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Artist uses lead-infused paint in portrait of Governor Snyder

Michael Dykehouse

Artists often use creative talents to reinterpret or emphasize current events. Michael Dykehouse of Ann Arbor drew his inspiration from the water crisis in Flint.

Dykehouse painted a portrait of Governor Snyder using lead-infused paint.

“Basically, I wanted to express my complicated feelings surrounding the events in Flint in a subversive manner," Dykehouse said. "I wanted to create something that superficially looks like a traditional or reverential portrait that you might see in a state building. I wanted to create something that unhinged the normal portrait format.”

Dykehouse unveiled the painting online this week. He plans to sell the portrait and donate some of the proceeds to a Flint non-profit.

“I hope I inspired others to find ways of communicating their dissatisfaction with what has been happening in the state of Michigan and throughout the United States in general in ways that are more creative or outside of the norm,” said Dykehouse. “I think if people realize that their individual voice, and, more importantly, their voices in unison can have a large effect on helping people and create change. In this instance, I wanted to affect change for the people of Flint in any way possible.”

Dykehouse’s portrait has emerged amidst the criticism and protests that Governor Snyder is facing for his role in the lead contamination of Flint’s water supply. Snyder has apologized for his administration’s role, and has said he is focusing on resolving Flint’s crisis. 

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