River District mural

A new mural by Bryan Hollingsworth of Just B Artistic welcomes visitors to Rome’s River District on the walking trail near the Fifth Avenue bridge.

Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful is looking for artists and potential public spaces to showcase paintings, sculptures and other art forms as part of its beautification initiative.

The Public Art Committee, which is a sub-committee under KRFB, is behind the recent push for new art to showcase around the county and city. Over the summer, KRFB and the Rome Area Council for the Arts worked on several art projects, including touching up the mural underneath the Turner McCall Bridge and painting the River District mural.

“We realized just how big of an impact (public art) would have around the county,” director Emma Wells said.

The subcommittee is creating an index of potential spaces for public art.

It will be put online and artists will be able to submit applications to have their work showcased in one of the spots. Wells said it’s a great way to draw tourism to the city and county as well as beautify the area.

“We have a lot of great public spaces for art,” Assistant City Manager Patrick Eidson said.

One of the committee members, Eidson said he believes public art is one of the ways a community can become more vibrant and give spaces a “pick-me-up.”

He also considers Rome to already have a wide range of public art, such as the Ellen Axon Wilson statue on the Town Green and the sunflower sculpture on Broad Street.

All spaces will be reviewed by the Public Art Committee. They will make sure an art installation would follow applicable historic preservation and zoning regulations and check the safety of the area.

Wells said they haven’t had any submissions for potential art or the public spaces index yet.

“A lot of people actually weren’t aware of the public art application process,” she said.

While the committee would like to see more artists from Rome and Georgia, any artist from around the country can submit a form for review. Eidson said they just have to make sure the art is tasteful, appropriate and has a positive message.

“We want to bring in art that sets Rome apart from other places,” Wells said.

To recommend a space for the public art index or submit a piece of your own, go on to the KRFB website or the Rome-Floyd website to fill out the form. You can also contact Wells and Eidson at ewells@romega.us and peidson@romega.us.

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