WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Battle for the Alley Returns in Galesburg

Jun 13, 2016

Railroad Days in Galesburg this year will have more color to it, thanks to the Galesburg Civic Art Center, which will host its second Battle for the Alley street art competition.  It will be held June 25 in Park Plaza.

Art Center Director Tuesday Cetin said having the event during Railroad Days will put more eyeballs on the artists and bring attention to an event that attracted nearly 400 people last year.

“They are really interested in the live art aspect of it. As well as beautifying a part of the city that really is kind of neglected. The backs of our buildings and alleys are sort of forgotten. And I think this is just one way we can really revitalize downtown,” Cetin said.

Up to 20 artists will participate in Battle for the Alley. They will have three hours to create a work on a 3’ by 5’ Masonite board. Onlookers will vote on the finished pieces and the winner will be crowned King or Queen of the Alley. 

The works will be displayed in the alley behind Budde’s Restaurant and Sidetrax Bar and Grill. Last year’s works are still on display in the alley behind the Civic Art Center. Cetin said those pieces are holding up well even though they've been exposed to the elements.  

She believes the art does more than beautify the alleys -- it also helps prevent people from dumping garbage there and vandalizing the alley.

“People don’t want to mess up an alley that’s really attracting traffic and is pleasant to look at and walk through,” Cetin said.

Battle for the Alley is open to the public.  The event will include  live music beginning 1:00 p.m., with the art contest starting at 4:00 p.m.