Let there be art: Georgetown residents can expect more murals, sculptures, other creative projects

Artist Devon Clarkson works on the latest mural in Georgetown on Oct. 22. It is located behind the historic Shotgun House at 801 West St.

Artist Devon Clarkson works on the latest mural in Georgetown on Oct. 22. It is located behind the historic Shotgun House at 801 West St.

Georgetown is seeking to become a nationally recognized arts destination by 2030, according to Arts and Culture Coordinator Amanda Still and Library Services Director Eric Lashley.

The “Blue Hole Park” mural by Mike McConnell in the new city center, the gallery space in City Hall and the latest public street art mural, “Traditions to the Future” by Mila Sketch at 215 W. Eighth St., are all examples of recent new art installations, Still said in a presentation to City Council members at an Oct. 22 workshop.

Upcoming projects include a mural by Georgetown High School students with the theme of kindness in Georgetown. Installation is planned for early 2020, and a location has not been chosen yet, Still said.

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There is also a new, permanent sculpture on the square called “Red Poppies in Bloom” by Gail Allard to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Red Poppy Festival.

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A total of 11 new sculptures will be installed around the city Nov. 4-5 as part of the 2019-20 Georgetown Sculpture tour, Still said.

Artist Devon Clarkson began work on a new public street art mural Oct. 21. It is located behind the historic Shotgun House at 801 West St. The theme for that project is preserving history while embracing innovation and change, Still said. The mural features the face of local figure Mary Smith Bailey, the founder of the Mary Bailey Head Start Center.

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The same mural will also honor some of the neighborhood churches, while an adjacent wall will feature artist Norma Clark’s representation of the same concept in an innovative style with abstract images, Still said.

Still and Lashley also presented the Arts & Culture Programs’ strategic plan goals for 2020-25:

1. Establish and foster a vibrant art center as a major component of the cultural district.
2. Continue to develop and expand the Georgetown Public Art Program.
3. Establish and foster a vibrant performing arts center as a major component of the cultural district.
4. Establish and foster a vibrant arts incubator facility that includes an artist in residency program.
5. Encourage the development of a thriving arts, culture, and entertainment district in the downtown.
6. Provide grants to local arts and culture nonprofit organizations.
7. Maintain a cultural district designation.
8. Elevate the arts and culture staff to include an arts and culture director, a coordinator of activities, and marketing coordinator to coordinate the arts and cultural activities of the city, and work with city boards and local arts organizations to improve the quality of life in Georgetown.
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