Art Around Town on Display in Downtown Garner

Art Around Town on Display in Downtown Garner

The Downtown Garner Association is pleased to present Art Around Town, a community driven public art project that uses painting to illustrate community and natural beauty and bring joy, healing, and civic engagement.  The exhibit has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of HomeTowne Realty of Garner.

The original concept for Art Around Town was proposed by Lorie Clark, Cultural Arts & Events Manager for the Town of Garner at the Garner Performing Arts Center.  In partnership with the Downtown Garner Association, Clark wants to create an opportunity for artists from all levels of mastery and different walks of life to create art that would uplift and bring the community together during a challenging time.

Since March, the DGA Arts Committee has been working with Clark and community artists to bring the project to life.  Following a call for artists in May, selected artists received materials and stipends to paint concepts inspired by Garner’s natural beauty and community values.  The artists has one month to paint a 3’x4′ plywood canvas, which was then sealed for outdoor display.

This year’s exhibit features 23 canvases painted by artists from Garner and Raleigh on display from mid August through November.  The artwork is displayed outdoors in Downtown Garner and at select park locations for 24/7 viewing on a walkable loop. Coming out of a year of quarantining and isolation, the Downtown Garner Association wanted to create an exhibit that could be accessible to all despite any COVID restrictions.

“Public art is a priority in our economic development strategy for Downtown Garner,” said Mari Howe, Downtown Development Manager for the Town of Garner. “The Downtown Garner Association knows the power of art to create a sense of community, to empower people, and to inspire pride in Garner.  We wanted to find a way to support artists and raise awareness of Garner’s arts community. Art Around Town has been a great pilot program for doing both of those things.”

At the end of the exhibit, the Downtown Garner Association will auction the artwork, with 75% of the profit going to the original artist.  The auction will take place online in late November – more details coming soon!

For more information about Art Around Town, please contact Mari Howe at

Special thanks to our PResenting Sponsor


Calling All Artists for Art Around Town

Calling All Artists for Art Around Town



The Downtown Garner Association (DGA) and the Town of Garner is looking for local and regional visual artists to participate in an outdoor Art Around Garner art installation beginning August – October 2021.

Art Around Town  is a community art project for the residents of Garner and artists from surrounding areas to participate in a temporary art exhibit that will illustrate community and natural beauty and bring joy, healing, and civic engagement.

  • Artists will be required to submit their “Art Around Garner” idea, concept, or theme of painting at the time of application.
  • DGA will hold an artists interest meeting on May 13 at 6:30pm via Zoom.
  • Twenty local and regional artists will be selected to participate.*
  • $50-100 material stipends are available upon request.
  • Artists will be notified if their artwork is accepted and where it will be located.
  • Painting must be completed by July 1.
  • *This is not a juried exhibit; however, artwork not consistent with the theme will not be accepted.


Artists will be provided with a 3′ x 4′ board to paint.  Acrylic paint is recommended and pieces will be varnished by the exhibit coordinators to be weather safe.

The art will be on display August through October 2021 at the following proposed pedestrian-friendly locations including Town Hall, Garner Senior Center, Garner Rec Center (GRC), Garner Performing Arts Center, and other locations around downtown and town parks.


Upon completion of the exhibit, the art will be auctioned with 75% of the proceeds going to  the respective artists and 25% to DGA to benefit future art projects throughout the Town of Garner.
The exact time, location and date of auction is yet to be determined but anticipated for November 2021.


Questions from artists should be directed to Lorie Clark at

Input Needed for New Downtown Mural

Input Needed for New Downtown Mural

The Downtown Garner Association is preparing to bring another mural to Main Street!  We’re seeking input from the Garner community about the style of art they’d like to see.  Please take the survey below to share your feedback. 

New Mural brings vibrant color to Main Street

New Mural brings vibrant color to Main Street

A lot of you by now have probably seen the amazing mural on the side of Full Bloom Coffee Roasters at 141 W. Main St. in Historic Downtown Garner. But do you know the story behind it? Check out this short video we did with the artist, Sean Kernick, and Downtown Development Manager Mari Howe. And if you haven’t had a chance to see the mural yet in person, you really have to come downtown and have a look. It’s a great example of public art in our community.

