Downtown Austin Uses Benches as Art

March 22, 2018 08:32 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Painted benches showed up this week like flowers in springtime splashing colors in the city.

"I think art feeds your soul,” said Austin Artworks Center Director Laura Helle.


"Painting a picture, making a sculpture, whatever you might be doing, and it's all good for us" added Arts Commission board member Gretchen Ramlo.

“Take park benches, the best Sherwin Williams has to offer and creativity, and you get works of art.

Laura Helle said. “I think art is expressing yourself and expressing yourself in a way only you can."

And art can be found in many forms and many places.

"Vision 2020 downtown had been talking about enhancements for the downtown sidewalks," the Artworks Center’s Laura Helle said.

“And Austin park and rec have benches that they take in every winter and they needed repainting."

The colors sparked an idea for the community.

"I mentioned it to Laura our executive director and she said you know we have a grant we haven't used all the money and this is perfect for it," Gretchen Amlo said.

It led to a trip to the paint store and a call for artists.

"Put it out on Facebook and did all kinds of advertising about it, and we had over 40 people show up," Gretchen Ramlo told ABC 6.

Families, church groups, art students. and the result was nine creative, brightly colored benches, most of them lining Main Street in downtown Austin.

“I think these benches qualify as art," Gretchen Ramlo said.

"I saw the people working on them” Laura Helle added. “I know that it connected with them and resonated on a deeper level and I believe that people who see them and come and sit on them are going to have that same experience.”


Dan Conradt

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