Small Town Project — Painting Local Legacies

Introducing My Personal Project For 2022

Every year, I choose a creative project to help me grow more skilled and push myself out of my comfort zone artistically. You might remember my February Flowers project and my Might Be You Monday portrait project from last year. For 2022, I am creating a series of paintings and drawings from gathered stories of small town dwellers, focusing on the Michigan towns of Lowell and Alto.

When I think about all the places I have lived, the history and stories of the small towns stand out. In small communities, generations stick around. Names and faces become familiar, and stories are carried along, building up a priceless heritage. Historically, it’s always been story that keeps legacies alive, through written and spoken words, as well as art. With this project, I hope to bring attention to our stories, as well as help preserve them for the generations that follow.

What stories are you creating with your life?

The painting below is the first to kick off my Small Town Project, presenting a story of my own. This large piece features a railroad crossing I walk by often with my family. As we crest the hill here on our way home from the park in the evening, we catch the sun going down behind the trees, feeling it’s warmth and basking in the orange glow. This view always feels magical! These walks along a country road give me a quaint village feeling, reminding me of the slower way of life here compared to the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities where I used to live.



The deeper meaning in this one is a highlight of nature’s wins, something I strive to celebrate in my work. I often leave out human figures and modern elements from my landscape work because I like to imagine the world in its calmer, less disturbed days. However, I intentionally included the road and power lines here to help me emphasize just how brilliantly nature outshines anything humanity can muster and how it works to thrive despite our humanly greed. Nature wins again!

The painting is titled ”Walk With Me” and measures 36x36.” It’s painted with acrylic on canvas, and you can watch some of the behind-the-scenes process from a day-in-the-life of this painting coming together on Instagram here and see a video clip of the place this was inspired by here. “Walk With Me” is currently on display in my studio and is available for $900. I’d love for this special painting to go to a great home! E-mail me for details if you’re interested.


I’m well underway with my second painting for this series, an even larger one, which you can see peeks of on Instagram and Facebook.


Meanwhile, if you have a story about Lowell or Alto you’d like to contribute to this project, or if you have a special story that takes place in amother small town, I want to hear from you! Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at hello@erinreinholtz.com to contribute your story to this project.

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