Do you ‘Art Local?’  New slogan encourages community participation, support of local arts and artists  

By KATE SNYDER

Community Arts Center

If you’ve driven down Fourth Street lately, you may have noticed a change in the landscape. A new mural now adorns the side of the Sherwin-Williams building, loudly proclaiming the words “Art Local – Danville, KY.”

The mural’s design and execution is the work of Brandon Long, creative director at the Community Arts Center, but its intent is much larger than a single artist or organization. The Arts Center hopes that the slogan “Art Local” will become a community rallying cry.

“‘Art Local’ was inspired by the same concepts as eat local and shop local,” explains Arts Center board member, Jennifer Ahnquist, who first proposed the phrase. “It originated as an idea to unify and encourage the artists and businesses who sell or ‘do’ art in Danville and to promote community support of them. With the internet, it’s easy to get lost in the appeal of mass production. But, we wanted to remind everyone there is great art right here, if you know where to look.”

Ahnquist believes that the concept of “Art Local” can be broadly applied — encompassing everything from purchasing art from local artists to attending arts events hosted by community organizations to taking a class or workshop to learn more about the arts.

Mandy Prather, associate director of the Norton Center for the Arts, also sees the relevance of the phrase to her organization’s programs.

“Whether it’s regional artists that are hand-selected to perform in our lobby, local amateur musicians who join us for artist gatherings or internationally acclaimed artists who perform on our stages, there are so many different ways, at a multitude of price points, that our community can enjoy art locally at the Norton Center and throughout Danville,” says Prather. “We are excited that this movement will further encourage arts participation and be a collective celebration of all our community has to offer culturally.”

The Art Local slogan and graphic have also been embraced by several local businesses known for their commitment to the arts. Chris and Wendy White, owners of Plank on Main, commissioned Long to paint a matching mural to the Fourth Street piece inside their business on Main Street.

Also, the graphic will soon be inside Harvey’s, one of Danville’s downtown restaurants. Owner AnnYager McCrosky says she hopes the slogan will create a sense of community unity among the local restaurants, centered on their support for local art.

“I think we should all work together,” she says. “That’s what community is.”

(Photo contributed)
Kate Snyder models the new Art Local T-shirts at the Heart of Danville’s recent Main Street Live event in Weisiger Plaza. They are $10 and can be purchased at the Community Arts Center.

To help spread the word about Art Local, the Arts Center created T-shirts with the graphic. They can be purchased at the front desk during regular business hours of 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays. Shirts cost $10 and proceeds will be used to help promote local art and artists. Several ideas are in the works at CAC currently, and the fund will be used for shared projects falling under the “art local” guideline.

The Arts Center hopes that other arts organizations, businesses and individuals will embrace the Art Local slogan. Anyone who wishes to use the graphic can contact the Arts Center for access to the design file and design use guidelines.

A newly-created Facebook page — www.facebook.com/ArtLocalKY — will also showcase and celebrate Danville’s growing arts community.