Grand Junction Colorado is on the far western side of the Rocky Mountain State, just about 15 miles from where the state of Utah begins. It’s a high desert, surrounded by mesas, not at all your typical image of snow-covered mountain peaks.
It started in 1984 as a way to help revitalize downtown as the interstate drew traffic to closer exits about five miles away, and Wal-mart and malls… Well, we all know what Wal-mart and malls did to downtowns and mom & pop business across the country.
100 Pieces of Art in Downtown Grand Junction
Slowly over the years, more than 100 pieces of art in the form of sculptures, mosaics, and fountains have appeared on five block area that already had some great trees and gardens. So people came to check it out and new restaurants opened, businesses that stayed saw greater traffic and wow, downtown Grand Junction is a happenin’ place!
And, if imitation, as the sincerest form of flattery, is any indicator, other cities have followed suit. Sioux Falls South Dakota has a knock-out public art program that has expanded from downtown to area hospitals and college campuses. Lewiston, ID is also building its outdoor art program.
Look around at any community anywhere in the world. When art is available, when the public has unlimited access to that art, good things happen.