Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 30, 2013

Finishing touches being put on Artist’s Alley

PRINCETON — Volunteer artists still have work to do on a series of murals on Mercer Street’s buildings, but a pedestrian walkway featuring more than 20 individual murals has been completed.

Part of the Princeton Renaissance Project, the Artist’s Alley is located between 941 and 943 Mercer St.; this is across from the Princeton Public Library, said Lori McKinney, a local artist and Renaissance Project volunteer.

A wrought iron archway was added to the Artist’s Alley on Saturday, McKinney said. The archway was designed by Brandon Dunn, and welding, other finishing work and installation was completed by sculptor Michael Sizemore of Athens.

When lighting is added, the Artist’s Alley will become a “24-hour art gallery,” McKinney said.

In addition to brightening up a dark and neglected passageway, the project also provides a showcase for local artists and a colorful attraction for a burgeoning downtown, McKinney stated. Work on the alley began in late summer and most murals were completed by the weekend of Princeton’s AutumnFest.

Large murals being painted on Mercer Street’s buildings are the work of professional artists, but volunteers did all the Artist’s Alley work , she said.

Planning, design and application of the murals was donated by the following artists: Rita Montrosse, Sam Franz, Brandon Dunn, Conrad Jenkins, Amy Williams, Crystal Atwell, Elizabeth Hern, Michael Sizemore, Carla Fry, Robert Blankenship, Austin Persinger, Richard Shrewsberry, Nathan Skeens, Stefani Slaughter-Burchfield, Paige Burnette, Lori McKinney, Baieigh Watson, Chloe Blankenship, Kayla McKinney, Kira Shoemaker and Tim Hedrick.

“Everyone was really generous to volunteer their time,” McKinney said. “It took a few weeks to do, but it was so much fun. We were there morning, noon and night. We would bring music and put lights on. It was a really good time for fellowship.”

Paint was donated by Golden Artist Colors, and the primer and prep supplies by Sherwin Williams.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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