A community-based Grand Valley visual studies project has helped broaden the past and present view along Lake Macatawa in Holland as city leaders consider future waterfront development.
The idea stemmed from Sara Alsum-Wassenaar, communications resource specialist for Production Support Resources in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a part-time visual studies faculty member for the Visual and Media Arts Department. One aspect of visual studies is that students are actively engaged with the community.
The effort, named Macatawa Strata, has had a goal of using research and different forms of artistic media for a site-based exploration, Alsum-Wassenaar said. She said she was also able to obtain funding to work with undergraduate students on the project.
This work had most recently focused on the city's decommissioned power plant, which had piqued Alsum-Wassenaar's interest as she regularly drove by it. She said she was intrigued by the dichotomy of the "iconic" structure that is so prominent in the city, yet sits on property with environmental concerns.
"I thought it would be interesting to bring people to the space to investigate and think about the future," Alsum-Wassenaar said.