FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2018
Contact: Susan Norton
Ribbon Cutting for Public Artwork “Topo Map for School Avenue”
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— The public is invited to a ribbon cutting event celebrating the completion of Topo Map for School Avenue, a temporary public artwork by eco-artist Stacy Levy. The event will take place Friday, June 15, in the Bradberry Amphitheater and gardens of Walton Arts Center (495 W. Dickson St.) at approximately 6:30 p.m. between Artosphere’s Trail Mix performances.
Topo Map for School Avenue is a site-specific public artwork commissioned by the City of Fayetteville and Walton Arts Center with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Artist Stacy Levy, with help from Custom Pavement Maintenance and Safety of Van Buren, volunteers and Fenix Fayetteville artists, completed the four-block-long installation in May.
The artwork meets two goals of the Fayetteville Arts Council Action Plan. One is to incorporate functional art into municipal infrastructure. Levy’s Topo Map for School Avenue is a visual education tool, reminding viewers of stormwater issues in Fayetteville’s hilly landscape. Levy uses thermoplastic materials to create a life-size topographic map on School Avenue between Dickson and Mountain Streets. Markings of multiple colors represent micro gradients, indicating steepness and where stormwater, from rain or ice/snow, travels and collects on the impervious asphalt street. The public artwork also meets the second goal, to leverage the Cultural Arts District, by adding to the existing cultural amenities in the area and attracting tourists.
In 2013, the City of Fayetteville, in collaboration with the University of Arkansas Community Design Center, and the Walton Arts Center, applied for and received a $100,000 Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Our Town Grants fund creative placemaking projects. A proof of concept for a streetscape project was created with the grant funds. Information in the School Avenue: Integrating Art, Landscape, and Sustainability report shows how the City and stakeholders successfully meet the NEA grant program goals to “lay the groundwork for systemic changes that sustain the integration of arts, culture, and design into strategies for strengthening communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.”
Once merely a possibility on paper, the creative placemaking vision is becoming a reality through public and private investments in additional cultural amenities and infrastructure. This summer, the City will announce opportunities seeking public engagement for preliminary designs of a cultural arts corridor.