Voice Platform and Support Network for Families of Missing and Victims of Crime
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Can art solve a murder? More than 2,100 Facebook friends think it can.
On Thursday, May 3, a major new work by 2010 ArtPrize finalist John O'Hearn will be unveiled at the C.O.D.A. Gallery in downtown Grand Rapids. This new "ball mosaic" art was commissioned by several followers of the WZZM Deanie Peters Facebook group, to raise public awareness and pressure to resolve the 31-year search for Deanie Peters.
The disappearance of Deanie Peters on February 5, 1981 has stymied police and haunted an entire generation, especially the students of Forest Hills Central and the families of Cascade and Ada. It remains one of the oldest and most well-known cold cases in Michigan history.
In an aggressive new effort led by Deanie's former classmates, Deanie's friends are leveraging social media to share clues, ideas and other information critical to the case - in real time. The results have uncovered names, places, memories and even evidence never before considered. In less than two years, over 2,100 "friends" from around the world have signed on to follow this Facebook group, and its momentum continues to grow.
Over the past year, the Facebook group committed to a fundraising effort, with the goal of commissioning a credible and inspiring piece of art that would further boost public interest in the case. The group contacted Traverse City-based ArtPrize finalist John O'Hearn in late 2011 to present its plan and ask for his participation. O'Hearn jumped at the chance.
The group's ultimate goal is to inspire someone to reveal the location of Deanie's final resting place, giving her family, friends and the community the closure they've sought for more than three decades.
The unveiling event on May 3 will mark the culmination of more than a year of the group's hard work, recruiting hundreds of new followers who offer fresh perspectives on the case, sparking long lost memories that are proving very helpful.
Doors will open at C.O.D.A. Art Gallery (44 S. Division St.) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon at which point a reception sponsored by Kendall College of Art & Design will begin. At 4 o'clock, there will be brief presentations offered about the construction of the artwork, followed by the official unveiling of the piece.
Deanie's brother, William Peters will be in attendance and will speak publicly for the first time in 31-years about his sister's disappearance.
The "Deanie Art" unveiling is a public event.
By Brent Ashcroft
About the artist commissioned -
Thinking outside the box! ;)
Quite brilliant really to use a locally well known artist and dedicate the art to the city as well - this is a 31 year old missing persons case and new leads have already been generated directly from this work of art's publicity.
Would LOVE to see some of our Peace4 families perhaps try this as well ... ? ;)
Awareness Raising Activities (for Students)