Our Vision

Where clean water meets art and education.

 
 

Imagine strolling on a Saturday afternoon along trails surrounding natural plant and water settings, with fine art around each bend. Small groups of live musicians serenade from all corners of the space. What is possible for a better world lives here.

THIS IS ART IN THE WILD.

THE WILD
Ranney Park and the Red Cedar Park reinvented as engineered wetlands and waterfalls by the Ingham County Drain Commissioner to clean the stormwater of the Montgomery Drain. This Drain is being transformed from one of the most toxic polluters of the Red Cedar River to a dynamic natural system of filtration, natural beauty, and environmental education. 96% of the current pollutants will be removed from this outlet into the river and only a small fraction of the current volume of stormwater will ever reach the river.

THE ART
We will be using this transformed greenspace as the background canvas for at least $10 million in privately funded outdoor art and art related activities. This will engage the community on many levels, where we will be able to creatively and continuously inspire a public passion to protect our water resources.

Melody Angel, M.D.
Board President

 

Art in the Wild Board Members

 
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Melody angel, m.d.

Melody Angel is a M.D certified in Family Medicine, with many years experience working in and managing emergency departments. Dr. Angel currently works in urgent care, home schools her 12-year old daughter and is in a year-long Team Management and Leadership program with Landmark Worldwide. She previously owned and managed up to 45 units of inner-city rental housing for over 20 years. Dr. Angel is an accomplished artist, painting abstracts in oil, creating about 30 fine artworks in the last five years. She is a founding member of Art in the Wild and is currently the board’s president.

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Linda Burghardt

 Linda Burghardt has a Bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Michigan State University. Her career in Michigan began with a 17-year stint with the Michigan State Senate, as a policy analyst first and then as a fiscal analyst. Linda has held effective leadership positions in non-profit organizations including Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan, Michigan Office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. In the private sector, she served as Manager/Senior Underwriter for Zurich North America, Specialties, Environmental Division. She is a founding member of Art in the Wild and has many years of experience advocating for both profit and nonprofit organizations, and providing analysis and management knowledge on environmental issues, insurance, and mental health.

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Brian Cenci, PE

Brian Cenci received dual Bachelor of Science degrees in both Civil Engineering & Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University.  He is the Vice-President at Eng. Inc. and heads up their stormwater resources work for County Drain/Water Resources Commissioners.  Brian is an accomplished presenter and has been called on by the Michigan Association of County Drain Commissioners (MACDC) to create fun and pertinent educational experiences for new drain commissioners as they start their vital careers in public office.  Brian has worked for 15 different county drain offices and completed over 200 drain projects in Michigan.  Foremost among his many awards are his 8 Innovation & Excellence Awards from the MACDC and his 2011 Innovator of the Year Award from Michigan Clean Water Action.  In 2006 he served on the statewide committee to develop Michigan's Low Impact Design (LID) Manual.  Mr. Cenci is a Michigan Editor for Midwest Outdoors Magazine, a freelance outdoor writer and a golf course rater for Golfweek Magazine.

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Abby Deneau

Abby Deneau is a ceramic artist, instructor, and owner of Sunset Clay Studio in Lansing, Michigan. Abby has a background in sculpting and mold-making with a degree in Fine Art from Michigan State University, and has been using these skills to create beautiful functional dishes from plaster molds taken from disposable plastic and styrofoam tableware. She has a six-year-old son and she enjoys engaging children and adults through the ceramic process at her studio and at the Reach Studio Art Center. Abby uses her art to raise awareness about the environmental disaster being caused by plastic garbage in our waterways, in our ecosystems, and in our own bodies.

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Ivan Iler

Ivan Iler is a Michigan based artist who specializes in metal fabrication, particularly in outdoor public art. He is inspired by the  idea that people will see and interact with his work long after he is gone. His skills and talents are primarily rooted in the arts, fabrication, and engineering. He also has experience with the processes involved in the installation (and paperwork necessary for the installation) of public artwork. His permanent installation of outdoor art, “Portrait of a Dreamer”, was competitively selected by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing as part of the City of Lansing Arts Impact annual $75,000 project sponsored by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the City of Lansing, and this stunning piece was installed in December 2017 in downtown Lansing.  “Portrait of a Dreamer” is a large stainless steel bust that features a crank, that when turned, moves gears that protrude from the forehead of the figure.

