In recent years the city of Wichita Falls, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development, and other groups has put in place numerous improvements designed to attract pedestrians downtown.
Downtown development’s latest project is crosswalk art, using local artists to put their stamp of creativity on the streets.
City Councilors have approved an agreement between the city and the Downtown Development for the installation and maintenance of crosswalk art.
Downtown Development Executive Director Jana Schmader says crosswalk art is part of their long-term goal to help lure people to the downtown area.
“Downtown Development is really looking at projects that we are picking next and one thing that we noticed is there are several intersections that don’t have crosswalks at all so as the foot traffic picks up downtown we wanted to do crosswalks,” Schmader said. “But after looking at different models in different cities we thought we would take it one step further and incorporate public art to those crosswalks.”
Schmader says in all there will be six intersections that will get crosswalk art.
“We are using a local artist to produce the art that will be all different types of designs some of them are paying tribute to the area they are in and some of them are up to the artist and their creativity,” Schmader said.
8th Street Coffee House Manager D’Ann Delcoure says most businesses are happy to see such projects receive funding.
“It helps our business and other businesses downtown,” said Delcoure. “It is just going to create another feature to bring people downtown to see what we’ve been doing around here.”
The project will be privately funded through donations. But since it involved city streets and safety regulations the city had to sign off on it.
“We have designated funding that goes towards public art. We’ve actually had donors that have reached out and said I would love to give to this idea, how and where do I do it. So, again it goes back to community spirit. People wanting to implement change and they are actually putting forth their own dollars to make it happen,” said Schmader.
Schmader says if everything goes according to plan the project will be completed in the next few months.
The first intersection to get the new artwork will be at 7th Street and Indiana Avenue.