As art community thrives, expect to see more local art in public spaces this year

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Huntsville has long had a thriving arts community, but over the past few years, participation and presence has grown exponentially.

“Look at the Arts Council membership, Lowe Mill’s thriving operations and all the peripheral arts activities, the activities Downtown Huntsville, Inc supports and promotes, and just our Arts and Entertainment Districts and the variety of musicians performing through the community,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, Executive Director of the Arts Council.

Dillon-Jauken says Arts Council membership has more than doubled since she first arrived and volunteers for events like Panoply have as well.

The council is now working with the city to create a Public Art Master Plan to get more local art in new developments and the public square.

They have already seen success with the Spaces Sculpture Trail, a program featuring 36 sculptures in public spaces like Downtown Huntsville and Madison, as well as  UAH and Alabama A&M campuses. When the program began in 2010, it featured 24 sculptures.

If you turn to the shops you will see people want to buy local, whether it`s a painting or tea or children`s clothes.

“The store’s doing incredible. Incredible,” said Brian Williams, owner of The Artery in Five Points.  “People are loving it, they call us a small Lowe mill so that’s a great compliment for us.”

Williams says business has far surpassed what he and his wife imagined when they opened last April. They’re proud to offer a space for artists to network with other creators, as well as share their work with the public.