#PAINTGARY is a movement to fill the City of Gary with vibrant and thought-provoking public art. We plan to make the city into a larger-than-life canvas for by transforming vacant lots and wall surfaces with a series of creative sculptures and murals. The installations on City-owned sites will invite exploration of downtown Gary and wayfinding signage will help residents and visitors bridge the gap between residential neighborhoods and the city center. This work will culminate in a Gary City Art Trek (G-CAT), a self-guided walkable and bike-friendly tour that encourages people to explore their local surroundings.
#PAINTGARY is presented by the generosity of a collective of artists, curators, cultural workers, donors and sponsors.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR + ORGANIZER > Lauren M. Pacheco
CURATOR > Billy Craven, Galerie F
CURATOR > Eduardo Veo
PHOTO DOCUMENATION > Max Herman
PARTNERS > City of Gary, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Office of Redevelopment and Planning, Decay Devils, Sherwin Williams Portage, Sunbelt Hobart, The Legacy Foundation
Gary is currently known for its past glories and current struggle. We want to challenge that narrative with an art series that any city in the country, in the world even, would be proud to call its own.
Gary, Indiana has a problem with vacant land and deteriorating buildings. Over the past few years, however, artists, residents, and those in the public and private sectors have been working to improve the city. #PAINTGARY was developed by a Gary resident and artist to continue that work, with the goal of activating imaginations and mobilizing stakeholders to keep Gary moving forward.
The Role of Art
Art is a uniquely human activity, ubiquitous across societies and cultures. #PAINTGARY is interested in reinforcing the notion of culture and using it as a tool for a conversation in relevance and rebuilding. By engaging in civic and social justice discourse through the arts we can address inadequacy, strategize a balance to politics and value systems and, initiate a renegotiation of the symbolic and the practical.
#PaintGary Will Support an Ongoing Conversation
Overall, the project will cut across disciplinary boundaries improving knowledge of the relation between economics, architecture, space and city life, thereby casting light on a unique aspect of human nature and/or needs beyond academics and politics. The results of the proposed project will serve as a basis for discussion with a diverse group of civic and creative leaders (existing and newly formed). Ultimately, #PAINTGARY, will be a temporal, impermanent yet creative strategy in addressing urban challenges in the city of Gary, Indiana.
We've already laid much of the groundwork for this project. Over 50 local and international artists have already committed their time, talent and resources to this project. Beginning Summer 2018 they'll work on more than 40 sites across the City with efforts continuing during the Fall and Spring 2019.
This work will support existing redevelopment and local initiatives, such as the transformation of the City Methodist Church into a public garden, the revitalization of the Union Station into a historic preservation destination, and it will help address decades of disinvestment and blight in bright, beautiful ways.