II. Land + Water
Elkhorn City KY | 2000-2006
WORKING TOGETHER — ENGAGING COMMUNITY
APPALACHIAN SAYING: “THE RIVERS MAKE THE MOUNTAINS, THE MOUNTAINS MAKE THE PEOPLE.”
Traditionally active in unions, politics and churches, area residents readily supported the project. Almost everyone in town joined in the tile painting—more than 400 depicting natural and cultural history. They painted in schools, senior centers, parking lots and public events. Later they helped to install murals and plants, build the park, and when we were short on supplies, they gave help in kind.
Teachers collaborated. Students propagated plants in classrooms and planted them on field trips.
Community-wide planting days turned into tile workshops, barbeques, and social events.
During school breaks, Otis College of Art & Design (LA) students helped collect river stories, pour concrete, clean the riverbank, paint blue lines and murals, and assist high school and elementary school ecoart and ecology workshops.
The project includes: The Blue Line Trail and signage; a riverfront park with sculptural seating, a native plant garden, and wildlife signage; community murals emphasizing history and ecology; a tourist brochure; a website documenting public art and oral history projects, and support for their continuing plans.
LOCAL coordinator – Nina Aragon
LEAD LOCAL COLLABORATORS:
EC Heritage Council members, Tim Belcher, Nina & many others.
Artists Collaborative Theater, Stephanie Richards & family.
City of Elkhorn City, Mayor Hank Salyers.
EC high schools–art teacher Willa May
EC Elementary School, Roxanne Blankenship, science & art teachers.
EC Women’s Club, Vicky Salyers president.
Lead Producer: APPALSHOP (American Festival Project), Whitesburg KY.
Creative Capital Foundation, The Kentucky Women’s Foundation, Appalshop, Otis College of Art and Design (CA), Elkhorn City citizens (in kind & monetarily), Pro bono artists’ time & donated frequent flyer miles.
Graphics – Barbara maloutas (Otis College), with Henry Garcia