Community Invited to See Public Art and Film Dedicated to Leslee Niethammer

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 08/12/2019 - 14:16
A girl sits inside Valerie Mann's maquette dedicated to the late librarian, Leslee Niethammer. Mann's work, Leslee's Smile, will be installed at Henne Field and will be unveiled Aug. 23.

The community is invited to pay tribute to the late Leslee Niethammer, who a community leader and the director of the Saline District Library for more than 25 years.

A series of activities are planned from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 23, at Henne Field, located on Bennett Street between Ann Arbor and Harris streets. Friends will unveil public art and a short film dedicated to Niethammer.

Valerie Mann will debut her sculpture, Leslee’s Smile. At 5’2, the maquette is the same height as the bubby librarian – and that’s by design, according to Mann. It’s made of corten steel and has colorful glass polka dots on one of two sides. When the sun beams through the class, it creates colorful circles on the ground.

The sculpture will be located on the south end of Henne Field along the walking path.

Mann spoke with Niethammer about her plans to do the sculpture before her death, March 11, 2016.

Leslee and I spoke about the maquette (small model of the sculpture) and about my intent to create this piece in honor of her and all she meant to this community,” said Mann.

Among many other things, Niethammer was a great supporter of the arts in Saline. Under Niethammer’s direction, the library was home to sculptures and many art exhibits. She often attended receptions at Two Twelve Arts.

Mann’s sculpture was inspired by Niethammer. She wants people to interact with it.

I see people touching it, taking photos with it -- prom pics, family pics, kid pics. It’s a piece that is joyful and fun in nature -- like Leslee,” Mann said. “It begs interaction. Though it shouldn’t be climbed on. That steel really bangs up a shin!”

The art will be unveiled at 7:40 p.m.

At 7:10 p.m., Diane and Matthew Mukkala will debut their documentary, “Leslee.” It was directed by Diane and created, filmed and edited by her son, Matthew.

Activities begin at 6:30 p.m. with free ice cream and popcorn, and a creation station for people who’d like to make crafts.

For more information, contact Diane Mukkala at [email protected] or 810-964-4551.









Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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