Art This Way works to improve downtown alleys

The project aims to improve downtown alleys and give Fort Wayne an identity.

Posted: Dec 17, 2017 11:18 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2017 8:46 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Colorful works of art will start popping up in downtown alleys this Spring. It's all a part of Art This Way, a project to help improve downtown.

Artists like Alex Mendez see a blank canvas where most people see an empty alley.

"I've been doing art for four years now. Two years professionally," Mendez said.

Mendez already has some pieces around Fort Wayne, including the piece he did with another artist from Art This Way, Alexandra Hall. Mendez says it was a start to the project in memory of Christy Landrigan. Landrigan had a passion for downtown and wanted to make it walkable.

"It started drawing attention and then they kind of found a voice within these murals, and it started getting the ball rolling for more of these murals," Mendez said.

Now, he's submitting a piece for this year's Art This Way, and organizers are inviting other local artists to get involved.

"We do have multiple submissions, but we're always looking for more throughout Fort Wayne and the area," said Brett Frauhiger of Art This Way.

The group partnered with Greater Fort Wayne and the Downtown Improvement District to choose three alley locations for murals. The only rule? Express yourself.

"We want Fort Wayne to have an identity for amazing artwork and just kind of let them go and create their ideas on the canvas that is the walls of our city," Frauhiger said.

And that's exactly what Alex Mendez is trying to do with his submission.

"It will be a bit of a relief sculpture, so it will actually be off the wall a little bit so you can interact with it, and touch it, and so it can be living and give a sense of movement," Mendez said.

Anyone who wants to submit a piece to Art This Way has until December 31st to do so and can click here for an application, or to learn more.

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