot, ammonite-shaped mosaic that features Michigan flora and fauna.
It was originally funded by a grant from MACAA, Ruth Mott and sponsored by Chelsea Center for the Arts (now closed).
The pathway mosaic features 19 panels filled with Michigan animals, birds, reptiles, flowers and plants. The walkway leading to the spiral is strewn with 150 stained glass leaves, many with special messages to loved ones on the glass backs set in cement.
A dozen local artists collaborated with Kummer to help teach volunteers to cut and set glass. Many artists also created a key element, animal, plant or design as their unique contribution to the project.
The project was featured in Jeff Daniels’ Best of Chelsea video, and has received several awards including an international Arts and Humanitarian award.
HOW TO HELP
The restoration will again be a community art project, a unique Chelsea tradition.
Led by Lorin & Joe Kummer, the project will enlist other artists to teach volunteers -- of all ages -- how to select, shape, and place a piece of art glass into the mosaic. Scheduled work bees will be announced. Community groups can sign up to adopt a section of the mosaic to repair. Larger elements -- such as the amphibian pictured -- will be re-worked by Darwin’s Stained Glass Studio.