Three semifinalists selected in competition to enliven downtown Chattanooga alley

Three semifinalists selected in competition to enliven downtown Chattanooga alley

December 18th, 2017 by Staff Report in Local Regional News
Staff photo by Doug Strickland / The alley behind the new Market City Center apartment building at 728 Market St. will undergo a renovation to create a permament art and architecture installation.

Staff photo by Doug Strickland / The alley...

Photo by Doug Strickland /Times Free Press.

Three semifinalists have been selected to move forward in enlivening the alley behind the new Market City Center building in downtown Chattanooga.

Selected from 45 proposals are:

» Graffix Alley from Graffix Collective in Chattanooga. The proposed installation includes dynamic lighting and a central linear table that is multipurpose. Team members include Wayne Williams, Aaron Cole, Ray Padron, Jason Meyer, Strat Parrott and Eric Finley Jr.

» Alley Grass from New Office in Boston. This involves yellow interactive sculptures that mimic large-scale blades of grass that gently glow at night.

» City Thread from Sports from Syracuse, N.Y. The installation uses a continuous sculpture through the alley that allows for a multitude of uses including a stage, lounge area, framing for art and more.

The city's newest alley competition, called Passageways 2.0, is focusing on the 6,200-square-foot alley off of Seventh Street that runs behind the $30 million Market City Center and its 125 apartments.

The three semifinalists will be rewarded a $3,000 stipend each, participate in a visit in early 2018 to view the alley and meet with local people to further develop proposed ideas.

The winner will have $80,000, with the help of the Benwood and Lyndhurst foundations, to bring an idea to reality.

The 45 proposals were evaluated by a design jury including architect Georgie King, urban planner Mike Lydon, round one Passageways winner William Feuerman and sculptor Chakaia Booker. Design jury feedback was given to a local selection committee which narrowed the field to three utilizing the official process of Public Art Chattanooga.

The local committee will make the final selection next spring.

"We are excited to see what the semifinalists develop over the next few months that will create what we know will be an incredible public space that's uniquely Chattanooga," said Kim White, chief executive of the Chattanooga nonprofit downtown redevelopment group River City Co.