There are a couple of contests underway at the moment which are connected in different ways to downtown. Voting has actually ended on the first and the winner is to be announced today. Smart Trips is one of my favorite organizations in the area and I’ve participated in their efforts for years. They promote using public transportation, walking, biking and car-pooling. They assist in finding emergency rides and car-pool mates and they offer rewards for people who log their alternative commutes.
Their window decoration contest is a fun way to promote their goals by drawing attention to them in store-fronts downtown. It seems fewer businesses participated this year, which is too bad. Voting has ended, so I’m late putting this on the site, but the winner will be announced today, so you can go to the site and see the winner. You can also go here and see better photographs. It’s tough taking photographs of glass when you don’t know what you are doing.
I have to say, while I appreciate everyone’s efforts, the winner seems pretty obvious to me. More so than last year when so many of the windows were excellent. If Rococo doesn’t win, I’ll not understand why. Courtney outdid herself and used every window she had to do it. It’s colorful and a perfectly whimsical match to her Rococo style. You out to look for it at 2 Market Square to see it for yourself. While there, you should go inside and see the very cool art Courtney constructed on the wall made entirely from duct tape.
The other one you might want to check out is the display at Mast General Store. Theirs includes vintage photographs of cyclists that are fascinating. I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.
The other contest currently underway downtown isn’t really downtown, as far as I can tell. I intended to take photographs of the downtown-designed paper boxes in the Metro Pulse contest, but apparently they aren’t being kept downtown or at least not publically. As a result, I had to shamelessly steal these photographs to promote their contest. I suspect they would prefer I use their higher-quality photographs in any case.
Pictured here are the representatives from downtown and near downtown. Included are Central Flats and Taps’ entry from Happy Holler, Crown and Goose representing the Old City, Saw Works representing the northern downtown fringe and Rococo (again) representing the Uptown section of the city. There are others in the contest who come from all over the area and you can see all the dozen entries here.
I’ll refrain from announcing my choice since the contest is still open, but I think there are several very good ones. Voting continues through the end of this month and you may vote once a day. From the list at the link above, click the box you want to vote for and a new window opens for you to do so. The winning artist gets all kinds of great Metro Pulse publicity. I think it’s a pretty hard choice.
Finally, I’ve been asked to spread the word about a number of great opportunities for local (and regional and national) artists. Dogwood Arts is now entertaining applications for the many artist showcases which form the core of the festival. Artists may apply, for example, to be included in the arts fair on Market Square or to construct a sculpture for the Arts in Public Places contest. Chalk artists and performance artists are in demand. The list of participation opportunities is quite extensive, but the deadlines for applications will be here very soon; the first is in November. The applications are all linked here, so grab one and good luck.