Christiansburg to form art advisory commission with focus on art downtown

By Marty Gordon

Public art is taking center stage in Christiansburg with the announcement the town is forming an advisory commission that will provide future recommendations for projects.

The Christiansburg Town Council is seeking members for a newly created Public Art Advisory Board with terms beginning in February 2020.

Over the past year, the town’s Central Business District Committee has discussed several art initiatives in its meetings, and the two council members who sit on that committee – Merissa Sachs and Sam Bishop – came up with the idea of creating a separate advisory board that could spearhead these initiatives.

The idea of public art has been part of an ongoing discussion in the community with the recent forming of a Christiansburg Arts Council. In addition, the Montgomery Museum of Art & History has stepped up to the plate to promote art while opening a small gallery and gift shop in the former Christiansburg Baptist Church, now Great Road on Main.

Town spokesperson Melissa Demmitt said the advisory group will be able to center on the art initiatives and nothing else.

“That way, the Central Business District Committee can focus on its long list of ongoing projects that aim to improve the development and vitality of downtown and Cambria,” she said.

These brightly colored fish illustrate that what might be an otherwise drab corner can be transformed into a delightful splash of color that brightens up downtown and even draws a smile or two from pedestrians.

Through the Central Business District Committee, Demmitt said, the town, has increased its focus on public art initiatives over the past year with the Christiansburg Police Department mural, the artwork on the sidewalks downtown and the murals in Cambria. This advisory board will build upon that momentum and continue to look for creative ways to incorporate artwork around town.

“The board will advise and make recommendations to the Central Business District Committee regarding the promotion, support and value of public artwork as a means to beautify Christiansburg and promote creative placemaking within public spaces,” Demmitt said.

Applications must be received by Jan. 17, 2020. Applicants must be 18 years or older. These positions are volunteer, and the town council will appoint four to six members by February.

More information is available at the town’s website, Christiansburg.org.