Sparking Joy

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PHOTOS BY ASHLEE GLEN

A stroll in Downtown Lynchburg is now a lot brighter with the installation of Art Alley, a vibrant public art display that includes an outdoor gallery, large-scale murals and a painted street.

“The vision for Art Alley came out of a desire to bring more life, color, and vibrancy to our growing Downtown,” said Ashley Kershner, executive director of the Downtown Lynchburg Association (DLA).

Art Alley, located at the end of 11th Street (between Commerce Street and the Bluffwalk), is described as a placemaking project. These projects focus on transforming public spaces and improving the quality of life in the area.

Susan Brown, program director of the DLA, led the way in the planning for Art Alley with her art-focused background.

“When it came time to get deep into planning for Art Alley,
I was thrilled,” said Brown. “I tapped into my inner museum nerd and it gave me a chance to use my art history degree.”

Brown and the DLA put out a call for artists to submit artwork centered around the theme of “sparking joy.”
They received so many incredible submissions, the Spark Joy Gallery now includes 11 pieces from local artists (see list below). The DLA had originally made room for eight.

The various murals seen in Art Alley took a lot of time, planning and elbow grease to complete. Lisa Jonas illustrated the street mural; DLA staff and 50 volunteers helped paint it. Local artist Christina Davis illustrated one of the featured murals, Tales from the Garden. Emily Herr, of Richmond, created another mural called The Secret Recipe on the garage door. The mural was inspired by her time visiting Lynchburg. Deidre Stone painted the two sets of doors located in the alleyway—inspired by the sun, moon and stars, they make great backdrops for photos.

As you shop local this holiday season, be sure to stop by and see this new, very joyful, addition to Downtown Lynchburg.

Featured Artists in Gallery

Morning Glory by Kate Mitchell

Winter’s Morning by Hanan Davis

Color Sorbet by Morgaine Godwin

I Can, Too by Russ Voelker

The Warm After Winter by Megan Davies

Peace Out by Meg Weston

Playful Clouds by Deliece Blanchard

Cosmic Kiss by Ella Morrison

The Cry of Jazz by Angus Carter

My World by Summer Raulersen

Escape by Emily Stilwell

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