The Decay Devils artist collective has given new life to Gary's historic Union Station, spruced up Gateway Park in downtown Gary and documented the city's architectural gems in photography exhibits.
Now the motley band of urban explorers and preservationists will pen a love letter to Gary.
This September, the Decay Devils and Lauren M. Pacheco's #PAINTGARY will take over downtown with the daylong Gary Love Fest outdoor arts, culture and music festival. The free gathering will feature a curated selection of live music on three stages, public art installations, food trucks, craft beer, an artisan market, live art, art and mural walks, a historical preservation tour highlighting the city's notable architecture and the chance to rage paint like Jackson Pollock.
"You can paint whatever style you want, or just launch paint at your canvass," Decay Devil President Tyrel Anderson said. "You will be able to create some art of your own."
Oh, and there will also be art exhibits, live poetry, spoken word, a photo booth, supersized games, folkloric performances and even paranormal tours.
"We're going to have an event that pays tribute to all forms of art," Anderson said. "We'll have singing, dancing, and large installations. We want to bring people together downtown."
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Part of the idea is to showcase another 25 murals Pacheco's #PAINTGARY initiative will place on abandoned buildings downtown.
"We're going to lead tours to different locations, and also have an art map of downtown Gary on our website where you could download a PDF version," Anderson said.
A diverse array of musical acts, including R&B, jazz and rap, will perform on stages likely at Union Station, Gateway Park and the field where the former Sheraton hotel stood.
"We want to spread the people out," he said. "We're trying to create a stage where everyone can cross paths. If you come for preservation, that's cool. If you want to try food trucks or see murals, we've got something for you. People who are only into one type of thing can dabble in other artistic experiences."
The festival will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 14.
For more information, find Gary Love Fest on Facebook.