February 3, 2020 | Story by: Kelly Beacome | Photos by: Kelly Beacome
Hello, my name is Kelly Beacome. I am an artist living in Howell. My parents moved to Brighton in 1979 and I have spent most of my life in this county. I met my wife, Tina, here and we chose to raise our children in Livingston County. About five years ago we moved to downtown Howell. We have participated in and enjoyed what I feel is a budding art scene supported by our Livingston Arts Council, local government, businesses and most recently propelled by our Howell Mainstreet Inc.
The artistic movement is happening all over Livingston County. However, my personal experience is here in downtown Howell. Just take a short walk around town and you can’t miss it! Most obvious are our bike racks, functional sculptures depicting the evolution of the bicycle. These are all created by blacksmith James Roth of Hell Creek Forge. We also have a number of large scale murals created by artists Stacy Karnes, Nick Fischer (Sick Fisher), Sara Hemmeke, Tashif Turner (Sheefy McFly), Jessica Hennig, Cheyenne Bolin and me, Kelly Beacome (Factoryrat71). Our Howell Mainstreet Inc. has been a huge promoter for local arts and artists.
Our Livingston Arts Council has been bringing “creatives” together by hosting music, comedy, dance, storytelling and more at the historic Opera House. My favorite event is a fundraiser that fills the Opera House with all forms of art, where we perform and get to showcase our talents in a night of fun for a good cause.
I am able to explore just about any art form I would like to pursue. By participating, I have had the pleasure of meeting some talented people that I can call friends. All of whom are willing to share their knowledge in their art form. For example, a talented local photographer, Richard Lim, and an amazing videographer, Lindsay Root, both continue to do outstanding work around Howell and all over Livingston. Most recently, I have rekindled my love for ceramics by meeting a talented sculptor Chris Folts, who then introduced me to Christine Lagginess, an excellent ceramics instructor and sculptor.
This is just a small touch of the diverse talent here in Howell. There really is so much more! We have culinary magicians at our local restaurants like 2Fog’s, Diamonds Steak & Seafood, Chocolate Boutique & Bakery, M. Street Baking Company (you can see Jessica Hennig’s mural here). We have brewing artisans at Aberrant Ales (check out my mural there), just to give a few examples.
Personally, it has been fun and exciting to be a part of this explosion of art in our city and county. The various entities in the county have been supporting art and artists for many years. To me, there seems to be an increasing momentum and more public art than ever before. As this grows, I look forward to meeting many more of our local artists and maybe working together. I hope to be involved in some fashion and connect with talent around the county.
If you’re an artist in the area, I encourage you to reach out and get involved. If for no other reason than to have fun! The amount of talent we have in all different forms of art, in this county, is quite amazing. Get out and make some connections. It is fun, there are great friendships to be had, and art is good for the soul.
Check out this video from Lindsay Root about the Howell Art Project
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