Three downtown Fort Wayne alleys will become works of art

An artist will earn $7,250 to beautify this alley near the Midtowne Crossing condominiums. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)
This alley at 927 S. Harrison St. will get a $7,000 facelift to cover the cinder block and painted brick, but the natural brick won't be covered. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of The News-Sentinel)

Three downtown alleys will be getting artistic makeovers thanks to a project designed to improve Fort Wayne’s “walkability.”

The first sites to be beautified under the “Art This Way Alley Activation Program” include an exterior wall of the Midtowne Crossing condominiums at 112 W. Washington Blvd., the northern alley on the building at 927 S. Harrison St. and the southern wall of the Level Inc. building at 919 S. Harrison. Bill Brown, executive director of the Downtown Improvement District, said Tuesday artists are being sought are expected to be selected by the end of the year. Work could begin in Spring 2018.

Artists on the three projects will be paid a total of $17,750, with another $6,250 available for supplies.

Improvement of downtown alleys was inspired by the late Christy Landrigan, whose passion for improving Fort Wayne moved her fellow Lincoln Financial Group employees to collect money for a project in her memory. The DID worked with property owners, artists and Friends of Lincoln Financial to buy, commission and install five pieces of public art, and Art This Way is designed to continue creation of this public art gallery.

Art This Way is funded at least in part through the annual Art This Way Art Crawl and includes privately owned properties within a two block area near Berry, Wayne, Calhoun and Harrison streets and Washington Boulevard. These areas are always open to the public, and artwork already installed includes the murals on the side of Pint N’Slice, the metal guitar on the side of MKM Architecture, and the four artwork panels installed in windows along the side of the Thirsty Camel. The University of Saint Francis School of Creative Arts will offer professional services in development of calls for entry and selection of art installations. Donors, local artists and local organizations will also be involved in the selection of art work.

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