A one-year-old program launched by the Louisville Downtown Partnership has turned more than a hundred ugly and unnoticed doors into an urban museum of local artists. It’s just another example of the creativity that makes our city so unique.
Some see a downtown alley and see an eyesore. Others see potential for urban revival and self-expression. That’s what Louisville Downtown Partnership envisioned when they launched a program that pairs local artists and sponsors with sometimes unsightly service doors to use as public blank canvases. “This program rejuvenates forgotten spaces within our downtown and allows us to showcase hidden treasures created by our talented local artists,” says Rebecca Matheny, Executive Director of LDP. “There are more than 300 service doors within the Central Business District that qualify for the program.”
In just one year, the program has transformed 103 of them with work by 59 local artists. The artists receive not only an opportunity to produce a work of art that becomes part of our city’s vibrant landscape, but they also receive compensation for their work; more than $32,000 has been raised and distributed to local artists through the program. So far, nineteen community sponsors have become involved—including PARC, Fourth Street Live!, Riverside Parking, Mariott Downtown, Louisville Convention and Visitor’s Burea, Hyatt Regency, Mulloy Real Estate, Hardscuffle Inc., Louisville Water Company and Congressman John and Cathy Yarmuth— and many sponsor multiple doors.
The initiative has worked so well that it has expanded to include air vents and walls. Says Matheny, “We have limitless options to enhance the downtown aesthetic thanks to the generosity of our Downtown stakeholders and the extraordinarily gifted artist community we have in Louisville.”