TROY – This fall, the Arts Center of the Capital Region is producing its inaugural open air gallery, the Troy Art Block, a first-of-its-kind project in the Capital District featuring curated and diverse street art at multiple sites in downtown Troy.
The Troy Art Block will create a unique destination in the Collar City for art lovers and attract customers to the city’s locally owned businesses while curating an urban experience for visitors and residents who use the way as a thoroughfare.
According to Judie Gilmore, director of public art and placemaking for ACCR, the event will be a stand-alone all-day live painting event to take place Saturday, Oct. 14. The event will feature live music, food and more. Visitors can also watch the artists at work, take guided tours and attend scheduled artist talks during the festivities and post-event.
“We are excited about giving artists an opportunity to work in the public and have their art seen by a large number of people,” Gilmore said. “In turn, we hope the people who come to see the art visit our many locally owned businesses and restaurants.”
The idea for Troy Art Block formed when Gilmore and Elizabeth Reiss, CEO of ACCR, traveled to Oklahoma City this spring and witnessed the transformative work of another arts project, Plaza Walls.
Founded in 2015 by the Oklahoma Mural Syndicate Project, Plaza Walls, an annual rotating mural project, contains more than 30 murals within the Plaza District of Oklahoma City.
Viewing the bright murals that have helped attract people to the city and create a vibrant, art-forward community was eye opening, Gilmore noted.
“There are many mural festivals around the country and world, but when we visited Oklahoma City’s Plaza Wall’s program, it really clicked that this is a perfect opportunity for Troy,” Gilmore said.
Following the success of ACCR’s winter 2022 production Troy Glow, a temporary light art festival, the Arts Center remains committed to bringing art to public spaces throughout Troy. The center hopes to produce Troy Glow again for fall 2024, and the return of Troy Art Block in 2025, establishing an annual schedule where new art is commissioned in Troy every fall. Troy Art Block will be held every two years with new artists and repainted murals.
“This is about further establishing Troy as THE place for showcasing innovative ways art intersects with our cities. Troy Art Block will hire dozens of artists and create a destination for visitors who want to see beautiful, handmade things,” Reiss said. “We are excited at the Arts Center to lead this effort.”
ACCR is currently seeking artists to take part in Troy Art Block. Interested artists must fill out an online form before midnight, Monday, Aug. 28. Selected artists will be chosen in early September and will be matched with one of the sites to paint their mural.
Artists who wish to take part in the initiative can submit their info in the web link forms.gle/i9EEcqobt1S872mz6 for consideration.
Information about Troy Art Block and a map of the future murals, once they are painted, can be found on the Art Center’s website, www.artscenteronline.org/troy-art-block .