Article Appeared in July issue of the Redstone Review
Beauty, inspiration, imagination, creativity. We can all use a little more of these free expressions in our world today. The Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission (LAHC), an official Town of Lyons public commission, through the efforts of a diverse group of area artists and the support of locally-based funding by residents and the Lyons Community Foundation, is dedicated to nurturing and expanding the manifestation of the these elements throughout Lyons. Since 2006, the Lyons Community Foundation (LCF) has earmarked well over $55,000 in funding to support diverse artistic endeavors around Lyons.
The mission of the LAHC as stated is to “beautify the streets of downtown Lyons, promote local artists, and educate the viewing public on artistic inspirations and procedures”. One of the most visible representations of this work are the dozens of public sculptures installed throughout downtown Lyons.
What began as a way to showcase local and regional artists’ work, the sculptures started off with a handful of pieces on Main Street. These sculptures were commissioned with the help of LCF Annual Grants by awarding a stipend to artists to “lend” the town their work, generally for a period of two years. This allowed the piece to be displayed prominently in downtown Lyons on our eclectic Main Street as an interesting focal point for residents and tourists. By rotating the sculptures, it allows for the art to be continually changing, while minimizing the investment that would come with more permanent fixtures.
The sculpture collection, now totaling more than 30 pieces, continues to evolve and grow. This year alone, the Town of Lyons has installed 19 new outdoor public art pieces, with the intention of adding 8-10 more during the fall open call to artists. Plans are underway to create a tour map of the public art visible throughout town. Sculptures have featured artists such a kinetic-sculpture artist John King, whose interactive work has been featured prominently all over the state. A recent effort in the works called “The Bell of Renewal” by artists James G. Moore and Anita Miller was commissioned by the LAHC and the Town of Lyons Board of Trustees as a flood commemoration piece. Donor/sponsors are being sought who wish to support this project: www.townoflyons.com/BellofRenewal).
The Lyons Clarifier Community Mosaic project was dedicated in 2015, culminating over 10 years of effort turning an old water clarifier into a beautiful 1000 square foot tile-covered structure. The clarifier mosaic, miraculously surviving through the epicenter of the 2013 floods, tells a story of community resilience and perseverance and is visible across from the Black Bear hole in the heart of town. The Lyons Community Foundation supported the ongoing efforts to see the project to its completion over the course of a decade.
Always creating and evolving, the LAHC has a hand in many other public venues for art. The Quarterly Town Hall Art Show changes with each season, giving local artists the opportunity to display their work in theme-based shows gracing the walls of our local government. The current call to artists invites entries by seniors, ages 55 and up and the 4th quarter theme will feature the work of artists 18 and under.
A signature LAHC event, Art at River Bend will be held On Sunday, August 25th. It will feature dozens of area artists of all mediums including paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, and fiber art. In addition to the art and craft sales, Art at River Bend will feature live demos, children's activities, food, libations and more.
The LAHC along with dozens of other area non-profits all benefit from the Lyons Community Foundation’s Annual Community Support Grants, which focus on LCF’s mission to improve the quality of life, build a culture of giving, and encourage positive change for the greater Lyons area. The 12th annual granting cycle will be opening in a few weeks.
Applications will be available online at www.lyonscf.org beginning August 1st and will be due September 11th, 2019. Stay tuned for more specifics and details on a free grant writing workshop as well as an opportunity to apply to be serve on our grants review committee. If you have an idea or project in mind that will benefit the community, we encourage you to apply. Eligible for grants are non-profit organizations in the greater Lyons area that have 501(c)3 status or a sponsoring organization with 501(c)3 status, government agencies, and schools.
The Lyons Community Foundation is a community catalyst dedicated to connecting people who care with the causes that matter. We rely on the contributions of Lyons-area residents and businesses.
This article appeared in the July Issue of the Redstone Review
Lyons Community Foundation