ART THIS WAY is a public art program and creative place-making initiative which operates under the umbrella of the Fort Wayne Downtown Economic Improvement District, FWDID. The FWDID hired AH Public Spaces Consulting, LLC to raise funds and liaison between property owners and artists to bring large scale professional art installations into Fort Wayne, IN. Managing Art This Way includes the commission and development of public realm projects, event planning, and the facilitation and implementation of public art on private property.
Over the last four years, the program has installed 20 permanent projects in Downtown Fort Wayne. Art This Way projects include murals, sculptures, and inclusive signage. In 2020 the program facilitated over fifty temporary art installations, including a Plywood Paint Out in the wake of the George Flyod protests in Fort Wayne and a dozen works installed in September which advocated for social justice. [Photo Credit: Brett Frauhiger & Stephen J Bailey]
Art This Way
PUBLIC ART PROGRAMMING | PRIVATE & PUBLIC SPACE REDESIGN & PROGRAMMING | PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
MAKE IT YOUR OWN MURAL FEST is a region-wide public art initiative which encompasses eleven counties in northeast Indiana. AH Public Spaces Consulting, LLC was hired by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership to act as the public art consultant on the project. Alexandra's role included development of property owner contracts and artist agreements, development of artwork content, facilitation of the artist selection processes including open calls, recruiting artists, jury sessions and property owner approval processes. She also advised wall selection, on-site logistics, paint order delivery, wall preparation, and acted as the artist liaison-working to ensure artist participation, answer their concerns and ensure a completed project.
Each mural is approximately 2,000 square feet in size, and almost all murals are located within a community’s center. These were strategically placed to allow for maximum economic impact. In The Garrett Clipper Mayor Todd Fiandt remarked on the beautiful mural painted by artist Ricco Diamante, "It is amazing we have had people from Michigan and Ohio and all over Indiana stop here and get out and take pictures, just about daily. It’s shocking the amount of people who come and look at it," noting the economic impact of visitors buying gas and eating at local restaurants while in town. “It good for our city."
The overarching goal of this initiative is the leveraging of public art to attract talent and impact regional quality of life.
[Photo Credit: Stephen J Bailey & BFA Studios]
Make It Your Own Mural Fest
MAKE MUSIC, FORT WAYNE is a project run in partnership with Lutheran Life Villages. Upright pianos are painted by local artists and then they are placed in strategic public areas. The community is invited to bring music to the alleyways of Fort Wayne, IN.
Each year a new piano is released into the wild!
Make Music, Fort Wayne
Public Realm Facilitation
Under the contract with the Fort Wayne Downtown Economic Improvement District, FWDID AH Public Spaces Consulting, LLC works to further activate spaces with seating, music, events and greenery. This part of the contract involves collaboration with the city of Fort Wayne to activate spaces on public and private property in order to encourage pedestrian use and draw traffic to specific zones. The contract also includes partnerships with anchor businesses to increase their business and offer them additional seating and event zones near their restaurant, café, or boutique. Murals are often a component of these activation zones, but additional creative placemaking mechanisms include seating, lighting, greenery, trash containers, closure of streets and parking areas, and art installations.
CONNECTING COMMUNITIES THROUGH IMPROVED QUALITY OF PLACE
In 2021-2022 the NewAllen Alliance will bring seven large scale art projects to seven communities: Leo-Cedarville, New Haven, Grabill, Woodburn, Harlan, Monroeville and Hoagland, Indiana. Each community will have a unique project in a location that best suits the footprint of the town. The purpose of this type of artwork implementation is to highlight community assets, educate visitors about each town, encourage economic growth, and improve over-all quality of place. These projects are currently in development.