Kutz­town Thriv­ing auc­tions off rain bar­rels painted by lo­cal artists

The Kutztown Area Patriot - - LOCAL NEWS - By Mor­gan Bra­jkovich KCP

Five lo­cal artists de­signed and hand-painted rain bar­rels to be auc­tioned off from June 29 through July 29 as part of Kutz­town Thriv­ing’s new­est ini­tia­tive in down­town Kutz­town.

Kutz­town Thriv­ing, a sub-com­mit­tee of the Kutz­town Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship, was es­tab­lished last year with the goal of the bet­ter­ment of the com­mu­nity through var­i­ous health-based ini­tia­tives. The rain bar­rel project will fol­low work done so far to es­tab­lish four pol­li­na­tor gar­dens around the bor­ough: at the wel­come sign on Green­wich Street, at the Ger­man Her­itage Cen­ter, at North Park, and by the Bor­ough Hall.

The rain bar­rels, 55-gal­lon, above-ground tanks that col­lect rain­wa­ter from gut­ter drains for gar­den­ing and clean­ing, will be dis­played in lo­cal busi­nesses through­out the month. Pa­trons of the shops can then bid on the rain bar­rels. The win­ning bid­ders will be an­nounced at the Kutz­town Kruizz on July 29. All pro­ceeds will go to Kutz­town Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ship and Kutz­town Thriv­ing projects.

“Our goal for this art ini­tia­tive is to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal artists to cre­ate a piece of art­work that ben­e­fits the en­vi­ron­ment through wa­ter con­ser­va­tion,” said Jackie Down­ing, Kutz­town Thriv­ing’s art ini­tia­tives lead. “In ad­di­tion, we want lo­cal busi­nesses to ben­e­fit from the foot traf­fic the bid­ders of the silent auc­tion will bring.”

Par­tic­i­pat­ing artists are Joanne Lapic of Pais­ley and Com­pany; Nathan Hurst, a lo­cal il­lus­tra­tor and Kutz­town Univer­sity alum­nus; Alyssa Dami­ani of Re­viv­ing De­sign; Kath­leen Suchecki Walck of Wal­nut and Lau­rel Hand­made and Court­ney Hamp­ton, a Kutz­town Area High School stu­dent.

“It was dif­fi­cult to choose the win­ners for this year. We had some great sub­mis­sions,” said Joan Reilly, the project lead.

Ac­cord­ing to KCP Of­fice Man­ager Mag­gie Stange, artists were asked to sub­mit a sketch of their pro­posed rain bar­rel art. The judges then chose an artist based on sketches, de­scrip­tions and mar­ketabil­ity of the de­sign to the gen­eral public.

This is Kutz­town Thriv­ing’s first hand painted rain bar­rel art con­test and auc­tion and busi­nesses in town are com­ing to­gether to sup­port the project. The bar­rels will be put on dis­play with lo­cal mer­chants on a ro­tat­ing sched­ule. The Kutz­town Thriv­ing tab on the KCP web­site and Face­book page will have up­dates to let peo­ple know where all the bar­rels are lo­cated. The busi­nesses par­tic­i­pat­ing are Fire­fly Book Store, Young Ones Records, Meadow View Farm, CJ Hummel’s Res­tau­rant, Kospia Farms in Al­bur­tis, Hive Farm to Take-Out Res­tau­rant, Blair Vine­yards, Wana­maker’s Gen­eral Store, Tommy Boy’s Pizza, the Main Street Inn, the Ro­dale In­sti­tute, Sec­ond Na­ture Health Food Store, and Sau­cony Creek Brew­ing + Gas­tropub.

The auc­tion process will con­clude at the Kutz­town Kruizz main stage and pre­sen­ta­tions will be made on July 29. The Kutz­town Kruizz this year will in­clude clas­sic cars, vin­tage mo­tor­cy­cles and live mu­sic.

SUBMITTED PHO­TOS

Nathan Hurst, il­lus­tra­tor and Kutz­town Univer­sity Alum­nus, poses with his hand-painted and signed rain bar­rel.

Joann Lapic of Pais­ley & Co. poses with her hand-painted bar­rel.

Bar­rel de­sign by Alyssa Dami­ani of Re­viv­ing De­sign.

Rain bar­rel de­sign by Kath­leen Walck of Wal­nut and Lau­rel.

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