We love alleys here at Broken Sidewalk. They’re like a secret network inside of the city just waiting to be explored. Lucky for us, Louisville has some great alleys networks. And they’re about to get even better.
In our opinion, the more convoluted and intricate the alley, the better. One of the best in Downtown sits tucked behind the Starks Building and 4th Street Live! It forms a sort of “h” shape and is interrupted only by a single surface parking lot. A “U”-shaped section of it is called Post Office Alley.
That’s where officials are launching Louisville’s Alley Gallery on Thursday morning. Artists painted doors facing into alleys along this stretch and throughout the city, forming an urban canvas open to all.
While there’s a strong concentration of painted metal doors along this alley, more doors will follow throughout Downtown and Nulu. More than 350 of them, according to the Louisville Downtown Partnership’s Ken Herndon, who is overseeing the gallery. (The project is bound by River Road, Broadway, 12th Street and Baxter Avenue.) And the before-and-after transitions can be dramatic.
Want to go? Just show up to Post Office Alley at 11:00a.m. on Thursday, May 11. You’ll likely see a crowd. Mayor Greg Fischer, Congressman John Yarmuth, and District 4 Metro Councilperson Barbara Sexton-Smith, among others, will be in attendance.
At Post Office Alley, 11 doors have been installed. An interactive online map also details locations of completed doors and the city’s collection of art-bike-racks.
Five other artworks were installed this spring at Broadway and Seventh, Seventh and Jefferson, and Market at First. There are plenty more doors that need covering, and artists are encouraged to submit their work to the LDP.
Artists can submit images and businesses and landowners choose which designs they like. As this stage, all of the 16 doors around town so far have been sponsored by Riverside Parking or 4th Street Live! That’ll expand as more doors are added.
Designs are then printed on vinyl and applied to the doors. Just like in a real gallery, door frames are painted black as a picture frame and title cards announce the artist and work to the side.
What do you think of the Alley Gallery concept? Are you an alley walker like us? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and if you go to the opening (or anytime), send us photos!