Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Painting the Town Red (and Blue)

A few weeks ago, we got an interesting inquiry from the Community Arts Center in Danville, Kentucky. Danville will be host to one of the upcoming Vice-Presidnetial debates.

The Community Arts Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating arts opportunities such as art exhibits, community events, and arts education. Their building has multiple galleries for viewing art displays, a Grand Hall for hosting community events, and multiple rooms for classes in dance, drawing, music, and more.

They decided to get involved in the general sprucing-up that has been happening all over Danville in preparation for the Vice Presidential debate in October. One of Danville’s prominent Main Street buildings is currently empty, and they thought of an easy way to improve the look of Main Street—paint the vacant, empty-looking windows with a festive debate-themed design. They found our Political Pimp designs on the internet and contacted us to get permission to use them as inspiration for a series of painted windows.

They used volunteers to wash, tape, and coat the windows in three layers of white paint. Then local artists used stencils of our art to paint a block-long stretch of windows! Over the course of four or five days, they were able to paint the mural while townsfolk looked on and admired. As a token of support for their civic service, Anderson Design Group sent them a set of Political Pimp prints to hang in in the Community Arts Center. After the debates, they will sell the prints and use the proceeds to continue serving the Danville Community via the arts.

The designs that inspired the murals were created by Joel Anderson, founder of Anderson Design Group. Be looking for shots of our art on Main Street windows during the debate coverage on October 10!

Friday, September 14, 2012

NEW Metro Parks Posters

In 2011, Metro Parks asked us to create a series of 12 posters that would celebrate various public parks in the Nashville area. We liked the idea so much, we offered to create the art for FREE as a way of giving back to our community. (As you can tell by our Spirit of Nashville Collection, we believe that as artists and citizens of our community, it is important to use our talents and time to promote and celebrate Music City!)

We want our art to raise awareness of the things that make Nashville a great place to live and work. Public parks need constant care and upkeep. A lot of the funds needed for on-going improvements come from Friends Groups—community groups that volunteer manpower and grass-roots fundrasing to keep our public spaces beautiful and safe for everyone to enjoy. We created the art at our own expense, and Metro Parks committed to purchasing some copies of the prints to re-sell as fundraising tools and give away to promote the parks and raise public awareness. We have enjoyed creating the art, and we are hearing that our fellow citizens enjoy decorating with the prints!

We introduced the first set of 3 prints several months ago. It included McCabe Golf Course, Two Rivers Mansion, and Shelby Park. We have recently completed 3 more sets of prints. They include Fort Negley, Hadley Park and Centennial Park.

Fort Negley is on a hill that overlooks downtown Nashville. All that remain are the stone foundations. It was the largest of a group of forts built by the Union, and the largest inland masonry fort built during the Civil War. It was 600 feet long, 300 feet wide, and covered four acres of land. The workers lived in a contraband camp on the northeast side of the worksite, and were both free blacks and slaves who had been conscripted by the Union to serve as laborers. Between 600 and 800 died during the construction, and only 310 ever received pay. This print was created by ADG artist Andy Gregg.

Hadley Park was one of our nation’s first African-American public parks. It features a library, community center, and open spaces for play and relaxation. Nashville Mayor Hilary Howse opened the park on July 4, 1912. The land Hadley Park occupies, along with the property Tennessee State University is situated on, was originally part of the John L. Hadley plantation. Even though a former slave owner, in 1873 John Hadley invited the great African American abolitionist and civil rights reformer Frederick Douglas to Nashville to his home to speak to the former slave population and help them adjust to their new lives as free people. Like Hadley Park Community Center, the Hadley Park Branch Library was built to serve the African-American community. This print was created by ADG artist Edward Patton.

Centennial Park is Nashville’s premier park. Located on West End and 25th Avenue North, the 132-acre features: the iconic Parthenon, a one-mile walking trail, Lake Watauga, the Centennial Art Center, historical monuments, an arts activity center, a beautiful sunken garden, a band shell, an events shelter, sand volleyball courts, two dog parks, and an exercise trail. Thousands of people visit the park each year to visit the museum, see exhibits, attend festivals, and just enjoy the beauty of the park. This print was created by ADG artist Ligia Teodosiu.

The remaining 6 Metro Parks Prints prints will be unveiled before the end of this year. They will include:
Fannie Mae Park
Bells Bend
Cumberland Park
Public Square
Warner Parks

We were also approached by the Army Corps or Engineers and asked to create a series of prints to commemorate water projects that have become an important part of our region’s outdoor recreation, water management, and power generating. The first print in this series features Center Hill Dam

All of these lovely prints are available for purchase at www.SpiritOfNashville.com. Each year, Anderson Design Group donates 10% of all Spirit of Nashville proceeds to Nashville Community causes.