The Louisville Downtown Partnership (LDP) launched a new public art program today, called Street Gallery, which will reimagine the appearance of metal electrical signal boxes found at intersections. Colorful art will be printed on vinyl and installed on traffic control boxes to brighten city streetscapes, enhance community pride, and create new opportunities for Louisville-based artists.
Similar to Street Gallery, LDP also announced the relaunch of the popular Alley Gallery project. Originally introduced in 2017, Alley Gallery is an award-winning, outdoor gallery that brings under-recognized alleyway and back-of-the-building metal doors to life, showcasing the work of local artists.
“Public art is a great way to beautify a space and invite people closer,” said Rebecca Fleischaker, executive director of LDP. “Both the Street Gallery and Alley Gallery programs provide a whimsical, colorful surprise in the city streetscape making for a unique experience in Louisville’s Downtown.”
Since 2017, Alley Gallery has attracted more than 700 submitted works of art being displayed on 131 doors. Sponsors of each door pay for the use of the art, production of vinyl and installation, and maintenance costs. Alley Gallery received the International Downtown Association’s (IDA) Pinnacle Award in 2018, which designated the program as one of the top five public space projects in the U.S.
“Over the last 12 years, we have transformed downtown into an exciting and thriving city center through investments in Bourbonism, hotels, the Kentucky International Convention Center, Lynn Family Stadium, our downtown office towers and more,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Our public art also plays a role. In every great city, you see public art that gives you a taste of the spirit of that city. Through beautiful and colorful art, the Alley Gallery and Street Gallery projects are livening up our urban infrastructure and adding to the existing vibrancy of downtown.”
Alley Gallery’s relaunch was kicked off with two newly wrapped doors at Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District’s (MSD) Bingham Way Pump Station facility, situated on the corner of E. Witherspoon St. and Bingham Way. MSD sponsored the conversion of the oversized doors which compensates the artist and funds the installation process.
“Our facilities are crucial to maintaining the health and safety of our area waterways. For example, the Bingham Way Pump Station is part of our Ohio River Flood Protection System and our wastewater collection system. It serves downtown daily by giving the wastewater a push as it travels to our Morris Forman Water Quality Treatment Center,” said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott. “So, when it was time to repaint these doors, rather than go back with the same old industrial look, we thought, let’s further honor our commitment to downtown and do something that can create a community asset.”
LDP has posted calls for art for both the Street Gallery and Alley Gallery programs. For those interested in submitting artwork, please visit https://louisvilledowntown.org/publicart. For those interested in becoming a sponsor of either Alley Gallery or Street Gallery, please call 502-584-6000.