Art in the Heart of the City has returned to Downtown Ithaca for its fourteenth year. This annual outdoor art exhibition, running from June to November, brings the creativity of local and international artists to Ithaca’s walkable urban core.
Says Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) Executive Director Gary Ferguson, “Art in the Heart is patterned after a very successful outdoor sculpture program launched many years ago in downtown Grand Junction, Colorado. It seeks to provide the community with a diverse collection of public art that rotates every year. It has been an excellent way to showcase artistic talent while enhancing and beautifying our downtown environment.”
Kris Lewis, the DIA’s Operations Manager, has coordinated Art in the Heart for the last four years. She explains that this year’s Art in the Heart, an eclectic collection of eleven works by six artists, was a challenging but rewarding show to organize. “Because of the construction work on the Ithaca Commons, the pieces had to be sited elsewhere. Much of the city’s permanent art collection was relocated along South Cayuga Street, so we decided that the temporary pieces should go there as well. This was a very different approach from previous years, but what we see now is the new Cayuga Street Art Corridor really starting to take shape.”
First-time exhibitor Amy Lewis’s “agrisculptures” – three-dimensional works made out of old farm equipment – now grace the pavement outside Avanti! at 121 South Cayuga Street. Says Lewis, who resides in Cornwall, New York, “I fell in love with Ithaca at the age of four. It’s a beautiful city, full of natural and human-made wonders that inspire me to no end. The moment I learned of Art in the Heart, I knew it would be a perfect opportunity for me to say ‘Thank you, Ithaca!’ – a city that truly believes in the critical role of public art.”
Ryan McGuire’s whimsical Bananapede resides in front of the State Theatre Box Office near the corner of South Cayuga and West State Streets. The Ithaca-based multi-media artist explains, “I applied to the Art in the Heart program because I’ve always admired the sculptures downtown and I thought it was time to add some of my bright pop art to the mix. It’s exciting to be able to engage such a large number of people and to put a smile on their faces. As soon as people realize they live in a community that supports art, they start creating.”
Other pieces in this year’s exhibition are two sculptures by Glenn Zweygardt in front of the Tompkins County Public Library and on the side of Evolution; murals by Marybeth Ihnken on the southwest outside corner of the Library; three sculptures by Bob Turan in front of SHAJ, Mystic Water, and Handwork; and a mural by Will Schlough soon to be painted behind Center Ithaca above the Green Garage stairwell.
Please visit http://www.downtownithaca.com for more information.