Art Park Planned for IX Complex

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April 1, 2014

An effort to bring more art to a communal cultural space is underway in Charlottesville.

A group of artists say Central Virginia doesn't have an art park, so they want to create one in the city.

Brian Wimer is behind the plan.

"An art park is kind of like rice pudding. It's not on anyone's list of necessities, but when you have it, you go, 'that is amazing,'" said Wimer.

It would be a public place for interaction, murals, gardens and sculptures settled in the unused space at the IX complex.

"That's the great thing -- there's room for spontaneity here and change," said Wimer. "And every time you come back here, it might be a little bit different."

The IX complex is already changing. Recently, artists covered a large space with a colorful "Art Invasion" graffiti mural.

It was the first of many projects to come, if organizers can find the funding.

"You can't create any of this just on blood, sweat and tears," said Wimer.

On Monday, Wimer launched a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of collecting $20,000 for the project from supporters. He says they have corporate backers willing to match that amount.

"The more money we can get, the more art we can make, and that money goes to materials, to labor and artists and some for planning," he said. "It's also a litmus test. If the community wants this, they'll fund it."

Wimer says it would be more than just something nice for the community to look at. They want people to participate.

"We're creating artwork. What's artwork made out of? It's made out of wood, steel, glass, concrete. These are all trade skills that can be taught. And we intend, when we do our builds here, to teach people those skills," he said.

This Saturday at noon, artists will be near the graffiti wall to paint the road to look like a river. They hope it's just the next of several completed projects to come.

"It's about possibility. It's about dreams. We're kind of trying to build that city we've all been dreaming about, and we're trying to do it now," said Wimer.

To view the Kickstarter campaign, click HERE.

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