Throughout the end of May and the month of June (phase one)
Location: Lexington Avenue, under I-240 Overpass
(Asheville, NC) The first stroke of paint on the I-240 underpass on Lexington & Broadway Avenues has begun on the six concrete piers supporting the bridge marking the Northern Corridor into downtown. Director of Arts 2 People’s Asheville Mural Project (AMP), Molly Must, expects phase one of the painting of the much anticipated Lexington Gateway Project Mural to be complete by the end of June.
“This bridge has always been a sort of dirty monument emerging from a conventional urban pattern. It ushers hundreds of people to and from the downtown area every day, including a steady stream of local pedestrians. The space presents wonderful opportunity to memorialize and further manifest the unique and beautiful collective intention that keeps so many of us in this town. If we’re going to complain about gentrification, we should surely try harder to embrace the culture we still have, surround ourselves with it, and push it to the surface”, states Must.
AMP has full support from the Asheville City Council, the Public Art Board, the Office of Economic Development, the Asheville Downtown Association, the Downtown Commission of the City of Asheville, Public Works, the Department of Transportation, and many others throughout the community. There are still sponsorship opportunities available to support this imaginative and creative project. Anyone interested should contact AMP director Molly Must at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AMP team, consisting of 5 local artists and several auxiliary painters, has planned a variety of themes for this expansive mural. The majority of the mural will portray original images of local characters and scenes that represent the unique Asheville community. Themes include Sustainability, Arts and Culture, Community, and Asheville Saints.
The Asheville Saints portion of the mural will consist of over forty standing portraits of actual Asheville people, painted on the insides of the 3 x 12 foot concrete columns. AMP seeks community input for the Asheville saints and is calling for nominations. Nominees may be contemporary of historical, and should be community-minded and active in some way. A team of five community members will be established to select saints from the nominations. The committee members will be elected based on their knowledge of local issues, history, and their respective community interaction and involvement. To nominate a saint, visit www.ashevillemuralproject.org.
The Asheville Mural Project, a branch of Arts 2 People, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, exists to beautify and diversify Asheville’s urban landscape, providing artists and local community members with the opportunity to design and implement their own public art. AMP believes that murals enhance quality of life and create artful metropolitan experience through the transformation of conventional architecture. AMP’s murals are both the testimony and celebration of a lively local arts culture.
Arts 2 People also houses the Lexington Ave. Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF), the REACH Programming series, the new Pritchard Park Cultural Arts Program, Moving Women, the Faces of Asheville and more. LAAFF has played in integral role in the fundraising and awareness raising efforts to support AMP for the past six years; we are all excited to see this vision turn into reality. Arts 2 People is devoted to promoting the role of the arts as an integral part of our culture by serving the entire community through arts outreach, bringing the arts to those in need of the healing power of art, supporting the careers of artists, and through community cultural development. To find out more, visit www.arts2people.org.