BUCKHANNON — Local organization ART26201 aims to celebrate and promote the creative and inspirational opportunities in the Buckhannon community. “Our primary focus is making the Buckhannon community more colorful, more welcoming, more fun, and a better place to live and work,” said Bryson VanNostrand, a founding member of ART26201.
VanNostrand explained that many kids leave the area because they feel like there isn’t anything here for them. “Our goal, really, is to keep our kids home by giving them a reason to stick around, while also recruiting and attracting other creative folks to Buckhannon,” he said.
ART26201 started in 2014 when VanNostrand and others saw a need for some large-scale local art projects, then created a group to bring them to life. Other co-founders and strong supporters of the group include John Waltz, CJ Rylands, Lisa Wharton, Tim Hibbs, kb saine, Keith Saine, Bobby Howsare, Renee Preston, Allison Corbin, Carrie Perry, among others.
The group began by launching their website and kept growing from there. ART26201’s main projects are the ‘Art in Public Places’ Program, the development of the Trader’s Alley Arts District and the rehabilitation of the Colonial Theatre/Cinema V as a Community Arts Center.
The Art in Public Places program includes the Monkey mural, Sail Fence, a set of four murals by Charley Harper, and the suspended Sky Tapestry installation, all located in Trader’s Alley. The “Cock-A-Doodle-Dude” mural on CJ Maggie's building and the ‘Evening Star’ mural on the Ameriprise building are other attractions attributed to the group. They are currently working on a vintage Men in Black car to suspend across Trader’s Alley.
The group also hosts a Young Filmmakers Camp every year for middle and high school students, and even produced an album for BRASSTAXX last summer. VanNostrand mentioned the organization has a ton of projects lined up that are just waiting on funding to come to fruition. The group typically raises money per project and has received donations from private donors and foundations.
Any member of the community is welcome to join the organization and participate in ART26201 projects. If you are interested, visit their website at http://ART26201.com/, reach out to the group on their Facebook page or email them at [email protected]