SPRING LAKE, Mich. — After raising more than $30,000 for its first community art initiative, Spring Lake has selected two West Michigan artists to paint murals on local buildings. 

Christi Dreese and Joel Schoon-Tanis will begin working on murals July 1 for the "Art in the Park" initiative. The murals will be on the back of the Plantega's Cleaners and Cruise & Travel Experts buildings on W Savidge Street. 

"I was really surprised," said Dreese, who grew up in Spring Lake and paints mostly lakeshore scenes. "I kind of left it in the hands of the community, and up above, and thought, 'What will be, will be.'"

Dreese designed a floral piece for the mural at Plantenga's to honor her late grandmother, who had a notable garden in Spring Lake. 

"It's a fun idea," said Al Plantenga, who co-owns the dry cleaning business. "We've been here since 1962, and I think it's just a perfect fit to keep adding to the allure of Spring Lake." 

Community members raised $36,413 on the crowdfunding site "Patronicity" and received matching funds from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. 

The idea originated in the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office to promote crime prevention through environmental design.

"It's going to bring a lot of good people into the community, and there's going to be more activity," Dreese said. "And as art grows along here, there's going to be a continued amount of great people." 

The designs will likely be altered slightly before the start date. Despite a two-month delay of artist selection, the project is expected to be complete early in mid-August. 

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