“Let Dreams Take Flight” is the work of Laura Demond and William Baxter, two Battle Creek artists who have struggled with chronic and debilitating health issues. Their sculpture, a brightly painted metal butterfly, is sponsored by Community Inclusive Recreation and its ETC ARTS Studio, also of Battle Creek.
The foundation of the sculpture was donated to ETC by Branden Cavinder in memory of his sister, the late artist Brandy Cavinder, whose involvement with CIR and ETC helped “turn her into a butterfly.”
The sculpture is installed in Mary Free Bed’s Therapath Garden, in front of the hospital and just east of the main entrance at 235 Wealthy SE in downtown Grand Rapids. The media will have a chance to meet Demond and Baxter when ArtPrize opens on Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 3-4:30 p.m. during a reception in Mary Free Bed’s Therapath Garden.
“We were extremely pleased with the number and caliber of artists who reached out to Mary Free Bed this year,” said Lyndsie Post, marketing specialist and ArtPrize event manager for the hospital. “We are delighted to host ‘Let Dreams Take Flight’ from a team of CIR artists. Community Inclusive Recreation truly believes that anyone can do anything – a philosophy that is a great fit with our mission of restoring hope and freedom.
“This sculpture will resonate with many of our current and former patients. The piece expresses hope in an incredibly creative, engaging manner. It says that things are possible for people of all abilities.”
CIR promotes opportunities and personal growth for people of all abilities in Calhoun County through relationships, advocacy, and acceptance. A part of CIR, ETC has three studios, gallery space and a sculpture garden. The studio’s vision is to help community members make and sell quality art and art-based products in a professional studio environment where people of all abilities can be successful creative entrepreneurs.
“Mary Free Bed is a great tie in to our mission,” said Michelle Sears, ETC ARTS Studio director. “The partnership is really a connection of inclusion. Both the hospital and CIR provide people with the services they need to live healthy lifestyles and to recover from any traumatic things that they are born with or that come up later in life.”
“Being able to enter two of our participants into this year’s competition is a very positive outcome from the programs we offer to people in our community. We’re excited to be a part of this nationwide phenomenon and tell our organization’
About Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital
Founded more than 100 years ago, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital is an 80-bed, not-for-profit, acute rehabilitation center. Its mission is to restore hope and freedom through rehabilitation to people with disabilities. Mary Free Bed offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for children and adults using an interdisciplinary approach. Also available are numerous specialty programs designed to increase the quality of life and independence of people with disabilities. For more information about Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, please visit www.maryfreebed.com, or call 800.528.8989.