The city of Las Vegas will unveil a new pilot program to help beautify vacant, boarded up homes by turning plywood into art at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 106 Shiloah Drive.
Shortly after taking office, City Councilman Bob Coffin, who represents this area of Ward 3, began to explore ideas on how to improve the blight that had taken over vacant and abandoned buildings. After years of research into best practices in other cities, the councilman identified a program that would take boarded buildings and place artwork on them, helping enhance the look of the community.
The city’s Code Enforcement team routinely boards up homes that have been abandoned, in order to keep them secure. In an effort to keep our city beautiful, through this new program windows and doors of vacant homes will be outfitted with panels created by Artist Markus Tracy that feature vibrant scenery and colors. Coffin and Tracy will unveil the first window to use this technique, after which time the rest of the panels will be installed by the city’s Code Enforcement team on the remaining doors and windows.
Tracy has been commissioned for five different designs that will be painted on plywood and used to board up windows and doors for 10 homes selected as part of the pilot program. Funding of $16,550 was approved by the city of Las Vegas Arts Commission. Tracy has created a number of mural projects throughout the city of Las Vegas and currently travels throughout the country as a muralist and teaching artist for the Nevada, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Virginia, Alabama, and Arkansas Arts Councils
This project is funded by the city of Las Vegas Arts Commission and the city of Las Vegas, which is supplying the boards. The cost to paint the boards and windows will not be charged to the property owners.
“Through this program, the city is being proactive to eliminate the eyesore of boarded up homes by turning plywood into an arts palette,” Councilman Coffin said. “I will also be working with the Downtown Project to see artwork incorporated into its properties along Fremont Street, as well as with the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors to address properties they may manage. These initiatives will help beautiful homes and properties, ultimately improving the neighborhoods.”
Cincinnati’s “Future Blooms” program was the inspiration behind this program. The program is run by its local chapter of Keep America Beautiful and paints doors, windows, awnings, and flower boxes on the barricaded doors and windows of abandoned buildings to help eliminate blight.
Thursday, Feb. 6, will be a big day for art in the city. In addition to this event, at noon the city will dedicate the latest addition to the city of Las Vegas public art collection, in the first-floor lobby of the Development Services Center, located at 333 N. Rancho Drive. The large artwork, comprised of five colorful fiber sculptures by Las Vegas artist Cyd Bown, is entitled “Nephele.” Also, at 5:30 p.m., the city will celebrate the Year of the Horse Artists Reception at the Historic Fifth Street School, located at 401 S. Fourth Street. This is an annual exhibition honoring Chinese New Year.