News and Tribune

June 24, 2013

Almost watercolor: Rain didn’t stop New Albany Public Art Walk



Even though a rain date was set up, they did what any self-respecting art lovers would do with wet weather.

They got out their umbrellas and waited out the drizzle.

The second annual New Albany Public Art Walk drew a crowd in spite of some light rain. The promise of new installations and making a little art of their own kept them from leaving early.

“It’s been amazing to see people coming out once the weather cleared up,” said Sally Newkirk, director of the Carnegie Center for Art and History. “It was a little iffy for a while, but they’ve come back.”

Karen Gillenwater, curator for the Carnegie Center, said walkers were able to check out the city’s four new public art installations, “The Stage New Albany Built,” “Painting,” “Sacks of Food” and “New Albany Now.”

With the posters they were given at stations around town, walkers could then get a screen print at each of the new installations for their own piece of art to take home with them.

But she said the opportunity to ask about the inspiration for each piece and learn more about the creative choices behind them also gave audiences an interesting perspective on the art around town.

“I’m seeing new faces, so I think people are really enjoying and engaging with the artists and all the activities they have going on here,” Gillenwater said.

Veronica Combs, a Floyds Knobs resident, brought her son Carson Borchers with her. As he got a portrait of himself painted, she said it’s nice to see New Albany follow the lead of other cities across the country with art.

“I lived in Phoenix for a while, and they had had a lot of great public art,” Combs said. “I think it’s great that New Albany has an evening where people can get out, enjoy art and make some of your own before you go home.”

Along with the sculptures, paintings and video, participants got to see other forms of visual and audible art. Students from the New Albany High School Theater Department performed short pieces at different installations and musicians played in Bicentennial Park and in front of the Floyd County Government Building on Hauss Square.

Jacob Stanley, the artist who created the 2012 installation “Sweat Equity,” said he’s glad to see art becoming an active player in the city.

“I’m really excited that the Carnegie Center does a good job of commissioning local artists,” Stanley said. “For a town this size, it’s great that people here welcome forward-thinking, sometimes really challenging public art. Hopefully, a lot of the art around here brings up good conversations about this town and where it’s headed.”