Fire Up the Hydrants!
Athens,GA is known for its creative energy and community of people. It is a hub for local artists to display their talents. Public art plays a significant role in the community and now there is a new project joining the streetscape!
According to the Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department, there has already been a lot of talk around the new public art project designed to call attention to the role of the local water system through the painting of fire hydrants around Downtown Athens, GA. The project is titled, "Fire Up the Hydrants."
The project will include 20 painted fire hydrants in the Downtown Athens area, to be transformed by local artists. The project had over 75 submissions from local artists and the winning entries were selected by a panel comprised of three members of the Athens Area Arts Council, along with representatives of the county’s Water Conservation Office, the fire department and the Athens Downtown Development Authority. "Fire Up the Hydrants" will be on display for the next five years. At the five year mark, Athens-Clarke County firefighters plan to assess the conditions of the painted hydrants and decide whether they will be repainted to their traditional colors.
I spoke with local artist, Ashley Crain, who was selected to paint the fire hydrant in front of City Hall. Ashley is also a member of the marketing team at The Classic Center.
The hydrants will not only serve as public art, but will also serve as an educational purpose. There will be a walk to see each of the 20 hydrants. The walk will be about two miles and given the name, "H2O Water Walk," to symbolize how vital water is to the community, health, and environment. If you were to walk from the beginning to the end and back, about four miles, it is the average distance that residents of undeveloped nations must walk to the nearest water source.
The official unveiling of the "Fire Up the Hydrants" project will be on October 8th from 10 AM to 12 PM on College Avenue. So whether you're in Athens, GA on a UGA football weekend, attending one of the many fall festivals and events, or here for a day trip, don't forget to check out the awesome new public art in the downtown area!