Unexpected art: Greensboro organizations reinvent spaces downtown

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Local organizations want people to use words like young, hip and cool when describing the atmosphere in downtown Greensboro.

To make that happen, they are putting art in unexpected places.

Right now, five electrical boxes in downtown Greensboro are featuring art created by a local student. Soon there will be 20 boxes with different images scattered in the area.

“I think it looks beautiful right now and I think dispersing art throughout a city builds up the community, builds up the arts and the people so I like it a lot,” said Michele Nelson, a Guilford College student.

Downtown Greensboro Incorporated teamed with SynerG, a young professional group, to make it happen. The groups are working together to reinvent areas downtown.

“We do want them to have a say on how Greensboro looks and feels,” said Sarah Healy, the director of operations at Downtown Greensboro Inc. “We need that cool, hip factor for downtown Greensboro.”

The groups are trying to come up with other cool things to bring to downtown Greensboro. One possibility is adding angel wings to a wall. You may have seen this popular picture opportunity in other cities.

“We’re working on a mural in south end… it’s going to be very cool, it’s got a ‘greetings from Greensboro’ design you see in all major cities,” Healy said.

Other things in the works right now are more murals and a possible live art wall featuring plants.

A mailbox and box of art supplies could also be added along the Greenway once it is complete.

DGI and/or SynerG already created or helped create things like a rainbow alley and a painted crosswalk.

“One way of keeping a city running is by incorporating younger ideas and concepts,” Nelson said.

“It keeps you excited and it keeps you walking around,” said Annie Holzwarth, another Guilford College student.

The SynerG organization hopes to take what they call their placemaking idea beyond downtown. They are hoping to make an impact on places like midtown too.

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