Art, be not proud. Here’s an innovative idea out of Berkeley, California that would brighten the ever-increasing number of empty storefronts in downtown Jackson. In fact, it is a wonderful idea even when times are good, when streets are paved with, if not gold, lots of C-notes. Local artists have a tough time finding venues; we’re very creative, and space is limited. Artists wait months for an exhibit at PSB, Koshu, Hard Drive or the Brew Pub. Jackson’s operative businesses could set aside a corner of their store window to display a little local art. Take a percentage—just don’t take 50%! Think 20%.
Berkeley’s economic downturn has inspired an innovative use of empty downtown commercial space. Empty store window display spaces are being used to exhibit the work of local visual artists. The practice brightens an otherwise increasingly gloomy, doldrums downtown.
According to releases, a year-long discussion between Berkeley’s Office of Economic Development and the Downtown Berkeley Association culminated in a spring kickoff of Berkeley’s new window art program. Click here to see a slide show.
“We really wanted to bring the community into the Downtown,” said the association’s Marketing Manager Katherine Scherbel, who coordinated the project. “We wanted to make it fun and bright, celebrating the Downtown instead of letting it feel dismal and empty.”
Window displays include ceramics, jewelry, photography, paintings and works from the Habitot Children’s Museum and local high school students. Empty commercial space had reached 15.1 percent of total commercial space when organizers began discussing the project.