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How art changes a neighborhood

On a hot day in July, The Myrna Loy hosted a block party in the Rodney Street neighborhood to celebrate new artworks created by our artists in residence. It was an all-day festival, smallish but powerful.

We showcased photos by photographer/videographer Jeanie Warden, and basked in the beauty of new art on the historic Livery Building, created and installed by artist Amanda Reese. We filled up the mythologically beautiful bronze Isis birdbath, created and newly restored by artist Bruce Bunger, which adds an artful welcome for birds along the Ewing landscape of The Myrna Loy.

We hosted a great Montana band, Gilda House, who performed off our load-in dock to an audience that danced, hula-hooped, cooled off in our sprinkler, and just listened to their great music. The Helena Public Art Committee brought a shade-tent and sidewalk chalk for everyone, sharing their info about public art projects and how citizens can get involved in improving Helena’s public art presence.

Together, these simple events brought people into community to celebrate good art, to think about what makes a livable neighborhood, about the many ways we are connected, and to imagine new ways to improve the Rodney Street neighborhood we call home.

What’s next?

We see Rodney Street as a blank canvas, in this case surrounded and lived in by artists of all interests and disciplines. It’s an empty playground just waiting for our creative spirits to come out and play.

The art we’ve put up so far is just the beginning.  What else can we do to make our neighborhood better reflect the talents, the stories, and the spirits of the people who live here? We’re looking for more ways to express Rodney Street’s unique personality in physical ways: art on the dumpsters, creative planters and benches that make welcoming spaces, improvements to our pocket-parks, and other special public art projects.

Together, we are creating a neighborhood with a vibrant sense of home, welcome, and creativity—a neighborhood that welcomes all, celebrates who we are, and reflects the historic, quirky nature of this unique place.

Thank you to: Lewis & Clark County Maintenance Dept., B&B Market, Grateful Bread, Montana Berry Bowls, Helena Public Art Committee, National Endowment for the Arts, and to our four Artists in Residence: Jeanie Warden, Amanda Reese, Ashley Moon, and Elena Johnson.

Charlie Carson and Amanda Reese installing art on the Livery Building

Artist Amanda Reese, ready to party

Hangin’ out in the shade

The fabulous Gilda House band, playing off The Myrna Loy load-in dock

A thousand conversations, one afternoon of neighborhood fun.

Thanks To Our Supporters

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