Flowery Branch City Planner John McHenry is looking for more ways to incorporate art into the downtown area.
“We’ve been speaking with some local artists and also with local school art instructors,” McHenry said at the Thursday city council meeting. “What we’re looking at is doing ... something where we would have mosaics, where we would be incorporating local high school students and they would be celebrating our local flora and fauna.”
Council members gave McHenry the go-ahead to apply for a $5,000 matching grant through the Georgia Council for the Arts. If approved, the funds would go toward signage and other decorative elements.
Earlier in the year, a mural depicting a train was painted on the side of the Growlers on Main building, and the city placed picnic tables in between the building and depot to create a “pocket park.”
“We did the mural and we’ve got seating over there, and that’s been well-received,” McHenry said.
Now McHenry would like to keep the momentum going by incorporating artistic elements, including decorative signage pointing passersby to downtown Flowery Branch. For the design, the city is working with Mary Frances Hull of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.
“We also want to do something that we can incorporate the local students,” McHenry said. “So we’re working with Spout Springs Elementary and West Hall (High) to do something where we would have a wayfinding sign and then have some ceramic totems in the area where the train depot is.”
The totems would include the mosaic tiles, painted by the students.
McHenry said these detailed additions will help draw more people into Flowery Branch.
“I think there is a lot of cool stuff going on in the downtown area, and we want to do anything we can to bring more people here,” McHenry said. “We’ve already got some cool art centers and antique stores, so anything we can do to move that along, move the needle, and get people spending dollars in downtown, we want to push that 150 percent.”