MDN: DMC Continues to Adorn Downtown with Events, Art
A two-block alley will be the latest site for a Downtown art gallery. The Downtown Memphis Commission plans to install up to 10 different art projects along Barboro Alley, which stretches from Second Street to Front Street.
Leslie Gower, DMC vice president of marketing and communications, said the effort seeks to connect that entertainment area of South Main with the riverfront.
Reclaiming a public pathway is a lean way to boost Downtown’s image. The DMC imagines murals, sculptures, innovative lighting, video projections and other interactive art for the thoroughfare.
Gower said the installation will be semi-permanent and each submitted art piece should have a life expectancy of at least three years. When the alley is in full splendor by Nov. 17, the DMC plans to host artists’ markets and alley parties in the space.
The Artery project, as it is being marketed, is one piece in the DMC’s recent strategy to make Downtown more attractive for young professionals and creatives. The commission’s My HQ is Downtown initiative sponsored pop-up parties and other activities to make the Downtown core a vibrant environment that stands apart from the well-occupied office parks of East Memphis.
“We want to continue to make it a place like no other in the city for people who are creative, and to turn our public spaces into inspirational places for them,” she said.
Another DMC initiative, the Downtown Events, Animation and Activation grant announced last month, has allocated 80 percent of its pool of $40,000 intended to sponsor events that enliven the Downtown core.
One of those grants came to fruition last weekend with the Pandemonium Cinema Showcase at Cossitt Library. The interactive movie series transformed the upper levels of city’s first public library into a family friendly event space.