The mural, which incorporates imagery of native North Carolina birds and wildflowers with elements of Garner’s historic railroad heritage, was funded through a partnership between the the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, the property owner, Patrick Byrd, and the Downtown Garner Association.  We’d especially like to thank Debbie Dunn with the Garner Performing Arts Center and Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources for bringing this project to Downtown Garner.  Dunn acts as town liaison to the United Arts Council and asked DGA’s Design Committee to help identify potential properties and artists.

Interview filmed and edited by Adam Carroll and Rick Mercier with the Town of Garner.

Town Earns Award for Pop-Up Art Fence Project

Town Earns Award for Pop-Up Art Fence Project

From left: Downtown Development Manager Mari Howe, Cultural Arts and Events Manager Debbie Dunn, Garner artist Virginia Maier, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director Sonya Shaw and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Assistant Director Rob Smith.

The Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department received the Arts and Humanities Award for the Pop-Up Art Fence Project from the N.C. Recreation and Park Association at its annual conference on Oct. 26. The award recognizes the most innovative and effective arts and humanities programs by parks, recreation and leisure service agency members in the state.

Garner’s Cultural Arts and Events Manager Debbie Dunn, along with Garner artist Virginia Maier, found a way to bring the community together through self-expression and art. Maier’s described the project as a “fence depicting individuals who make up the Garner community.”

The Downtown Garner Association funded the project, comprised of individual pickets painted by local students, Garner’s Senior Center and Camp Kaleidoscope participants, along with Garner Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources staff. The pickets were assembled together to create a fence on Main Street, just in time for Garner’s Annual Light Up Main Celebration in December 2017.

The pop-up art project inspired creativity and a fresh perspective, bringing artists of all ages together for one common project. The fence represents diversity and connectivity, visualizing that everyone sees themselves differently. The pickets bring a splash of color and imagination to downtown and added to the holiday magic that filled the streets of Garner.

This year, Maier has again teamed up with the Downtown Garner Association to create another installation of the project along Main Street. She has worked with more than 175 participants from Vandora Springs Elementary, Timber Drive Elementary, the Garner Senior Center as well as hosted various pop-up painting parties in the community. The fence will be on display beginning Nov. 30 through the month of December in Downtown Garner.

Calling All Artists for Paint on Main

Calling All Artists for Paint on Main

Downtown Garner and GrafixHouse are now seeking artists for Paint on Main, our holiday window painting project.

Each year, Paint on Main transforms Main Street’s business district into a winter wonderland from Thanksgiving to New Years – last year, hundreds of citizens came to Downtown Garner to check out this great community art project!

Interested artists should attend an interest meeting for Paint on Main on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6pm.  The meeting will be held at GrafixHouse at 114 E. Main Street in Downtown Garner. Please RSVP to Stacy Kolacz by October 20 by emailing If you can’t make it to the interest meeting, please send us an email to let us know you’d like to participate.

Important Dates for Paint on Main

October 31: Artists must submit a rough draft or proof of their artwork by October 31 to be assigned a window. We’re looking for artistic scenes featuring Holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc) and winter elements (snow, snowmen, holly, etc.) Artwork that incorporates or reflects the hosting business is highly encouraged!

November 17: ARTISTS MUST BE AVAILABLE TO PAINT ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17. We cannot accommodate painting outside of this time frame. Window prep and Orientation will start at 8:00am; painting will take place from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

November 30 & December 1: Artists and community members are invited to attend Light Up Main and the Garner Christmas Parade, where their work will be highlighted as part of the Town of Garner’s holiday festivities!

January 5: Artists must return to assist with removing paint following the winter holidays.

Downtown Garner & GrafixHouse will provide the following:

  • Lunch on Painting Day (Nov 17)
  • Flat interior latex paint: primary red, blue, yellow, black, white, green
  • Some basic paint brushes
  • Paint “palettes” – trays/paint containers
  • Aprons
  • Dropcloths & painters tape

We ask artists to donate their time and creativity to make this project a success. Painters are encouraged to bring their own supplies if desired – particularly tools, brushes, and step stools. Painters may bring additional colors – PLEASE NOTE: Paint must be flat interior latex ONLY!

Apply Now

If you have any questions, please email Mari Howe, Downtown Development Manager at or Stacy Kolacz at