Auburn Beautification Commission Encourages Community Partnerships
Developing partnerships between Auburn and area businesses is a great way to help improve the quality of life in the City, and Auburn Beautification Commission would like to see a new program be expanded to its full potential. Under the direction of the ABC, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the City, Dickman Farms recently “adopted” the gazebo across from City Hall and spruced the area up with an array of colorful plantings. A small sign tastefully denotes the sponsor of the project.
There are limitless opportunities for similar projects around the city, and ABC encourages business, social clubs or any group of interested volunteers to look for ways that they might get involved. Details are still being finalized, like contractual obligations for upkeep and maintenance, and liability issues related to people performing work on City property. Aside from that, the sky’s the limit for future projects, and it doesn’t need to stop at planting flowers.
Other potential options could include a local service organization constructing a new playground. A small sign could say, “This playground brought to you by (club name here).” This is a small price for something that will have a real impact on people’s lives. The days of plump city budgets and large DPW departments have passed, but with the City, its citizens and businesses sharing the labor — and cost — of enhancements of open spaces, everybody wins.
Art Around Auburn
Another way ABC is working to beautify Auburn is supporting the creation and installation of public art projects in various locations in downtown Auburn.. On Founders Day, many attended the unveiling of Audrey Iwanicki’s metal sculpture installed on Exchange Street in honor of Ted Case. Now, another artistic medium- mosaics- will take center stage in making Auburn more colorful and inviting.
In April, artists Jesse Kline and Dave Tobin were funded by Stardust Foundation of CNY to take a mosaic training with Isaiah Zagar, in Philadelphia. That training led to another Stardust grant to create mosaics in Auburn. “We believe that the idea of mosaics, designed by local artists and put together by local volunteers, of all ages, are a way to bring members of our community together and also create local art that will last years and show off Auburn’s rich history and heritage,” said Guy Cosentino, the Executive Director of the Stardust Foundation of Central New York.
The team’s first stop is Angelo’s Pizza, a long-time staple for authentic flat-crust pizza. Angelo himself, was the inspiration for the mosaic, which will be located on the side wall of the business, facing the parking lot. Kline enlisted the talents of artist Amy Chamberlain to render the composition. “Chamberlain’s linear, contemporary style is a perfect fit for this project,” Kline shared.
Amy Chamberlain said, “I am very honored to work on this project that will bring a modern and interesting focal point downtown. While it would have been an obvious choice to commemorate local heroes such as Harriet Tubman and William Seward, this project celebrates an accessible local hero. Angelo’s contribution is now an institution. He’s a hard-working, everyday guy you could buy a slice from, in this lifetime.”
The mosaic artwork will compliment the existing painted mural across the way at Colonial Laundromat, as well as the Liberty Store’s mural located a block down. Angelo’s mosaic will further solidify East Genesee Street’s commitment to public art. The team will install the piece the first two weekends in August.
To keep the project green, and cut down on costs, Tobin and Kline approached many businesses for material donations. Broken tile, odd lots, open boxes or product samples will be saved from a landfill, and used in the composition. Business donors include Floors & Walls, Roma Tile, Whitings Wallpaper & Paint, Callahan Masonry Supply, Crowley Glass, McGlaughlin Glass, Image Agent and Real Deals.
Community members are also encouraged to donate materials towards the project. Plates, colored glass, mirrors, all types and textures of ceramic pieces- literally pieces, with a flat backside can be used. If interested in donating, or participating in the installation, residents should contact Project Managers Kline (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tobin (email@example.com).
After Angelo’s is completed, the next stop will be Exchange Street. Complimenting the recently redesigned space, and further refining the look, the team will mosaic the smooth concrete low walls, that can be used for seating. Students participating in BluePrint II will be assisting with this installation in the fall.
“The great thing about these mosaic projects is that they will be assembled by volunteers of all ages. People will feel a sense of accomplishment they will savor for years, every time they see their mosaic,” said Project Manager Dave Tobin.
For more information please visit www.artforauburn.wordpress.com and www.beautifulauburn.org and join the Facebook Fan Pages for “Art for Auburn” and “Auburn Beautification Commission.”