A work bee — with butterflies

Lake Antoine Park Partners to pair cleanup with art dedication April 27

THE LAKE ANTOINE Park Partners will host its annual spring cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 27. At 10 a.m., they will have a dedication for the butterfly artwork by Mathew Dault and Dan Recla that was installed on the beach house. Lake Antoine Park Partners Treasurer Ann Hruska and Vice President Doni-Mae B. Rauch view Dault’s mural. (Terri Castelaz/Daily News photo)

IRON MOUNTAIN — It will be more than raking and hauling debris at the Lake Antoine Park Partners’ annual spring cleanup on Saturday, April 27.

LAPP will unveil two new art installations on the beach house.

The work bee starts at 9 a.m., with a formal dedication of the crafted butterfly displays at 10 a.m. at the former concession stand on the lakeshore. Refreshments will be served.

Local artists Mathew Dault and Dan Recla were commissioned to do the unique butterfly pieces as part of the Sunset Beach project.

Both veterans will be on site Saturday to talk about their completed artwork with the public.

VOLUNTEERS ASSIST MEMBERS of Lake Antoine Park Partners in 2023 to get the grounds ready for the season. A work bee is set for Saturday, April 27, with a second date May 4 if needed. (Submitted photo)

“This art is an important part of our Sunset Beach project that will take at least two years to fund and manpower,” said Ann Hruska, LAPP treasurer and project chairman. “We will be anxious to talk with the public about those plans that have been in the works for months now.”

Over the winter, Dault worked on the colorful mural that is now hung on the north wall, the location of the former exterior showers.

“You can see it from Lake Antoine Road as you are coming around the lake,” she said.

Hruska noted that Dault designed the weather-protected piece so it could be mounted to the concrete wall, which has deep ridges that made the surface unsuitable for painting. His medium is acrylic paint on gesso-primed canvas.

Dault’s artwork can be seen throughout the county, including the waiting room of a local oil-changing business. 

“He incorporated surprises within the mural — it’s going to be kind of a game of ‘Can you find this?'” Hruska said.

The interactive mural will make for a fun and colorful backdrop, she added.

Dault says his overall goal is to inspire people through his artwork.

He was an English teacher in Vietnam for 10 years and now calls the U.P. home.

Recla’s metal sculptures will be displayed across on the shore wall to enhance the view.

The flight features various sizes of detailed, three-dimensional butterflies.

“He surprised us by making an 8-by-5-foot butterfly that people can stand next to and have their pictures taken,” Hruska said.

“They are beautiful,” she said. “Even cooler than I had anticipated.”

Recla has worked in metal for most of his life and began making “cool” things from smashed car fenders and doors. He would give them away to his friends. His pieces were dubbed “folk metal art” by family members.

That began a brand-new adventure creating interesting and unusual metal sculptures.

The LAPP worked more than a year to obtain an artist for a mural, Hruska said.

“We definitely found the right people,” Hruska adds. “We are pretty excited about it.”

The idea for butterfly pieces came after they added the butterfly garden on the west side of the beach house. “It is a very sunny place, but there was nothing else there to draw you to that area,” she said. “We thought this would be something natural and pretty, as well as inexpensive.”

The LAPP members were pleased as well to have a project done ahead of schedule.

Construction work on the Sunset Beach project will continue at the end of the summer

“That whole area will be further developed — it’s kind of morphing,” Hruska said.

Volunteers are needed for the community-wide project from 9 a.m. to noon.

In addition to raking and clean up, they plan to do pruning, mulching and spruce up planted areas of the park. The electric will be turned on in the campsites for those wishing to bring a leaf blower.

Hruska noted they have a variety of tasks to accomplish that will keep all busy no matter the skill set. Those willing to help don’t have to stay for the entire duration of the clean-up event, she added.

“Come bring your gloves and rakes to clean up the grounds to get ready for the Memorial Day opening,” said Allison Lucier, LAPP president. “And we are always looking for new ideas for happenings at the park. If you have ideas on how folks can enjoy this park, please come to our work bee and talk with us.”

The work bee is a great opportunity as well for high school students to do hours.

If needed, a second work bee is slated from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 4.

LAPP will also have a soft launch of its new “membership drive” during the event on Saturday. Forms will be available for anyone interested in joining their efforts.

“We want the community to feel more of a part of what’s going on at the park,” she said.

The official drive is planned to coincide with the LAPP’s next monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 1, at the Breitung Township Hall in Quinnesec. Refreshments will be served.

The LAPP is now accepting registration for the seventh-annual Crafty Flea Market planned Sept. 7 at the campsites.

Their non-profits mission is to preserve, improve, promote and protect Lake Antoine Park in Dickinson County, for the use and benefit of the general public.

For more information, contact Hruska at 906-396-9843 or email lakeantoineparkpartners@gmail.com.


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