Colorful, creative benches will appear again on the streets of Frankfort in the summer of 2010 as part of an effort to beautify the community for tourists attending the World Equestrian Games.
The project - “Horsin’ Around Frankfort” - is one of several designed to make the city more attractive, enliven cultural activity and increase tourism to the capital before and during the games at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Horsin’ Around Frankfort will be similar to the successful “Capital Seats” public art project of 2003, says Michael Greer, a founder and former president of Save the Grand Theatre, and project coordinator for the new benches.
“More than 50 benches will be transformed into original works of art by local artists and craftspeople and placed throughout the community for the public to use and enjoy between June and October 2010,” Greer says.
Local artist Sallie Clay Lanham is the lead artist for the project.
Any artist - amateur or professional - can submit an application and a design idea. Application forms and information are available through the local Tourist Commission’s Web site, www.visitfrankfort.com.
The deadline is Dec. 31, but applications will be reviewed by a committee and approved as they are submitted.
About 10 artists have already submitted an application, Greer says.
“Artists are being recruited throughout Central Kentucky and a special effort is being placed on involving schools and social organizations to provide an arts education experience for youth,” Greer says.
Each artist may submit as many designs as they like but no more than two designs per artist will be approved.
An artist will receive a basic starter bench and a stipend for each approved design. Artists building their benches with their own materials will receive additional money.
The designs must have an equestrian theme and preference will be given to those relating to one of the eight events at the World Equestrian Games: jumping, dressage, eventing, driving, reining, vaulting, endurance and para-dressage.
Project costs will be covered by sponsor fees of $400 per bench. Any business, organization, individual or group of individuals may be a sponsor, and sponsors may apply with an artist or separately.
Sponsors will have their names on plaques that will be affixed to the benches, and they will have the opportunity for the bench to be displayed in front of their businesses or offices.
A sponsor application is also available on the Tourist Commission Web site.
Benches will be completed and unveiled in downtown Frankfort in late May 2010. They will then be transported to their placement sites where they will remain until the games conclude in October.
The benches will then be sold at auction at a fundraising event and proceeds will go to the newly renovated Grand Theatre, a community arts center.
For more information on the benches project, call Greer at 223-1723 or e-mail horsinaround2010@