Art project approved for downtown Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Downtown Lafayette will be getting new art, but this art won’t be seen in any gallery.

“Boarded up windows, doors, garage doors — spaces that have just been neglected over the years,” said local artist Zach Medler.

On Thursday, the Lafayette Redevelopment Commission approved a $20,000 contract for Small Spaces: Lafayette. The project will pay local artists to cover up some of the blank spaces downtown with street art. Medler will act as curator and said more than 12 local and regional artists will be hired to create the mini-murals.

“The styles of the work will be very different depending on the artist. There will be different types of art that you’re not normally used to seeing in the public space and in downtown Lafayette,” said Medler.

However, the unique works of art won’t take away from the history of downtown Lafayette.

“Nothing will be painted on unpainted brick, and that’s what the Historical Preservation Commission is protecting,” said Margy Deverall of the Lafayette Economic Development Department.

Lafayette Economic Development director Dennis Carson said TIF funds will be used to pay for the project, but it will be money well spent.

“This is a way to bring some interest and vibrancy into our downtown area and promote art. They bring people downtown and create an interesting atmosphere for people to be in,” said Carson.

Medler said its a way to keep downtown Lafayette a more modern place, while giving it more personality.

“I really think what this project can do is help build a personalty for our city. Not just a personalty based on the history of where our city has been, but a personality based on who’s moving to our town, who’s coming here, who’s growing up here,” said Medler.

Medler said he doesn’t know exactly where the artwork will go, but before the artists begin, property owners will be asked for permission.

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