A proposed art alley in downtown Eau Claire is seeking 50 artists and sponsors to help beautify the 600 block of South Barstow Street.
The ColorBlock project seeks to have artists paint murals in the alley between Brent Douglas Flowers and SHIFT Cyclery & Coffee Bar, as well as on the walls of some surrounding buildings.
“There are certain things that impress upon people when they visit our downtown,” said Kelsey Wenberg, a board member for Sculpture Tour Eau Claire who is heading the ColorBlock project. “Whether they’re from five minutes away or five states away, they go home and tell their friends or family what they remember. The ColorBlock will undoubtedly be one of those things.”
Participating artists will receive a $100 stipend and all materials will be supplied free.
Artist applications, available on the @colorblock.ec Facebook page, are due by March 1. Selected artists will be notified by April 1
Painting will begin June 15, and the roughly 6- by 8-foot murals must be completed by June 28. The theme this year is “Imagination,” and new murals will be painted each year based on a new theme. The finished artwork will be free and accessible to the public 365 days a year.
The muraled alley concept is growing across the country as more communities try to promote public art.
In Eau Claire, organizers believe the project has the potential to spark a welcome turnaround for the south end of downtown, which has attracted little attention in recent years as the north side of the Barstow Street business district has flourished.
“It will give this part of town a fresh look,” Wenberg said. “The ColorBlock will kind of revitalize the south end of South Barstow and create a destination down here that we don’t really have.”
The ColorBlock recently received a $2,000 Downtown Enhancement Grant from Downtown Eau Claire Inc.
The project is a colorful, two-dimensional extension of the popular Sculpture Tour Eau Claire that has brought dozens of new outdoor sculptures to the streets of downtown Eau Claire for the past decade. Donations will support Sculpture Tour Eau Claire, a local nonprofit dedicated to enhancing Eau Claire through free public art.
More information about the project or sponsorships is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.