If you haven’t been to Old Town lately, right next to the Grand Café Sir Pizza, right across from the Cesar E. Chavez Plaza, and on the side wall of the Polka Boutique, you will find (trust me, you can’t miss it), the simply gorgeous mural that the Michigan State University’s Womxn of Color Initiative Program commissioned Nonibah Chacon to create.
Noni as her friends call her, is from New Mexico and is considered to be a rising star by many who have seen her work, was brought into the program as part of a Residency which was completely paid for when the idea was taken to the local Latino community. Sitting down with members of the Lansing for Cesar E. Chavez Committee along with several other members of the community, she was able to gain some insight into the community, its people and its peoples hearts.
On October 28, 2018, Noni unveiled what is with all due respect to any artwork within a few miles, the most beautiful piece of work in this authors memory. Called “Labor of her Fruits”, it showcases the migrant community, with such beauty and colors that it really is breathtaking. Her vision came from the talks with community members that not only revealed their journey and work in the fields, but also their place in North Lansing.
Old Town was once home to many Latinos who settled in Lansing’s northside. Quite a few Latino owned businesses also once resided there although none of those original businesses remain. In January 2018, Grand River Ave. was officially renamed Cesar E. Chavez Ave. to go along with the Chavez Plaza. The mural only enhances the diversity, energy, and style that today represents Old Town. But it also serves as a reminder of what once was.
If you live in Lansing, make it a point to go see the mural. If you are coming through, visit Old Town with its many shops and restaurants, it has become a local destination for many. And while your at it, stop in to see “Labor of her Fruits” as this mural will remain in your heart as it touches your soul. There really is nothing like it. Thank you Noni!