First Friday will look a little different this April, but the Greater Kokomo Downtown Association still is encouraging people to get out and explore on their very own Art Walk.
Since the Downtown Association first brought the event to Kokomo, First Friday has gathered businesses, nonprofits, Kokomo residents, and visitors every month for art, activities, music, and more. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Downtown Association has made changes to the monthly event for the foreseeable future.
Originally, this April’s First Friday theme was Art Walk, intended to encourage downtown visitors to engage with art in and around downtown Kokomo. However, instead of encouraging people to head downtown on April 3, the organization is encouraging residents to go for walks throughout the month, visiting sculptures along the Sculpture Walk and snapping pictures with the many murals found along trails and on the sides of businesses. People also are encouraged to share their own works of art on social media.
“There is so much art to discover here,” said Downtown Association Manager Susan Alexander. “These public art locations are places to go for a break from the news alerts and your new home office or school room.”
The Sculpture Walk provides families and individuals a prime opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, Alexander said. The walk features nine sculptures from artists around the country, each placed along Kokomo trails including the Walk of Excellence and the Industrial Heritage Trail. Those interested in finding the sculptures can download the Visit Kokomo app for a self-guided tour. Details on how to download the app can be found at https://visitkokomo.org/download-our-mobile-app/.The Sculpture Walk can be found under Explore – Self-Guided Tours.
Downtown also features several unique murals, offering great backgrounds for selfies, Alexander said.
Several downtown alleys feature public art displays, including Artist Alley next to Artworks Gallery and Geek Alley on Sycamore Street.
“We know that social distancing, isolation and economic disruption are enormously stressful,” Alexander said. “Supporting each other, taking outdoor walks and creating or interacting with art can go a long way toward improving everyone’s spirits and bolstering immune systems.”
Some of the public art sites include:
-Kokomo Sculpture Walk- Nine large-format sculptures along the Industrial Heritage Trail and the Walk of Excellence
-Artist Alley (210 N. Main St.) featuring local artist paintings and mixed media pieces within the 2019-2020 Annual Exhibit
-Geek Alley (113 E. Sycamore St.) featuring Muck Rock graffiti art
-Courthouse Alley (111 W. Sycamore St.) featuring accessories and art from the Pallets with Purpose project, a partnership between The Crossing School of Business and Entrepreneurship, FCA US, Greater Kokomo Downtown Association and SHAK Makerspace with “Flags of the World” interpretive paintings by Marcia Blacklidge.
-Garden Alley (108 N. Main St.) featuring metal art screens in a joint project between Greater Kokomo Downtown Association, IU Kokomo Design Center, Kokomo Area Career Center with screen designs by IU Kokomo student, Michael Marley.
-Train Mural by Muck Rock graffiti artist at Oscar’s Pizza outdoor patio (515 N. Buckeye St.)
-Willy the Whale & Bronze sculptures throughout Foster Park (721 W. Superior St.)
-Apperson Brothers statue at Municipal Stadium entrance (400 S. Union St.)
-IU Kokomo Art student murals on the Bucheri, McCarty & Metz downtown (315 N. Main St.) and along the Industrial Heritage Trail between Jefferson St. and Monroe St.
-Elwood Haynes Sculpture at the Seiberling Mansion (1200 W. Sycamore St.)
-IU Kokomo campus Sculpture exhibit (2300 S. Washington St.)
-Natural beauty of Jackson Morrow Park and Highland Park
-Bee Mural at Mehlig Park along the Clover Leaf Trail at W. Carter St.
-Haynes International sculpture at Park Rd. and Washington St.
-Murals on each side of the Rhum Academy of Music building (500 W. Superior St.)