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Artivity on the Green designed to spruce up Liberty Street area

Artivity on the Green designed to spruce up Liberty Street area
February 26
00:00 2015

Many downtown residents have kept a close eye on the construction that’s transforming a dilapidated parking lot in the heart of the Arts District into an outdoor space that will be just as unique as the area around it.

In May, residents will get a chance to see just how much.

The art-themed park, between Sixth and Seventh streets, will be called Artivity on the Green and is made possible through a grant from the Thomas J. Regan Jr. Foundation to Arts for Arts Sake (AFAS). Opening day is expected to be on May 2, complete with a ribbon-cutting and food trucks.

The local nonprofit initiates or supports a wide variety of free special events and programs designed for residents to enjoy and create local art.

“It dresses up Liberty Street, which is in dire need of dressing up,” said Harry Knabb, chairman and CEO for AFAS. “There will be a place to go in the afternoons and for residents in the area to have some green space.”

Councilman Derwin Montgomery said that the park is just another great amenity that adds to the area. He also believes that it’s just the beginning of an overhaul of Liberty Street.

“The Liberty Street area is the next frontier of development in the area. This is leading the way along that corridor. It is going to bring a much-needed sense of activity,” he said. “Artivity is going to be symbolic of the art and activity that will be happening there, which in turn will lead to much more happening in the area.”

It’s designed to create an artful space between the Innovation Quarter and the downtown Arts District. There will be red lines that will lead visitors into the park and rise up to create an option for sculptures to be displayed.

At the center of the park, the red lines will come together into 13 masts that will create fog formations in an effort to recognize the city’s past in manufacturing.

“At night it’ll be lit up, and when the fog hits the light it will look like it’s glowing,” Knabb said. “The fog will become animated.”

Montgomery said that the masts are bound to attract activity to the area.

“There will be a place to embrace all facets of art in the area,” he said. “Art is very much a part of who we are as a community.

This park is continuing to show how we integrate that into the fabric of what we normally see, like parks.

When we infuse our innovation and artistic sense, we have something that is unique to our community and attractive to those near and abroad.”

There will also be an art performance shelter made out of silver steel bands and a concrete wall to be used as an evolving canvas for painters.

The shelter will have built-in benches and easels, as well.

“We’ll have 10 mural artists painting there in the beginning of May.

We’ll leave it up for a year, paint over it and do it again with new artists.

We have some of the best mural artists in the area, so we are real excited about that,” Knabb said.

Local and regional businesses are building the park. STITCH Design shop drew up the plans, architecture was done by Stimmel Associates and the construction is being done by Frank L. Blum Construction Co. Knabb said that he feels the park will help to infuse more art into downtown, citing that it doubles the size of the arts district.

He said that he would like to see it used by everyone in the community, whether it’s by pet owners, nearby children or the residents who live downtown.

“It’s going to bring more range, depth and interest to the area,” he said. “It’s a gift to the community and the city of Arts and Innovation. I look at it as a giant piece of art.”

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Chanel Davis

Chanel Davis

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