© 2016 by Mackenzie Tout. 
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MISHIGAMI

Great Lakes Series

Lake Michigan is the only great lake that is exclusively American. The other 4 Lakes (Superior, Huron, Ontario, and Erie) all share their borders between Canada and the United States.

 

Lake Michigan is home is many great American cities, including Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Benton Harbour and Traverse City.

 

This is a two-colour screen print done on Mayfair paper. The paper size is 11x17". 

I've made several references to historic landmarks, figures, and events that have influenced the surrounding states.
 

  • Seen down the middle, "Mishigami" is a term used by the Ojibwa to describe Lake Michigan meaning "great water." 

  • Starting at the top, the word "pure" is used to describe the state of Michigan as they've recently changed their slogan from "Great Lakes, Great Times."

  • Adjacently, a portrait of Vince Lombardi is spread across the Green Bay area, and the words "title town" can be seen within his cheek. Lombardi coached the Green Bay Packers to the first two Superbowl Championships in 66' and 67'. Green Bay, or Titletown as people call it, is the smallest NFL market (approx 300,000) with possibly the richest and most decorated history.

  • The number 38 is placed near the edges of Traverse City, MI to represent the home of 38th president of the United States, Gerald Ford.

  • Underneath, a clump of hop flowers are centrally placed to symbolize Milwaukee's self-proclaimed reputation as the "beer capital of the world." During the 1850s, large iron-ore deposits were found near Milwaukee, WI, attracting many foreign workers in search of the "American Dream." By 1880, 27% of the Milwaukee's population was German, and with the Germans came beer halls and a know-how for brewing. 

  • Amongst the clouds is a rigid structure. This is a sculpture titled The Calling by local artist, Mark di Suvero. The piece is part of the permanent collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum and is the most loved, and hated pieces, by locals.

  • A swift gust of wind represents Chicago's notorious nickname as "The Windy City." Most believe the city got its nickname from the frigid winds that roll in off Lake Michigan, but locals argue that the nickname originates from the "hot air bellowing from politicians." Safe to say, the matter is still up for debate.

  • At the bottom, Michael Jordan is featured as the defining figure of Chicago. Jordan put the Chicago Bulls on the map and is widely heralded as the greatest basketball player of all-time. Jordan led the Bulls to 6 NBA Championships and won the Finals MVP award each trip. The Bulls Franchise has never won a championship without MJ.