ArtsinStark Is Helping Downtowns Reinvent Themselves

The “Sticky Arts” exhibit that went up in downtown Alliance this week is 50% art show — and 50% economic development strategy.  It’s just one of many projects the University of Mount Union and ArtsinStark have partnered on to transform two blocks on East Main into an attraction for locals and tourist alike called The Crossing.  “We are using these 15 museums, antique stores, eateries, and specialty shops, along with public art installations, to reinvent a place,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins.”  The non-profit county arts council has partnered with the City of Louisville to create Constitution Place in its downtown, with the Village of Minerva to rebrand three of its blocks as historic Market Street, and with the Canton Chamber to build the Arts District.  “ArtsinStark has also given grants to Hartville, Canal Fulton, Massillon, Jackson, and North Canton to do the same thing,” says David Grabowsky, who is chairing the 2017 Annual Arts Campaign to raise $1,650,000 for the arts in Stark County.  The drive is at 30% or $500,000 of its goal.  More info is available at www.artsinstark.com/donate  or 330-453-1075.

The name “Sticky Arts” comes from the fact that copies of the 22 artworks by 16 local artists were first printed on adhesive paper and then literally stuck on windows and walls at three different locations across Alliance inviting people to come experience The Crossing.  The first of the three sites are the store windows downtown in The Crossing on East Main Street from Mechanic to Linden.  The second site is the hallway outside the Rodman Branch Library at Giant Eagle Market Place (1808 West State Street), and the third site are the walls around the entrance to the Kresge Dining Commons in the Campus Center at the University of Mount Union.

Julie Amabeli, Alayna Watson, and Fredlee Votaw represent the great variety among the 16 Alliance artists that are part of Sticky Arts.  Julie Amabeli is a University of Mount Union graduate who works as a financial analyst by day, and creates precise pen and ink portraits of famous people by night.  Alayna Watson is a senior at Alliance High School who does ceramics and painting. Fredlee Votaw has been exhibiting in shows for 45 years and explores all kinds of art in creations he calls “Diary Art.” The other artists in the show are: Robert Buganski, Lynn Digby, Kacie Prologo, Chrystal Shofroth, Andrew Wells, Dena Donnelly, Allie Bennett, Travis Kuntzman, Lily Thomas, Martha McClaugherty, Olivia Sziber, Marilyn Kuntzman and Olivia Morey.

Sticky Arts will host an opening reception, with refreshments and live music, at the Giant Eagle Marketplace location on Thursday April 6 from 5:30 to 7 pm.  The Sticky Arts exhibit will be on display  until the end of May — or until the glue wears out!