Huntsville’s Downtown Book Boxes

The Arts Council, Downtown Huntsville, Inc. and the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library have launched the Downtown Book Boxes: free lending libraries in the city center. Inspired by the concept of Little Free Libraries, the three partners added some local color by having six area artists turn newspaper distribution boxes from The Huntsville Times into one-of-a-kind works of art designed to foster the love of reading.

“Downtown Huntsville, Inc. is excited to partner with the Arts Council and the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library to create our own unique version of the popular Little Free Library program,” said Chad Emerson, president and CEO of Downtown Huntsville Inc. “Combining art and learning through vintage Huntsville Times newspaper racks repurposed by local artists is an eclectic and fun way to promote learning in the city center.”

The Arts Council conducted an RFP process in which artists from across North Alabama were invited to submit their proposals for repurposing the newspaper boxes into works of art. The six artists chosen to make their mark are Willette Battle, Susie Garrett, Chandler Hayes, Amanda Massey, Gina Percifull and Logan Tanner.

“The Arts Council is always pleased to partner with other organizations in ways that allow us to further enhance community creativity and engagement to enrich the quality of life in our city,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, executive director of The Arts Council. “Downtown Book Boxes are a wonderful way to offer everyday interactions with visual arts while helping to spread the love of the literary arts. We look forward to seeing how these boxes evolve as members of the community take advantage of these free lending libraries.”

Downtown Book Boxes will be available for use on July 23 at six locations throughout the downtown corridor. The locations are Southside Square, Northside Square, 200 Westside Square, outside Belk Hudson Lofts, in Big Spring Park East near the YMCA and one surprise location.

“We hope people will visit all of them, pick up a book and take in each of these little pieces of public art,” said Dillon-Jauken.

Friends of the Library will initially stock the book boxes and members of the public are encouraged to borrow a book and return it or leave another book in its place. The Library will also check in periodically to check stock levels and replenish as needed.

“We are very excited to be a part of an initiative that brings books and people together,” said Laurel Best, executive director of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. “With books generously donated by the Friends of the Library, we are taking libraries to the people. Connecting the public with free reading materials and resources is what we do, and this project is another way for us to bring the library into the communities that we serve.”

Public Art Workshop with Jeff Mather

Are you interested in creating temporary public art in your neighborhood? Do you look around your environment and see a canvas for your art?

Join The Arts Council, Inc. for an exclusive workshop with Georgia-based environmental artist Jeff Mather on Tuesday, July 7 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The workshop will be held in The Arts Council offices on the north side of the Von Braun Center in downtown Huntsville. To register for the workshop, click “Going” on the Facebook event page found by clicking here.

Jeff is a site artist from Decatur, GA. who has worked extensively in the Atlanta metro area and throughout the southeast. Jeff is an independent artist and educator, designing and executing numerous works of art in public spaces, and conducting hundreds of workshops and residencies in schools and other community venues. Learn more about Jeff at

LIT Electrifies Downtown Huntsville

Yes, it was cool – the temperature but especially the digital art projections, colorful light and environmental designs that transformed the downtown square into a living work of art with a fusion of light, innovation and technology.

America’s Party Pros, LED Orange and the University of Alabama Huntsville each displayed unique interactive video and light displays and projections on the structures around Huntsville’s downtown square.

All four sides of the square were closed to allow festivalgoers the chance to truly immerse themselves in the light experience.




Light up your night with LIT: Light+Innovation+Technology

L.I.T.: Light + Innovation + Technology returns to Huntsville’s Downtown Square on March 7, 2015 from 7pm to 10pm.

For one night only, digital art projections, colorful light and environmental design will transform all four sides of the Downtown Square into a living work of art. This juried festival celebrates the uniqueness of Huntsville through the fusion of light, innovation and technology.

The Arts Council and Downtown Huntsville Inc., along with presenting sponsor Curse, Inc. are pleased to announce the four finalists that will compete for cash prizes at the second annual L.I.T, Light + Innovation + Technology event.

The four finalists who will create living art are America’s Party Pros, DJ Thrive, LED Orange and the University of Alabama Huntsville.

Attendees will enjoy lights moving to music, 3D mapped content, interactive video and light displays and projections on oversized helium balloons. Videos, LEDs, music and computer-generated art will surround the square with color and sound. Streets on all four sides of the square will be closed to allow festivalgoers the chance to truly immerse themselves in the light experience.

