Downtown Washington now alight with creativity

Published 8:25 pm Monday, May 8, 2017

Art is creeping up the alleyways of Washington courtesy of a City of Washington grant and Arts of the Pamlico.

The recently installed work by artists Maryalice Johnston and Allan Weaver is part of a $10,000 Main Street Grant to bring art to the downtown outdoors. The new artwork arches over the previously drab length of Harris Lane, an alley on the south side of West Main Street that links Main Street to parking lots on the waterfront. Another installation decorates a rear brick wall of the Turnage Theatre.

Harris Lane now features a row of arches from which Johnston’s metallic-painted fish in mid-swim hang. Installed with lighting, the now brightly lit alley has made a good impression on many downtown Washington visitors and local folks.

“I like the fact that it gives the alley ways some visual interest and color, and is inviting to those approaching the storefronts from back parking areas,” said Greg Purser who, along with Everett Duncan, owns Oasis Salon and Spa and its upstairs antiques store, Springhill, on West Main Street.

The Turnage Theatre installation is now home to Weaver’s arts-related sculptures which included a dancer, artist’s palette and more arts-related pieces made from materials such as wire and roof flashing.

According to Arts of the Pamlico Executive Director Debra Torrence, the arches were designed so that there can be rotation of public art bridging the gap between Main Street and the waterfront. Next to go up will be more of Johnston’s work in the form of tulips, which represent the town’s tulip festival — a part of Washington history.

Of the $10,000 grant, $6,800 was used to pay artists for their creativity, craft and materials. Torrence said in a past interview that if more funding is found, AOP would like to expand the project.