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Tim Inman

Tim Inman is a Professional Engineer, a Professional Surveyor and a principal owner of Spicer Group, Inc., an Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Professionals firm here in Michigan, and heads up the Lansing office. His areas of specialty include low-impact design infrastructure and implementation of cutting edge information technology. Tim’s personal passion and growing skill is in watercolor scenery illustration with an aspiration to make the shift to digital painting someday. He is very excited at the idea to use art to educate the next generation on ways to improve our relationship with the planet we call home.

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 Jane Katzer

 Jane Katzer is a student at Michigan State University, who is currently finishing her BA in History with a specialization in South African Studies. She is currently working with Art in the Wild to promote environmental awareness and reclamation. Jane has experience in door-to-door canvassing with Clean Water Action. She is excited to be a part of the creation of the Art In The Wild project.

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Dennis Louney

Dennis Louney received his master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University, a bachelor’s degree in Pre-Law Political Science from James Madison College, Michigan State University, and a Post-Baccalaureate Legal Assistant Certificate. Dennis is currently employed by the Spicer Group engineering firm as a Public Affairs Representative. He serves as the First Ward Commissioner for the Lansing Board of Water & Light and is a Commissioner on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners. The Lansing Board of Water & Light is a municipally owned water and power utility that is well ahead of the federal guidelines for the percentage of energy it produces from renewable resources. Other governmental positions Dennis has held include policy analyst and legislative assistant with the Michigan Legislature (1989-2000) and Government Relations Representative for Delta Dental Plan of Michigan (2000-2012).

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dean reinke 

Dean is a long-time computer programmer with a degree in accounting, and formerly the treasurer of his church and whitewater canoeing club.  Dean had a major stroke 12 years ago and hasn't let it stop him from enjoying life. His blog on strokes is the most viewed in the world with 3.7 million hits and 15,000 posts. A love of nature and passion for art is an important part of Dean’s life, and he wants to use art to preserve and promote water based recreation. Dean is a founding member of Art in the Wild and the treasurer of the board.

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Michelle Selzer

Michelle Selzer is a graduate of the Great Lakes Leadership Academy, has a Masters of Management degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a concentration in botany. She is a Lansing resident and works for the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes where she helps advance important Great Lakes water quality protection and restoration priorities. In this capacity, she serves on and helps to facilitate a number of state, regional, and local stakeholder groups. Michelle also has a passion for the arts and is a painter herself.

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Lisa Wilson

Lisa Wilson studied Art and Graphic Design at Lansing Community College and then completed a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Michigan.  Lisa is an Award winning Fiber artist, including 2015 Judges Choice winner Sauder Village quilt show, Archbold, Ohio. Recent showing- 2014 Frogtown Art Walk, Los Angeles, California.  Lisa has over 10 years of marketing experience for a nationwide company and is a dedicated supporter of independent art and music in the mid-Michigan area for over 35 years. Lisa is secretary of the Art in the Wild board of directors.

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Joe Winkiel

 Joe Winkiel was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan.  He attended Central Michigan University, and graduated with a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Distribution Management and Sales.  He is currently employed as a Business Services Liaison for Capital Area Michigan Works! serving the IT and health industries in the Tri-County Area.  Some organizations Joe has participated in include LAP Respite Center as a previous board member and is currently on the advisory committee for ePIFanyNow.org.  Joe is vice-president of the Art in the Wild Board of Directors.

“I’m encouraged to see Lansing grow from a solid “Blue Collar town” to a more diverse business and cultural city.  Interests such as Art in the Wild can foster more of these artistic opportunities for growing the area into a destination city.  Businesses will have the opportunity to thrive alongside our viable waterways, and our children and young adults of the community will be able to learn about Art found in areas of environmental renewal.”  

Joe believes that clean water is the key to prosperous healthy living and community growth in the Great Lakes Area.

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Maricela Villalvazo

Maricela Villalvazo was raised in Southern California and received a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Administration and Management from Michigan State University. She is a creative and successful real estate agent in the greater Lansing area. She and her husband are involved in coordinating the regional Burning Man Events, and have been passionate about promoting freedom of artistic expression and increasing quality of people's lives through art. She is currently on the board of Urban Systems, which incorporates art, artists, and a community-based model of urban retrofit and systems-based living spaces.