In December of 2017, Temple was awarded an Anice Read Grant from the Texas Downtown Association in the amount of $4,000 to help fund an exciting new art project. The Temple Art Train Project will feature tiny replicas of old steam engines, measuring 4’ long by 2’ wide by 3’ tall, which will then be installed throughout the downtown area.

When the project first started, a call for artists was issued, resulting in the submission of six different proposals, from which four artists were selected. During that process, artists were encouraged to be creative and had the freedom to choose their medium, such as painting the trains or using a mosaic tile techniques.

The first completed art train was unveiled on Saturday, November 24th.                                The next art train will be unveiled on Saturday, December 1st, at 2:00 PM, at the Main Street Courtyard located at 5 S. Main Street in downtown Temple.

The Art Train we will unveil this Saturday is entitled “Re-Train Your Mind”, and it was painted by local artist Jay “Areo” Rivera.

Mr. Rivera has an interesting background. He is a Puerto Rican writer and graffiti artist.  He was born in 1978 and grew up in the Bronx, New York.  During the 90’s in the Bronx, graffiti art was an important part of the local street culture.  Jay started out with graffiti, and then by the time he was sixteen he improved his skills and began painting murals.  At the age of nineteen, he entered the military as an Infantryman and served three tours in Iraq. Upon completing his military service, he quickly got back into art and began painting canvases.

In 2018 he launched his company, ‘Laced and Found’, which provides custom artwork, and clothing. Rivera and his company also hope someday to open an art collective gallery in the city of Temple.  In this year alone, Rivera has painted over 24 projects and 40 murals.  All of the work done by Mr. Rivera is done with spray paint, no brushes, markers or any other tools are used for his murals, keeping true to the style and culture of a graffiti artist.

“Public art is an important element in a thriving downtown…” said Dan Kelleher, Temple’s Main Street Manager. “…and these installations will beautify our downtown as well as encourage people to shop local and support downtown restaurants and shops.”

This project was made possible by the Anice Read Fund. Anice Read was the founder of the Texas Downtown Association, and the Anice Read Fund was formed in 1999 to honor her legacy and her contributions to Texas downtowns. The grants awarded from this fund are used for a wide variety of purposes including physical projects, professional development, and/or program development.

For more information about the Temple Art Train Project or the unveiling event, please contact Dan Kelleher at 254-493-7504 or email dkelleher@templetx.gov.

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