Saturday, March 20, 2010

Under a Bridge in NoDa - is where we made it better

Okay aside from the lame RHCP reference, check out what can be done to an otherwise horrible road that has been closed by a low train trestle.

We can't take all the credit - there is a great Guerilla Gardening movement in NoDa that came in and did a big planting bed:

The whole project started a few months ago when one of us built these stairs into the hillside. This is a popular path that leads onto the train tracks, and is a direct walking route into downtown NoDa:

Then came some planters using recycled plastic barrels and some unique signs:

We had been ignoring these discarded truck tires in a ditch for years - not anymore:

All the neighbors seem to really appreciate this new public path into downtown:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ongoing list of "wants" for NoDa:

Obviously, it wouldn't say "Ponce" (which is in Puerto Rico)... Now, who will step up and fabricate this amazing Placemaker?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Street Art, Italian Style

Here is a piece called "Street Art, Italian Style" from Current TV.
There is a fine line between street "art" and "graffiti," and even the connotation of graffiti makes one think that it is "ugly" or "unwanted." So in watching this video, please keep in mind that we are not saying this type of expression is 100% on-the-level (but it is REALLY excellent and exciting work).

The thing that excites us so much about this vignette is the free nature of the work. Several times you hear the interviewer explain the same notion that excites us with the NoDa Public Gallery ideas: it is not forever, and that is the most exciting part...the fact that if someone is at the right place in the world at the right time, they get to see/be a part of something that true spontaneous, creative, exciting and definitive of the time and place.


Project #2: The Public Gallery

So here is the namesake idea of the NoDa Public Gallery project. The idea being that a "gallery" that is always open, always free, and always looking for new contributors. The rent can't go up on the building, and (although it's certainly conceivable that someone may someday want to build on the land) the "gallery" won't be destroyed in the name of gentrification.
The drawbacks of course are that weather, theft, vandalism is possible.
So we're asking that our artists understand that this is art for art's sake. This is a true, uncomplicated expression of creativity directed toward our 'hood.

Also, for what it's worth: there is already someone out in NoDa doing something like this. We am not sure who they are, but we sure would like to work with them - so if you are the one who has been doing the Super Mario Stars, the cardboard postings on the telephone poles, the painted & hung television sculpture, or any of the pop-art wheat-pastings, PLEASE send us an email!!!

We have 8 "panels" out right now with artists. A panel is 2'x2' treated, sealed plywood. If you would like to contribute to the Public Gallery Project (now or ever - these panels will be changeable forever), send an email and we can get you a panel.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Project #1: The Community "Incubator" Board

Introducing The NoDa Public Galleries first official project: The Community "Incubator" Board.

We've used the word "Incubator" because we are hoping this first project will get the creative gears turning for more projects. The NoDa Public Gallery is a tough idea to articulate (explain). Even with sketches and a clear vision, the same questions always pop up: "Who's going to let you do this?" "What is it for?" "Why are you doing this?" "Won't it get wrecked/damaged/etc?" These are all valid questions, but the point of the group is not to get weighed down by semantics and logistics. It is to show that temporary good is better than inaction.

Also, the general purpose of a community kiosk is to announce, educate and inform your neighbors about upcoming events and projects. Not only will this Community "Incubator" Board help to strengthen our community, it can be a central point to launch other projects.

Located on the corner N. Davidson Street and E. 36th Street (the main crossroads of "downtown" NoDa), this project is a message/information/map/posting kiosk for community use. The structure stands 6' feet tall, 4 feet wide, and is triangular with three legs; even more, each side of the triangle angles inward to make two flat "panels" - allowing 6 surfaces on which to communicate with your neighbors. It's made of pressure treated wood secured with lag bolts and sealed by a combination of primers, paints and silicone. Of course, this structure won't last forever, but it should last long enough to show the potential (and the need) for such projects in the neighborhood.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Placemaking Chicago Video

This video does a pretty good job explaining more about the concept of placemaking within a neighborhood. The most striking thing I take away from the video is the suggestion that you can start very small. Often times the concept of "Placemaking" is in the context of planners and permits and organizational action. But there are so many small projects that just one person can do to improve their neighborhood. And you don't always need to ask permission - you'd be surprised to find out that people would be excited and appreciative to see change on their street - no one is going to call the police on you...I promise.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Portland's "Share-it-Square":

Hows this for community placemaking? Who will step up for this project to happen in NoDa?