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'Barrel through Niagara' initiative to inspire Niagara Falls-themed artwork throughout region

by jmaloni


Fri, Sep 26th 2014 10:25 am

Local artists and sponsors are encouraged to apply; submission deadline extended to January 2015 due to increased interest

It's time for Niagara Falls to reinvent and promote itself, not only as a natural wonder of the world, but also an artistic and cultural mecca showcasing the Niagara region's inherent beauty and power.

So said organizers of "Barrel through Niagara," a project organized by grass-roots community development group HYDRO Niagara Falls (Happening Youthful & Driven, Reinventing Our Niagara Falls). "Barrel through Niagara" will result in the placement of approximately 30-50 artist-designed wooden barrels at prominent businesses, attractions and historic sites throughout Niagara County.

In total, the works will create an artistic trail for visitors to follow.

Barrel through Niagara, started by HYDRO Niagara Falls with the support of Western New York Arts Council organizations, aims to foster local pride and promote established and rising artists who call the Western New York community home.

Designs must be inspired and interpret the beauty, power, energy, spirit and history that are part of Niagara Falls. All selected artists will be provided with an oak barrel and receive a $1,000 stipend. Due to an increased amount of applicants, the submission deadline has been extended to Jan. 15, 2015. Completed barrels are expected to be on display by the summer of 2015.

"Barrel through Niagara is a great way to bring local artists together to turn a well-known icon associated with the region into public works of art for visitors and residents alike, reminding them of the historic and powerful essence of Niagara Falls," said Kristin Meyer, co-founder of HYDRO Niagara Falls. "Through this new initiative, we also hope to instill a great pride in the local residents and artists who will hopefully see community landmarks enlivened with the installation of the Niagara-inspired barrels."

Current sponsors of the project include Black Willow Winery and Niagara Falls National Heritage Group, as well as several private investors. Some of the artists who are currently participating in the project include Niagara Falls-based artist Bill Heins and Buffalo-based artist Scott Bye, as well as two Lewiston-Porter Central School teachers: Mr. Coppins and Mrs. Sanchez.

"Barrel through Niagara" is still accepting artist applicants and sponsors. All artists from community organizations and school groups are encouraged to submit applications. Artists must be 18 years of age or older to apply.

All funds raised for "Barrel through Niagara" go directly to the artists selected and the promotion and completion of the project itself. "Barrel though Niagara" is strictly a volunteer project with no paid staff. For an application or to become a sponsor, visit www.hydronf.us or contact Kristin Meyer at 716-481-4476 or [email protected].

Though based in Niagara County, HYDRO also welcomes individuals and businesses in Erie County to participate and become sponsors of the project's participating artists.

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