Grand Junction, Colorado (map) is one stopover that proved to be a pleasant one for us. An All-American town, faceless if not for its Art on the Corner Exhibit. Its downtown area corners are dotted with sculptures by various American artists. This creative initiative was started in 1984 in the midst of an economic downturn by Dave M. Davis with the help of local and regional artists and has made the high street of Grand Junction the number one tourist attraction in the Grand Valley.
It has helped revitalise local businesses (it attracts 250,000 visitors a year since it started), won the Excellence in Public Art Award from the International Making Cities Liveable Organisation in 1998 and has been imitated by several US cities.
Artists from all over the USA are invited to contribute and those who agree lend their works for free. More than half of the collection are permanent exhibits while the rest are on loan from the artists for a year. The exhibit has survived with the help of the community (who initiates fund raising activities), the local government as well as local businesses.
Here are some pieces I found particularly amusing:
About this week’s guest writer
Michael Schuermann, journalist, author of guide book Paris Movie Walks, hubby to Marlys. In addition to running a vacation rental studio aimed at budget travellers in Montmartre, Paris, Michael and Marlys are avid hikers.