I Art Globe

I Art Globe: An initiative changing the way we perceive community. 

As you explore the Globe area, you’ll see color and joy – leaping out from murals on Broad Street and the new Stairizona Trail, and blazing from participatory events throughout the year. These art installations and events come courtesy I Art Globe, a local community-driven public arts initiative. 

I Art Globe was first conceived to blitz Globe with 12 public art projects in 12 months. During the pandemic, people were often socially isolated, scared, and hopeless. Life lost color as people stayed home. Some individuals were grieving the death of loved ones, lost jobs, and lost housing. People were hurting. 

Deciding it was time to infuse life and hope back into our community, Thea Wilshire identified art as the perfect medium to accomplish this. 

Art positively impacts communities and individuals, strengthens physical and emotional health, and improves well-being. For towns and cities, art provides economic, educational, social, and cultural benefits. Art builds invaluable social infrastructure and is an essential ingredient in placemaking.

And the community was already asking for public art.

Just before the pandemic hit, the City of Globe sponsored community forums and town hall meetings where participants expressed strong support for public art. Groups contributed art ideas in community meetings, and the community loved them. Bottom line: Globe residents wanted to see more art! 

The City planned to lead the charge on initiating these projects – but then was side-swiped with managing the crises of COVID, fires, and floods. Coming along to keep the momentum going, I Art Globe was created to provide leadership to volunteers ready and willing to help, allowing connection to others and reconnection with the community. 

The Cobre Valley Center for the Arts agreed to be the nonprofit fiscal sponsor. To find participants, public announcements were made and invitations were sent to 78 groups and individuals. A cross-sectional I Art Globe group was formed and began weekly planning sessions via Zoom. 

Because the benefits of art were needed immediately to balance the acute challenges of the pandemic, I Art Globe focused on Globe gateways and the historic downtown to reach the most people. Projects were chosen that could be completed easily and quickly. 

Almost 60 projects were identified in visual arts, music, cinema, word artistry, and participatory events. From these, 30 projects had champions (key organizers), so they were tapped to start. I Art Globe hoped to finish 12 to 18 projects – and then surpassed this by completing 26 art projects and sponsoring nine participatory art events during the 12 months of the initiative. I Art Globe also started working on 13 other projects that are currently in the works.

Among its notable accomplishments, I Art Globe sponsored the Chalk-a-thon and two self-guided art tours, collaborated with the US Forest Serviceto offer Nature Art for kids, and partnered with the Friends of the Dog Park to bring art there.

I Art Globe also proposed the idea of interactive murals, and then supported Mayor Gameros as he organized the 11 Instagram mini-murals downtown. I Art Globe supported the VFW and Globe High School in painting the VFW crosswalk, worked with the Gila County Historical Society to create a colorful eight-panel timeline for Globe, and helped sponsor Nate Rector’s “Voice of Globe” singing contest – which has morphed into a regular First Friday karaoke event.

I Art Globe’s two biggest projects are a downtown murals initiative and the creation of the Stairizona Trail. 

With a generous $10,000 grant from Peter Beesley, I Art Globe is supporting five collaborative murals in the historic downtown. The first completed was Myron Starr’s “Welcome to Globe” wall at the corner of Pine and Oak, sponsored by Carol Hinderberger with Diamond M Dental. Two more planned murals have been adopted by sponsors. 

As was hoped when the I Art Globe initiative started, art has provided light in a time of darkness. With the help of community volunteers, the art will continue, and the light will grow brighter.