Creative expression can surface anywhere, including in a back alley littered with dumpsters, power lines and stoops. I’ve stumbled through my share of alleyways, including the medieval alleys of old town Barcelona. But for true alleyway aficionados, Art Alley in Rapid City, South Dakota is the ultimate place to curl up in a doorway and swig booze out of a crumpled paper bag, while absorbing all the colorful and inspired chaos.
Art Alley is open to all who can wield a spray can, brush or broom. There are no art snobs, gallery owners or posers running the show and no fees. But like the open volunteer resource – Wikipedia – something inspired and useful emerges from all this chaotic and uncensored creativity.
The alley is continually changing as new inspiration overwrites the old. To view and uncover the previous art that now lays buried beneath layers of new art, visit http://artalley.awardspace.com/
A short history of Art Alley – A few years ago Art Alley was a typical grungy alley like thousands of others. Its transformation began around 2002 when, as legend has it, a man named Todd Rigione move to Rapid City from California with his girl friend, Judy Looyenga (a native of Rapid City). The back stairway of their apartment looked out over the alley.
They decided to change their view beginning with painting pictures over graffiti on power poles. Soon others joined in and populist artwork spread up and down the alley.
Next Stop – the infamous annual “Sturgis Bike Rally”