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Led by the artists of the Saint Louis Center, a very unique and special art display is calling the Chelsea District Library home this month.

An art opening was held earlier this month at CDL, exhibiting the wind chime/story project residents from the St. Louis Center have been working on for the past four months or so. The exhibit will be open to the public for all of May.

Eli Zemper, owner of Curiouser Clay and supporter of local artists, helped out with this display and project, and said the show lasts through the end of May and involves 10 artists from St. Louis Center who have worked on ceramic wind chimes and a storytelling podcast that goes with each chime.

Zemper said people can visit the reading garden at the library and view the wind chimes and scan the accompanying QR codes to hear the artists tell you the story that goes with the wind chime. This project was funded through a grant from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council.

Haylie Moran, St. Louis Center’s Day Program Coordinator, told the Sun Time News the project was artist-led. The center is located just outside of Chelsea in Sylvan Township.

“Each artist started with thinking of something that they would like to share a story of,” Moran said. “Each artist sat down individually to record their story. These stories were then the inspiration for the art piece.”

The end work of art is a “story-telling wind chime” to be presented alongside their story podcast.

The artists are Jerome, Linda, Lee, Jacqui, Cathy, Ray, Kyle, Mike, Albert, and Joey, from the St. Louis Center.

The artists. photo courtesy of Elis Zemper

The St. Louis Center serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in an intentional, faith-based community.

Moran said each week the artists worked alongside their clay instructor, Zemper, to create their wind chimes piece by piece.

“They started with making a bowl shape that would become the base of the wind chimes,” said Moran. “Then the artists completed drawings that were inspired by their stories. They then learned how to make underglaze transfers with those drawings. This is what allowed the drawings to be transferred onto the clay. Eli and the artists even created their own dark room to complete this task! The artists then carefully chose which drawings they wanted to transfer to the clay and cut pieces to make their chimes that would hang from the base.”

The artists at work. photo courtesy of the St. Louis Center

Moran said a team of staff helped assemble the wind chimes and “they are now on display at the library for all to see.”

The display has a QR code next to each chime that will link you to the artist’s story podcast. You can use your smartphone to scan and listen to each of them.

“Most of the artists are new to clay work and thoroughly enjoyed this project,” Moran said. “They are very proud of their work and creativity.”

The CDL is located in downtown Chelsea at 221 S. Main Street.

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