A group of civic minded folks have banded together over the last few years to create a group called the “Downtown 47”. Though best known for recent New Year’s Eve parties (the group’s main fundraiser), the DT47 is broadening it’s impact in ways that I am particularly proud of.
One of those areas is the “Museum Madness,” an event mainly concentrated during breaks in the school year. Museum Madness allowed the Downtown 47 to help advocate and advertise Huntsville’s plethura of musuems – art museums, history museums, science museums and more.
Now, a new project is brewing! “Spaces” has hit Huntsville – and not just downtown. University of Alabama-Huntsville and Alabama A & M University are benefiting from the explosion of art as well. 24 exhibits are now placed around the Courthouse square, Museum of Art, Von Braun Center, UA Huntsville, Alabama A & M and Lowe Mill, where a number of artists have galleries and studios. The exhibit was organized by the Arts Council but required funding from the area to provide honorariums to the artists. The Downtown 47 contributed a generous portion in support of arts endeavors that would enhance the look and feel of downtown Huntsville and other important parts of our city.
All I can tell you is that, during my continual excursions through downtown Huntsville everyday, “Spaces” brightens my day. I noticed a cool fish sculpture
in front of the historic bank building on West Side Square (one of Huntsville’s most noteworthy buildings, steeped in history) today and couldn’t help from grinning from ear to ear. I now find myself searching for the other sculptures and enjoy them as though they’re surprises set out just for me. Great part is, they’re out there for you, too, if you know where to look!
That’s one of the greatest parts of being “connected” to this city. Not only do I appreciate the beauty, but I know the efforts of others that have made the beauty possible. In this case, I can thank my fellow Downtown 47 friends, my Arts Council friends and our civic friends in leadership positions who were supportive of a little “redecorating” in our highest profile areas. With “Spaces,” you’ll see 10 ft nails popping out of the sidewalk at UA Huntsville, a wooden family in front of Papou’s Greek restaurant on South Side Square and geometric pieces which will open your mind to a whole new level.
For more information, see this site and photos of the Spaces exhibits: