BUCKHANNON — Artists and architects from near and far joined forces to bring a new art installation to Trader’s Alley on Friday, June 4.
ART26201 was joined by many high school art students to help with the creation of an art piece designed by Ashley Kyber, a landscape artist based out of Pittsburgh. The piece is called “Trader’s Alley Pavement Markings” which is in reference to road pavement markings designed to keep drivers on course and exist as a set of rules. This design, however, is to show a different set of rules—the rules of art.
The ART26201 organization “aims to celebrate and promote the creative and inspirational opportunities in the Buckhannon, West Virginia community.” They believe that the artists and venues represent the best Buckhannon has to offer. ART26201 encourages the community to discover these creative and unique people and places while enjoying the highest quality products and most thoughtfully designed experiences in and around the City of Buckhannon.
Along with ART26201, Buckhannon-Upshur High School Art Teacher Heidi Thompson helped recruit 20 creative students who took part in the project. However, the project would not have been possible without the support offered by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, who funded at least 80% of the project.
“The most important part of this project is helping these kids develop ownership. Having the kids making the art was the best part. Having people drive by and see it is one thing, but when they look at it, they will see something that they had a part in making. We want them to have some ownership in the town,” said Bryson Vannostrand, a local architect and President of ART26201.
The project design was first developed in September of 2017. Former Mayor David McCauley and Jerry Arnold were reportedly instrumental in providing permission from the City of Buckhannon to install the public artwork within the alley right of way. “No one has done anything quite like this before,” stated Vannostrand. The project is now open and ready for viewing and through traffic.