Arts Center to produce inaugural ‘Troy Art Block,’ a Mural Festival in downtown Troy

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TROY, N.Y. —  The Arts Center of the Capital Region announced it is producing an open-air gallery, Troy Art Block, this Oct. Troy Art Block will be one of the first projects of its kind in New York’s Capital Region. For Troy Art Block, the Arts Center will curate and produce diverse street art at multiple sites in downtown Troy.

The goals of Troy Art Block are to: Create a unique destination for art lovers; Curate a distinctive urban experience for visitors and residents who use Troy’s alleys as thoroughfares through its historic downtown; and, attract customers to Troy’s locally-owned businesses.

Through an open call, the Arts Center will commission artists to create temporary works at over a dozen sites. Walls will be painted live on Saturday, Oct. 14 during a street festival including live music, food trucks, and local vendors. Visitors will be able to watch the artists at work. Guided tours and artist talks will be scheduled during the festivities and after. The festival will happen every two years, with new works replacing old, and hopefully new sites added.

Judie Gilmore, the Arts Center’s Director of Public Art and Placemaking, and Elizabeth Reiss, its CEO, traveled to Oklahoma this spring and witnessed the transformative work of Plaza Walls, an arts organization that started a similar festival eight years ago in Oklahoma City.

“It was eye-opening to see how these bright murals, clustered in a dense urban area, attracted so many people and created such a vibrant, art-forward community. It was transformative–exactly what we want in Troy,” Gilmore said in a recent news release.

Following the success of Troy Glow, a temporary light art festival produced in the winter of 2022, the Arts Center is committed to bringing art to public spaces throughout the city. It hopes to produce Troy Glow again in fall 2024, and Troy Art Block again in 2025—establishing an annual schedule where new art is commissioned in Troy every fall.

“This is about further establishing Troy as THE place for showcasing innovative ways art intersects with our cities. Troy Art Block will hire dozens of artists and create a destination for visitors who want to see beautiful, handmade things,” Reiss said. “We are excited at the Arts Center to lead this effort.”

The Arts Center has issued a Troy Art Block Call for Artists that can be found at (https://forms.gle/i9EEcqobt1S872mz6). All interested artists should fill out the form by midnight on Monday, Aug. 28. Artists will be selected in early Sept. and matched with one of the inaugural sites.

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