It’s not an uncommon sight in Southwest Michigan — crumbling ruins of factories that once formed the backbone of the area’s manufacturing heyday.

They may not be the pyramids of Egypt or the Parthenon of Greece, but the 420,000-square-foot remains of Vickburg’s Lee Paper Company paper mill and its adjacent 80 acres is inspiring artists to new creation, nevertheless.

The new Prairie Ronde Artist Residency is bringing in artists from around the world to be immersed in the ruins and create works that reflect their experience.

Since early 2018, artists have been selected to come to Vicksburg, stay in a private apartment that includes a studio space, and explore the abandoned mill site, mining it for ideas. There is a second living space also available for artists so that two may work simultaneously.

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