The Journal Gazette
Friday, June 11, 2021 1:00 am

Drain murals, fence corners among area public art projects this summer

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

Storm drain artwork, creatively decorated fences and – of course – more murals will be sprouting up around the area this summer.

In fact, you might have already noticed some new work.

Tim Parsley and University of Saint Francis students completed a mural this month on the side of Aaron's Fine Rug Gallery, 1217 Broadway.

Inspired by John James Audubon, it is the second of Art This Way's gateway mural projects.

Art This Way manager Alexandra Hall says a mural is planned for Shindigz Place, 919 S. Harrison St., in August. The public art program is also facilitating a mural near The Landing in September, which Hall says should completed just in time for Art This Way's annual Art Crawl fundraiser Sept. 17. The artists for both projects will be announced in August.

Hall says Art This Way hopes to announce at least three other mural projects this year once details are confirmed.

In the meantime, the organization is offering quarterly public art scavenger hunts called Experience Art This Way where participants can win gift cards to downtown establishments. Go to to take part.

Art This Way has also partnered with Friends of the Rivers on Clean Drains Fort Wayne.

More than 30 street-art murals will be installed on sidewalks and curbs around storm drains as part of the environmental advocacy project to raise awareness of how trash and other items end up in the rivers.

Artists 18 and older can apply by July 10 at to create a mural. Selected artists will create their works Sept. 10 to 19.

Among public art displays in other area cities, is “Cheers From Our Corner of the World” in Auburn.

Downtown Auburn Business Association and Auburn Main Street's annual Summer Art Exhibit gives area artists the chance to create work on a rotating series of objects. With this year's theme, there are 20 picket fence corners that will be on display in the downtown Auburn business district around the DeKalb County Courthouse.

Pieces will start being installed Monday, and all are expected to be in place by the end of the week.

This is the 12th year for the exhibit, which has previously featured art created on objects such as benches, Adirondack chairs, wine barrels and wheelbarrows.

“The art committee tries to come up with unique pieces that have a fair amount of surface area that can be utilized in the design,” says Mike Littlejohn, president of the business association and owner of Carbaugh Jewelers. “We try to give (the artists) something large to paint on.”

Picket fences have been on the association's list of ideas for several years. Littlejohn says items related to gardens and landscapes sell better at the exhibit's closing auction, which is scheduled this year for Sept. 15. Half of the money raised from a sale goes to the artist and half goes into the fund for next year's exhibit.

A brochure including a map of the fence corners will be available at businesses in downtown Auburn. For more information, go to

In Steuben County, the Sculptures Angola program finished installing new pieces this week, and they will be exhibited in the city's public square until next spring.

The Downtown Angola Coalition has also unveiled a life-size statue of abolitionist Sojourner Truth, who spoke on the porch of the Steuben County Courthouse in 1861.

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