Sometimes creations escape the canvas and overflow into life. That’s how Leigh Ann Edrich began creating Art in the Park.
Her inspiration and real life example is the LA Arts District. It started out as a degraded, criminal and quite scary area with empty warehouses. Artists moved in because the rent was cheap. Then more artists. The creation of a better area commenced and the more creation occurred, the better the area became. The area became the LA Arts District and is known around the world.
Along with the Neighborhood Association and other groups, she has been helping to uplift the area she lives in.
The purpose was to bring life into the community and it succeeded.
In May 2022 an increase of neighborhood improvements lead to a large event with visual and performing artists.
The day featured art booths, group booths and six hours of lovely entertainment with people smiling and talking to each other. For six hours straight there was a constant flow of foot and vehicle traffic. The artists made sales. The neighborhood association got new members. A live stream was done and people watched online. Arrivals were from Dunedin, Safety Harbor, local and from all parts of Clearwater.
After the hurricane in October 2022, the outside looked like a scene out of 1950: People were picking up limbs that fell off trees, groups of kids of many races were playing a ball game with a policeman while a lady was walking her dog, across the street two other neighbors were cleaning up the debris on their lawn. On the south side of the park, there was a group of people talking, a group of kids playing, other people sitting on the park benches and across the street was another group of people talking with kids playing nearby. To have so many people at once outside in and around the park was a first.
In the art world, Leigh Ann Edrich is Internationally known as ILIA. You can view her artistic creations online at ILIA.Life.