Imagine one day walking Broad Street in Phenix City and seeing miniature bug sculptures along the way. Inspired by Mice on Mainstreet in Greenville, S.C., and Monster Takeover in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Bugs on Broadway had students from Lakewood Primary and Fox Elementary in Columbus draw their interpretation of pollinators. The art work of two students were chosen to be reinterpreted by two professional artists. Those two students will be announced during a Bugs on Broad Spark Art Facebook Live event on Saturday.
“We originally planned to host a community art show in the Phenix City Art Park for the second-grade students and their families from Lakewood Primary School in Phenix City and Fox Elementary School in Columbus. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to readjust our plans,” said Alex Travis, Community Engagement Coordinator for Troy University. Travis is one of the coordinators for Bugs on Broad. Rachael “Smiley” White, co-founder of Spark Art, and Jennifer Davidson, Russell County Extension Coordinator, were also part of the project.
“On June 27, we will premiere a virtual art show for the participating students, as well as announce the two artist selections from Columbus and Phenix City at the end of the video,” Travis said.
Once the artists interpret the drawings, the sculptures will be made into clay models and Diversified Metalsmiths, Inc. in Opelika will cast the models in to miniature, bronze insect sculptures. They will be installed throughout Broad Street with the hopes to add more sculptures each year.
“I love this initiative because it provides a collaborative project between local schools that will engage our community and attract visitors to our region,” Travis said. “This is an ongoing, interactive project that encourages families and children to explore our Riverwalk through movement and play. The children whose artwork is selected will have a permanent and public piece of art to return to in our community for years to come.”