Artist Avenue develops downtown Logansport’s art scene

May 5—A new art installation has arrived at Logansport.

Artist Avenue, facing 5th Street outside The Gray Mill, 500 E. Broadway, came to life with four works of art ready to be seen and more on the way in late 2022.

This is all part of LOLA City Art’s ongoing efforts to bring public art and art awareness to Logansport.

Artist Avenue was inspired by Kokomo’s Artist Alley, an alley in downtown Kokomo that displays artwork on the sides of buildings and also has seating areas.

Amy Werner, art teacher at Logansport High School and LOLA board member, reached out to the Kokomo Art Association to find out more about Artist Alley. They gave her all the information she needed and more, and with that, LOLA was able to alter Kokomo’s plans to suit Logansport’s needs.

LOLA was originally looking to install the work in the alley near the State Theater. But because of structural uncertainties, they had to look elsewhere. Mollie Graybeal, co-owner of The Gray Mill and board member of LOLA, had the wall space outside her store, so it made perfect sense to create an avenue.

When the exhibit resets in December, LOLA hopes to include twice as many artworks. Additional pieces will be displayed across the street on The Record Farm/Bonus Pints ​​Wall, 430 E. Broadway.

Werner hopes that in the future they can add seating areas for people to sit and enjoy work.

The pieces currently on display were created by Michelle Sutton, Adrian Gazcon, Oscar Toloza and Patrick Redmon and centered around the theme of “home”.

When the exhibition ends in November, the works will be auctioned, with artists receiving 80% of the funds and the remaining 20% ​​to support the LOLA project.

It is important for Graybeal to put funds in the pockets of working artists.

“A lot of us on the board have been artists in the past,” she said. “Everyone still wants you to work for free. One of our big goals is to make sure artists get paid.”

The avenue des artistes officially opened its doors on the evening of Saturday April 30 in the presence of Mayor Chris Martin.

“During the opening, you saw people watching, pointing and talking,” Werner said. “Maybe people from different cultures and different social groups are all having conversations. I think public art plays a huge role in uniting your community.”

Werner led his students in their efforts to become part of the artistic community at Logansport. They were responsible for the paintings of David Bowie, Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash on the opposite side of The Record Farm/Bonus Pints. More music legends are coming this summer.

“I saw with my own eyes in Logansport what art can do for a small community,” said Graybeal. “About 10 years ago, 50-60% of these downtown businesses were empty and we had a concrete jungle. It was a grey-brown brick landscape. Back then, we didn’t have the pocket parks, the statues, the triptychs. We didn’t have a seating area. We saw these buildings fill up because downtown is now a cool, visually stunning place and businesses fill up, it has changed the dynamic.

As Artist Avenue will continue to grow, Graybeal is excited about an upcoming project that could place a 60-foot sculpture by local artist Jason Myers in the former LMU facility.

“I think Logansport would be a beacon town for anyone looking to grow their community with the arts,” she said.

“I really hope people come out and enjoy [Artist Avenue]”, Werner said. “I hope they take pictures and put them on social media. The more people share and get people to come to Logansport, it just helps our local economy and it really helps our local businesses. It allows Logansport to grow.”