Bugs on Broad coming to Phenix City

Second graders at Lakewood Primary School had their Bugs on Broad illustrations on display at Phenix City Schools' Festival of the Arts event.

Second graders at Lakewood Primary School had their Bugs on Broad illustrations on display at Phenix City Schools' Festival of the Arts event.

Troy University staff members and partnering organizations are uniting local school districts and regional arts in a creative way – through a new, community-wide art project known as Bugs on Broad.

Bugs on Broad combines the imaginative talents of local elementary school children and professional artists native to the Chattahoochee Valley region. The program’s mission is to provide a creative, collaborative project between local schools and artists in Alabama and Georgia that will engage the community and attract visitors to the region.

Second-grade art students at Lakewood Primary School in Phenix City, Alabama and Fox Elementary School in Columbus, Georgia created their own illustrations of bugs followed by a lesson on the benefits of pollinator insects delivered by Alabama Extension – Russell County Coordinator, Jennifer Davidson, and University of Georgia Extension – Muscogee County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent, Ashley Brantley.

One entry from Phenix City and one entry from Columbus will be selected to be reinterpreted by two professional artists in their chosen medium. Both artworks will be generated into clay models by a local sculptor, and a partnering foundry will cast the models into miniature, insect sculptures.

Once completed, the sculptures will be installed within the boundaries of Broad Street in Phenix City, Alabama and Broadway in Columbus, Georgia for a community-wide scavenger hunt called Bugs on Broad. The four-part progression from elementary school student illustration, local artist’s interpretation, sculptor’s clay model, and the final product in the form of a bronze sculpture will be available to view digitally on the East Alabama Chamber of Commerce website.

This initiative was inspired by similar programs in Greenville, South Carolina (Mice on Main) and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (Monster Takeover). Phenix City Campus leadership traveled to Greenville and Tuscaloosa during past inter-city trips with the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce and East Alabama Chamber of Commerce. The Bugs on Broad initiative is born from the Phenix City Art Park committee led by Phenix City Vice Chancellor, Dr. David White. TROY faculty, staff, students and their families are encouraged to participate in the Bugs on Broad community scavenger hunt when it launches Fall 2020.

Art has always joined people together, and Bugs on Broad does exactly that. It brings our youngest elementary school artists together with visual artists and sculptors in our community to produce a lasting piece of public art that will be placed in out-of-the-way spots so that both residents and visitors can enjoy the fun of searching for and finding them. The project allows us to celebrate our artists, our community, and an ever-growing collection of small sculptures that will inspire and delight those that search for and find them.

Dr. David White, Vice Chancellor, Phenix City Campus

Sponsorship opportunities are available: This project offers a fun, community partnership opportunity between Troy University, local school districts, professional artists, businesses, and the chamber of commerce. If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Alex Travis at atravis@troy.edu or 334-448-5211.