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Evansville Outdoor Art Gallery: From Blight to Beautiful

“Blight” has been a buzz-word for anyone involved in economic development and tourism in the area, but Downtown Evansville has found a unique way to combat that problem as one park went from delightful to decay…and now back to delightful.

Once a privately owned corner patch of Main Street, Evansville, affectionately known as “Fake Grass Park”, the sweet idea for a family friendly place sans grass allergies quickly fell into disrepair…

Now this corner is back in the hands of the city for “future park development”.

As we work through the process of what that park feels like, what it looks like and what it can do…we knew that there would be a time when it would be fenced, and not available for public use; and we wanted it to look so much better than a temporary fence.

Downtown Evansville decided that instead of having a potential eyesore, they would have an outdoor art gallery complete with art from local artists.

I wanted something on here, so I thought, ‘Let’s put out a call for artists’, we didn’t want a mural because we knew this was temporary, and so we thought how can we do something that will last 6 months to 18 months as the process moves forward; and that’s where we came up with using the mesh material.

Not every piece entered made it on to the mesh Outdoor Art Gallery, the Arts Council put out a call and received several submissions, but it turned out that this new idea to beautify the temporary fence came with its own challenges.

We had to work through the technical challenges of how they print, that’s the really tricky thing on this, especially it being a mesh material — we had to be cognizant of that.
A few pieces we wanted to have just didn’t work with the mesh.

The Outdoor Art Gallery at 4th and Main is a way to activate the space as Downtown Evansville waits to see how best to use it in the future, and the public is already appreciative of the artistic efforts.

It’s really cool!
You know, Gretchin, we were putting this up and there was a person walking by and you would have thought she was in a museum!
She stopped and looked at each one and read the titles, and was interacting with the art the way that we really intended.
I’ve seen that happen several times.
All of the art is reflective of the Downtown Evansville brand, which is based on intention between historic and modern, natural and man-made. They’re all different styles of pieces, yet they’re all cohesive and sort of extend our story telling.

From blight to beautiful, Evansville’s Outdoor Art Gallery is a creative use of an empty space awaiting its destiny.

You can find the Outdoor Art Gallery at the corner of 4th and Main in Downtown Evansville…it’s the perfect place for Instagram photos showing off how different — and creative — our area really is!

Tag me in your photos, and tell me which piece is your favorite…and expect at least two more creations to grace that mesh fence soon.

Like what I do? See more on Evansville’s YouTube Channel, The Best Day Ever Evansville Channel.

And find that epic city calendar at The Best Day Ever Evansville.

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