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INPLACE Public Art Projects Color Youngstown - The Business Journal


Those who drive in and through central Youngstown during the next few weeks should notice the new public art projects workers are installing in and near the downtown. This art, funded by a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, is the latest chapter in the recent growth of public art within the city.

Youngstown was the recipient of one of the largest awards of the 64 cities and towns that received an NEA Our Town grant in 2016. The $100,000 grant is the largest the city has received from the NEA.

The “Mahoning Avenue Archway” project will also light up at night, says artist David Tamulonis. He and his team will light an abandoned railway arch above Mahoning Avenue. “The top lights are going to wash down on the sides of the wall,” Tamulonis says. “And there’s an LED strip that goes around the arch on the outside of both sides, going downtown and to the West Side.”

The lights will highlight what he calls a forgotten structure, and their orange glow will aim to duplicate the colors of an old steel furnace. The Mahoning County Building Department’s review of the project begins Sept. 8 and could run four weeks. The fixtures are scheduled to arrive the third week of September.

Project member Ian Beniston, executive director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp., sees the archway project as the perfect example of place-making, a term borrowed from the vocabulary of urban planning. “That’s why this concept attracted me,” Beniston says.

“For me, it just means making somewhere unique or special,” he says of the term. “In a lot of cases in Youngstown, these are things that are already there, but people might not see it that way. Part of what we’re doing is calling attention to something that’s already there – highlighting it.” To read the full story from The Business Journal, click here.