The cavemen (and women) painted on walls, Michelangelo used a ceiling, and contemporary artists paint on anything that doesn’t move and some things that do! But few can claim the distinction of artists that once-a-year paint over a thousand squares on Morrison’s downtown streets.
On Saturday, September 17th, returning after a 2-year pandemic hiatus and a stormy day that threatened to wash out painters, Paint the Town participants weathered the rain and came back to finish their squares! Some painted under the streetlights until 11 pm Saturday night and more returned Sunday to finish their creations!
Paint the Town is a creative and fun festival of the visual arts that has colored Morrison’s downtown since 1994. But the popular event is the tip of the iceberg; it serves as the primary fundraising catalyst for the Children’s Art Preservation Association (CAPA). Since 1993, CAPA has provided opportunities for Morrison children and families to participate in the visual arts.
CAPA is a 501c3 charitable organization and all its goals are designed to illustrate the role the visual arts play in our lives. Practically every consumer product, every package, every book, and every “anything” has been graced by the artist’s hand. Art not only appears in museums or on our painted streets, but also parks in our garages, and sits on our countertops and coffee tables.
While Paint the Town is fun and provides an opportunity for participants and families to share in artmaking together, they are also leaning about art without knowing. Each square, window and – new this year – circle, is a creation that can be admired by its creator, family, and the community.
Whether you have purchased a square to paint at Paint the Town, have been a sponsor of the event, or volunteer your time to help, all CAPA’s projects are a result of your support.
Since 1993, CAPA has invested over $100,000 in support of the visual arts in the Morrison Schools and Community. Here are some of the projects CAPA has created or sponsored since 1993:
- Framing and displaying award-winning student art in local schools and the community. Initially, CAPA held an auction that was the beginning of the framing fund and provided startup funds for the first Paint the Town.
- CAPA has provided more than $45,000 in scholarships and continuing scholarships to Morrison High School seniors pursuing a visual arts degree program in college.
- Funds equipment such as pottery wheels, Raku kilns, digital cameras and supplies, display boards, monitors, other tools, and supplies, as well as education programs that enhance the K-12 art curriculums.
- Authored, and co-funded with Morrison Schools, Illinois Arts Council grants providing Artist in Residency programs benefitting all grade levels.
- Contributed funding for field trips to art museums in Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.
- Provided funding for downtown lamp post banners featuring art of Morrison school students.
- Created art shows featuring the work of Morrison artists.
- CAPA provides annual funding for the Ned Nesti Award – awarding an outstanding Junior High art student with a gift certificate for art supplies.
- Created and funded summer visual arts programs for children.
- Provides financial support for materials used to display student art for a yearly student art show that features the work of all students in grades K-12.
- CAPA provided startup funding for The Loft, a gallery and educational venue for the visual arts in downtown Morrison.
Throughout CAPA’s history, the organization has received an award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education; presented by invitation at the Illinois Festivals and Events Conference and the Illinois Municipal League Conference; has been featured in the National Main Street Program’s Guide to the Best Festivals and Events; and was twice featured on Quad City Public Television’s weekly television journal, Quad City Life.
To complete the artistic process, 2022 Paint the Town art will remain on the street until it gradually weathers away, allowing it to be looked at, pondered, and appreciated by the community and visitors who come to admire its scope and variety.
The Children’s Art Preservation Association extends deepest thanks to all of Paint the Town’s sponsors, participants, and volunteers. See you at next year’s Paint the Town!