“Last year, we saw huge crowds come downtown to enjoy an evening of light art,” said Allison Dillon-Jauken, executive director of The Arts Council, Inc. “We are delighted to partner with Downtown Huntsville Inc. to celebrate new and emerging art forms, especially those that truly embody the STEAM education movement: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. People of all ages will enjoy seeing Downtown Huntsville in a whole new light thanks to this marriage of technology and art.”

Downtown Huntsville Inc. and The Arts Council encourage attendees to make an evening of it. The night lights up from 7pm to 10pm but area restaurants will be open for business and, new this year, local food trucks will also join the fun.

“L.I.T. is an incredible evening where the visual arts combine with great music, food, and our beautiful Downtown Huntsville streetscape.” said Chad Emerson, CEO of Downtown Huntsville Inc. “It’s one of our most high energy (yet still FREE) events of the year in the city center.”

Also new this year is the awarding of cash prizes following the event. The first place team will receive $2500 with $1000 for second place and $500 for both third and fourth place.

“Our goal is to see this grow into a well-known event with applicants coming from around the region to compete for prizes as they dazzle us with their creations,” said Dillon-Jauken. “Last year’s event drew more than 3,000 people downtown and we anticipate a much greater crowd this year.”


Planned Public Art Needs Participants


Here’s your chance to be a part of Huntsville’s newest public art piece, “We Gather Here To Honor…”. The community is invited to literally make a mark, in the form of footprints, on this beautiful work of art to be installed in downtown Huntsville’s beautiful Twickenham Square.

The Twickenham Square development is new to the area, but long before it was built, the location was home to Councill Courts and was just a short walk from there to the 5th Avenue School and Councill High School – all important landmarks for African American education in Huntsville and locations we shouldn’t forget.

Huntsville Housing Authority worked to ensure this history would be remembered by securing funding for a public art project at Twickenham Square. The acclaimed African American artist Angelica Pozo will be in Huntsville from February 27 thru March 8 to work with the community to create this public art piece, which will be installed in the fall. She needs our help.


The public art piece – which will be titled “We Gather Here To Honor…” – will take the form of a sunflower, with the flower petals formed by our footprints. The Arts Council is working to schedule community members to leave their footprints on this piece of art.  They are specifically working to reach out to former Councill Courts residents and Councill High Students.  There are also individuals in the community who work tirelessly to further educational opportunities for all, and teachers, activists and community leaders are invited to participate, too.

The artist will be here soon, so please reserve a time slot to participate today by emailing Julie at or calling (256) 519-2787. It is FREE to participate.

We are also in need of volunteer artist assistants. There are short shifts available. Please email Julie at to sign up.

L.I.T. Project Proposals

The Arts Council and Downtown Huntsville Inc. invite artists, lighting professionals, game designers, event producers, environmental design specialists and makers of all backgrounds to submit proposals for the second annual LIT: Light + Innovation + Technology event. This light and projection arts festival drew more than 3,000 attendees in its inaugural year and the event is poised to grow even more in its return to the Downtown Huntsville Square on March 7, 2015.

For one night only, digital art projections, colorful light and environmental design will transform all four sides of the Downtown Square into a living work of art. This juried festival celebrates the uniqueness of Huntsville through the fusion of light, innovation and technology.

Compete for cash prizes

On March 7, 2015 four artists/artistic teams will showcase their projects and compete for the festival’s cash prizes.

The four artists/artistic teams selected through the RFP process will receive a cash prize following the event, with prizes awarded as follows:

  • 1st place, $2500
  • 2nd place, $1000
  • 3rd place, $500
  • 4th place, $500

The deadline for proposals is January 23, 2015. To learn more, please download the LIT pdf.

Download the LIT FRP

The Avenue Public Art Project

A Partnership between the City Of Huntsville, Alabama,
The Arts Council, Inc., and Sealy Management Company

Request for Qualifications

The City of Huntsville, The Arts Council, Inc. and Sealy Management Company are seeking Statements of Qualifications from artists interested in creating artwork to be sited at The Avenue, a new development in the core of Huntsville’s downtown and entertainment district.

The Avenue Public Art Project has a total budget of $71,000 to include design, fabrication and installation of the work. Qualifications are due January 19, 2015.

Click here to download the RFQ for more information.

The Arts Council RFQ for The Avenue Art Project