Fennville, MI – The picturesque town of Fennville, known for its rolling hills and thriving wineries, has become a hot spot for tourists seeking a breath of fresh air and a taste of its flourishing agriculture. In a celebration of the local immigrant community, an art event dedicated to honoring those who pick fruits and vegetables in the area took place on Saturday, May 6th. The focal point of the event was the unveiling of a magnificent 12-foot aluminum sculpture, “Reaching for the Stars,” located at the Fennville Library. The entire community came together to rally around this profound work of art, which symbolizes gratitude and appreciation for the immigrants’ vital contributions.
Hector Vega, a highly acclaimed artist renowned for the depth and emotional impact of his works, designed “Reaching for the Stars.” Hector received a well-deserved applause and the attention, the attendees eagerly awaited Hector’s speech to thank the community “This is for all the hardworking people my people who bring the fruits and vegetables to the table,” Dennis the president of the board shared “its great to see everyone here,” and went on sharing the community business and the blessing of Fennville.
The Commercial Record (www.WilcoxNewspaper.com) featuring a captivating photograph of Hector Vega working on the sculpture and article. The Saugatuck Douglas Fennville Arts Initiative (SDFAI) worked diligently on this project, and the article shared Hector Vega’s research included meeting immigrant farmers to understand the local dynamic deeply. Hector expressed, “Your voice has been heard while designing the work of art,” showcasing his commitment to honoring the community’s experiences and stories through his artwork.
The sculpture dedication took place at 400 W Main Street, attracting a massive crowd from 6 pm to 9 pm. Mary Jo Lemanski spearheaded this project, emphasizing the collective effort it took to bring it to life she shared “It took community…unity for this to come together.” The Saugatuck Douglas Fennville Arts Initiative, in collaboration with the City of Fennville and the Fennville District Library, extended an invitation to the community to join them at the sculpture dedication ceremony. The event featured a captivating performance by the Fennville band Grupo Fierro, adding a lively ambiance to the festivities. Additionally, the library housed additional paintings by Hector Vega, offering visitors a comprehensive glimpse into his artistic style.
The ceremony was a delightful celebration among friends, as expressed by one patron, while patrons marveled at the event’s ability to uplift the community, particularly its immigrants. Excitement filled the air, evident in the cheers and awe that accompanied the sculpture’s unveiling. The blue tarp carefully wrapped around the sculpture was finally removed, revealing its magnificence to the eagerly waiting crowd. Dennis, the president of the board, expressed his joy at seeing everyone gathered, while also highlighting sculpture. Everyone was eager to see the second band act and explore the art exhibit downstairs. Several pieces were sold even before, during, and after the event, highlighting the audience’s appreciation for Hector Vega’s remarkable artwork. The art show will remain on display at the library but whispered could find its way to Fernwood art store and maybe floating to other establishments.
The local “must-have” band entertained the audience throughout the event, both before and during the unveiling. Their exceptional performance extended inside the library, where guests were treated to their best musical offerings. One notable highlight was an eleven-year-old musician who showcased their talent by playing several instruments, including an impressive saxophone solo. The Downstairs, dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to create a memorable experience for attendees. They even coordinated a delightful dinner provided by several local establishments, including Salt of the Earth, known for their famous fish tacos. The chef, pleased with the positive response, expressed their satisfaction, stating, “I shared how to put these ingredients together,” further strengthening the sense of community through shared experiences and culinary delights.
Georgio Sabino III played a crucial role in the event, providing his expertise in photography, augmented reality, and drone services to document this historic moment. Among the highlights was a captivating video presentation showcasing the city from a unique drone perspective. The drone soared to great heights, capturing breathtaking views of the horizon while capturing the essence of the gathering. The video also featured glimpses of downtown, the event itself, and the overall spirit of the Fennville community. The collaboration between Georgio Sabino III and Hector Vega’s artwork was masterfully highlighted in this visual documentation.
The event was undoubtedly a resounding success, thanks in large part to the dedication and hard work of the volunteers. Their meticulous attention to detail, from the beautifully arranged flowers to setting the perfect festive mood, contributed to making the party in Fennville truly unforgettable. The community owes them a debt of gratitude for their commitment and outstanding efforts. Bravo to all involved!