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Downtown Bryan Association Receives $10,000 Grant

There’s going to be a new attraction in historic downtown Bryan, thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Interim Executive Director René Lawrence for the Downtown Bryan Association says that not only will the art installation  be a benefit to the community, but it will also be a product of the community.

Lawrence says  the way downtown evolved left a blank canvas primed for development in the north end, and the DBA will work with Texas A&M’s Departments of Architecture and Visualization, as well as Bryan ISD, for design and installation.

She says the  structure will be an open steel-framed structure, about 10′ x 10′ x 10′, and sculptural and interactive installations will suspend from, anchor to, grow upon or float within it.

Lawrence says images will be posted as soon as the students begin designing during the spring semester, and the DBA also hopes to get the input of downtown residents.

She says a downtown is ideally a place where community, commerce and culture come together, and any time one area of downtown is strengthened, it benefits the other areas.

ReneLawrence010213.mp3Rene Lawrence visits with WTAW’s Kat McMullen

 CLICK HERE for quick access to the Downtown Bryan Association’s website

Additional Information, courtesy of Downtown Bryan Association:


Bryan, TX — The Downtown Bryan Association (DBA) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National
Endowment for the Arts to support an art installation project in the North end of Downtown Bryan.

The DBA’s proposal, ArtFill: Art as Infill, will be a collaborative art project between the Downtown Bryan Association, Texas
A&M Visualization & Architecture students, and Bryan ISD art students.

The competitive grant award will help fund materials and planning for the project, as well as artistic instruction.
“The NEA grant is one of the most competitive and prestigious grants in the country,” says Chris Dyer, CEO of
the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley.

“It reflects well on Downtown Bryan and the BCS area as a whole that the NEA has bestowed an award upon our community because these grants are typically awarded to larger cities.

This kind of national recognition shows that Downtown really is an arts hub, and the NEA sees and recognizes the creative community growing in Downtown.”

The Downtown Bryan Association project was one of only 8 awarded in Texas, and 153 nationally out of thousands of applicants.

“Through a rigorous peer-review panel process, the NEA ensures that projects recommended for funding are among the most creative, the most effective, and will make a real impact,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman in the award announcement.

The concept of the project is centered around activating the currently vacant North end of Downtown.

“It [vacant area] is a unique opportunity to do something interesting,” explains project coordinator René Graham Lawrence of local architecture firm Laurel House Studio.

“We have a temporary blank canvas in the middle of a vibrant urban core.

Why not utilize that space while its available, and collectively create something beautiful?”

The built structure of the project will be a steel frame structure from which sculptural or interactive art pieces
will suspend, anchor to, grow upon, or float within.

The lead artist and design team will determine how to utilize
the framework.

The design team will consist of Texas A&M Architecture, Visualization, and fabrication students who will work in their design studio classes each Spring semester to come up with a solution.

Once a jury has selected a final design, university students will fabricate the art piece, aided by Bryan ISD art students in the final installation.

The art piece within the steel framework will be renewed each year by the students as a continual program.

“These projects offer extraordinary examples of creativity in our country, including the creation of new work,
innovative ways of engaging audiences and exemplary education programs,” notes Chairman Landesman.

The Downtown Bryan Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic and cultural viability of Downtown

Projects of the Downtown Bryan Association include Save the Queen Theatre, First Friday, Downtown Street & Art Fair, and Hwy 6 Art.

Short URL: http://wtaw.com/?p=53673

Posted by on Jan 3 2013. Filed under Featured Stories, News.
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