Passageways 2.0 Honored At Americans For The Arts Annual Convention In Minneapolis

Tuesday, June 18, 2019
- photo by River City Company
Americans for the Arts honored Passageways 2.0’s City Thread among 50 outstanding public arts projects created in 2018 through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. Chosen by public art experts, the roster of selected projects was unveiled on Friday at the Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Minneapolis. This is the 18th year that Americans for the Arts has recognized public art works.

A program of River City Company in partnership with Tinker Ma and Public Art Chattanooga, Passageways 2.0 permanent alleyway installation, City Thread, opened in November at 10 E.
7th St. in downtown Chattanooga. Occupying a 6,200 square foot alley, City Thread, a concept from SPORTS, the architecture and design collaborative of Molly Hunker and Greg Corso in Syracuse, N.Y., is an art-as-urban-infrastructure installation that uses a continuous sculpture through the alley that allows for multiple uses. Since its opening, the alley has hosted multiple community events including concerts, movie nights, happy hours, informative courses in topics like flower arranging and an outdoor children’s classroom.

“City Thread by SPORTS has transformed the alley into an interactive public art experience, providing a sense of discovery and exploration within our urban environment,” said Meagan Shinn, program director for River City Company, “From ‘silent’ dance parties to outdoor films, the alley is now a place for our community and local businesses to utilize and enjoy.”

Passageways 2.0 was a permanent iteration of the original Passageways program which took four alleys in downtown Chattanooga and transformed them temporarily with art and architecture installations in 2016.

“It’s a huge honor for City Thread to be featured among the top public art projects in the country,” said Katelyn Kirnie, director of Public Art Chattanooga. “It says something remarkable about the quality of life in Chattanooga and the value of the arts. We are proud to partner with River City Company to provide access to these types of artistic experiences and create people centered places.”

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate," said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. "Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns and communities we inhabit and visit. As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The projects selected for Year in Review can be viewed on this page and will be displayed throughout Annual Convention. Two independent public art experts—artist Seitu Jones of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Aaron Ott, Curator of Public Art at Albirght Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y.—discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions in selecting this year’s choices for the most exemplary, innovative permanent or temporary public art works created or debuted in 2018.

The complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of all 50 projects, will be available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.
- photo by River City Company

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