CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The alley between Capitol and Hale streets may be brightened up by new artwork if a plan of the FestivALL Public Art Committee pans out.
Naomi Bays, the head of the public art committee, told the Charleston Municipal Beautification Commission on Tuesday she is working to coordinate and oversee the painting of doors facing the alley over the next few years.
"It's just a nice little art in an unexpected place," she said.
The door-painting project would begin this year. Artists would submit design ideas, which would be approved by the FestivALL committee. The goal is to have the first five to six doors painted by the end of summer.
The multi-year project, if carried out as planned, would result in all 27 doors in the alley being painted with different designs by different artists.
Bays said she has been contacting property and business owners to ask if they would allow their doors to be painted. She said some have expressed support for the project and already given permission for their doors to be used, but she added that law offices have been particularly slow to respond.
The art would be paid for in part with FestivALL funds and in part by business or property owners.
Because the proposed art is considered a "mural" under city code, the Municipal Beautification Commission had to approve the project. The committee did so unanimously on Tuesday.
Other public art projects scheduled during FestivALL include the third phase of the ongoing "Peer to Pier" project, which aims to coat 12 piers supporting Interstate 64 along Virginia Street. This year's murals will be tied to the celebration of 150 years since West Virginia achieved statehood.
Artists and their artwork will include: Charly Jupiter Hamilton (Battle of Charleston); Reaford Walker (John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry); Chris Nelson (House Divided); Emma Plagemann (A Capitol Celebration); Geoff Plagemann (State Pride); Rebecca Recco and Isaac Emrick (150); Ian Bode (Montani Semper Liberi); Jeff Pierson (Fathers of West Virginia); Sharon Harms (West Virginia State Symbols); Dustin Durham (West Virginia Shines); Kelly Bryant (Celebrating 150 Years with West Virginia Music); Ned Savage (portrait of West Virginians involved in the Civil War); and Bernice Deakins (100-Year History of WV Woman's Club — Boulevard replacement).
Painting of the piers is to be completed by July 31.
In addition, rain barrels painted by local artists will be raffled. Proceeds from the barrel sales will go to the artists. The barrels will be on display along Capitol Street between Washington and Lee streets.
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.
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