The new project to beautify downtown Rock Falls and Sterling through a volunteer community partnership has tremendous potential.
We speak of the Bridge of Art, an effort started by two friends, Catherine Rogers of Sterling and Penny Schopp of Rock Falls.
Featured in a story earlier this week, the Bridge of Art is designed to “eliminate blight and bring art and beauty to our downtowns,” the women stated in a news release.
Along the way, it will provide an outlet for the creative energy of anyone who chooses to participate, including high school students.
Decorating storefront windows in a community’s downtown is not a new concept, but Rogers and Schopp added a twist. The artistic window displays are to be made with recycled materials, as much as possible.
Three storefront windows have been decorated thus far.
Bridge of Art volunteers also helped decorate downtown buildings for the Fiesta Days celebration. Colorful paper chains festooned a number of businesses.
As more business windows become decorated, the women hope the project generates greater activity in the downtowns, which could lead to more shoppers at stores and even a “window walk” event.
Creating art from recycled products isn’t the project’s sole goal. Bridge of Art hopes to make better use of existing flower beds; hang artistic banners from streetlight poles and along the new bridge; open a holiday gift shop to showcase work from local artists; raise money to support local arts and artists; and work to eliminate downtown eyesores.
We like the project because it promotes unity and provides benefits for both communities.
Rather than separated by the Rock River, Sterling and Rock Falls are joined by the river, in these women’s eyes. We like the sound of that.
We encourage strong community support for Bridge of Art. Contact Schopp at 815-632-1042 or Rogers at 815-625-0526, get involved, and help the project achieve its full potential.