A Baldwinsville community art project will help highlight the history of Baldwinsville's canal.
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Syracuse-based Erie Canal Museum and City Lore, a New York City-based cultural organization, are collaborating with the village of Baldwinsville to create B’ville Voices, a trail of artful signage that highlights the first person stories, histories and imagery on the village of Baldwinsville, past and present.
The signage, which will be featured throughout the village, will include QR codes linking to a web exhibit highlighting the village’s history, making it accessible from mobile devices. The art trail will mark the now paved-over Baldwinsville Canal, which connected the Erie Canal with local businesses in the 19th century. The signs will also link a number of the village’s waterfront parks and properties, as well as the village’s burgeoning entertainment district, which includes the amphitheater on Paper Mill Island.
The village will install the sculptural markers, which will be designed by local residents with guidance from Brendan Rose, Syracuse’s recent artist-in-residence, graphic designers from Lock 49 (a firm based in Syracuse), City Lore and other Baldwinsville-area artists. The markers will be based on a series of village meetings, or charrettes, and will incorporate interviews and oral histories with village historians and local residents.
“Our goal is to customize the artful signage so that it reflects the distinctive character, history, personality and aesthetics of Baldwinsville,” said Molly Garfinkel, of Place Matters and City Lore. “Our aim is to galvanize the village and surrounding area with a program that involves local youth as well as older adults in researching the region’s folklore and history.”
According to Executive Director of City Lore, Steve Zeitlin, the resulting program “will tangibly contribute to the revitalization of this waterfront village as a tourist and local entertainment mecca.”
The group will hold the first charette to present the project and introduce the involved organizations from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at village hall, 16 West Genesee St., Baldwinsville. The public is encouraged to attend this meeting and provide feedback regarding the project.