Art around every corner.
Back in 1998, when Greeley instituted a program designating one percent of new public construction project budgets for public art, it was one of the first in the state to do so. Nearly 20 years later, there are hundreds of pieces in the City’s collection. At the same time, though, the meaning of “public art” has become somewhat limiting.
There’s a practical aspect to it as well, says Evenson. A higher concentration of art and creativity increases property values. And it turns out that public spaces adorned with art tend not to get tagged with graffiti. But still, he says, it’s more than simply improving the community. “Making art is part of what makes us human. Which means a life without it is a life diminished.”
“We want to celebrate all that’s artistic in Greeley,” explains cultural affairs manager Jason Evenson, “not just what the City owns, but what everyone has done to improve our community through art.”
And the way he and the City see it, that’s quite a bit. According to assistant city manager Becky Safarik, it’s more than just statues and murals. “It’s performing and visual arts,” she says. “It’s writing and design. The term ‘community arts’ better expresses what we’re really doing in Greeley: helping everyone expand their perception of what the arts can be.”
School District 6 Art Walk
“March brings breezes, loud and shrill,” wrote the poet Sara Coleridge, “to stir the dancing daffodil.” Here in Greeley, it also brings Youth Art and Music in our Schools Month – that stirs the incredible talent seen in the annual School District 6 Art Walk.
This year, hundreds of K-12 students from 25 area schools brought more than 900 works of art to 24 downtown Greeley locations. It started about six years ago, and, according to Evenson, it has “exploded” over the last couple of years, resulting in a self-guided walking tour of what he thinks is some pretty impressive Greeley student talent.
“It’s a fabulous program,” says Evenson. “Artists of all ages and abilities are showcased – and the support of the teachers, the businesses, and the entire community is incredible.”