RENSSELAER — Five artists from around the world will be leading a street art project for downtown Rensselaer next month.
It will happen between July 2-6. The project will include public two-dimensional street art in various locations, including the Potawatomi Park river wall, as well as several downtown alleys and key downtown business locations.
It is intended to draw more foot traffic and tourism to Rensselaer’s downtown area.
eMbers Venue co-owner Ryan Musch has been playing a key role in coordinating the project. He recently announced the five artists, who include Cameron Moberg, the man who painted the “Take Flight” mural of a bird on one of eMbers’ walls. The other artists include Emily Ding, of China, Jenna Morello, of New York City, Chris Chanyang Shim, of South Korea, and Andres Cobre, of Argentina.
The project is officially being led by the Main Street Rensselaer organization, with the support of the Prairie Arts Council, as well as the Jasper Foundation, Jasper County Tourism Commission and Tippecanoe Arts Federation.
Musch said the subject matter of the art will be primarily the artists’ choice “after they learn more about the community,” and that they “will keep community content in mind.”
The idea for this project was imagined before Moberg even finished painting “Take Flight” several years ago.
“Spending the week with him while painting it helped us realize that we can do much more to create points of interest to encourage walking and biking of exploration in our downtown,” Musch said. “This is also a component of the downtown revitalization outline finalized last year.”
Finding unique ways to attract attention to Rensselaer’s downtown area has been a main goal of the Jasper County Tourism Commission and other local organizations for quite some time. They hope to take advantage of the city’s position between two large urban cities, connected by Interstate 65.
“There is nothing like this so close to I-65, from Chicago to Indianapolis, so a major goal would be to attract tourism off the interstate to visit and shop our local businesses and boost the energy downtown,” Musch said.
Though the first week of July is fast approaching, Musch said many of the details are still to be determined. A small festival was also planned to occur on or around July 6 to celebrate the project’s completion.