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Bakersfield business owners and non-profit support local artists

Posted at 9:18 AM, Aug 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 12:18:00-04

Artists are getting a chance to shine thanks to a local nonprofit and downtown business owners welcoming their creative spice to add to their establishments, along with an instagram contest.

The Now Bakersfield’s Tori Cooper had a chance to speak with one of those lucky artists along with a business owner who is helping reshape the culture of the downtown Bakersfield area. 
Local business owners like Heather Laganelli are advocating for struggling artists to find a platform to showcase their work to others, "I told myself that if I ever had a business to where I could give back to other artist I would," Locale Farm to Table restaurant owner Heather Laganelli said.
Laganelli is a former local struggling artists who is now a local business owner teaming up with the, "Be in Bakersfield" non-profit organization to stick to her mission of supporting artists who were just like her, by providing them with a free, unique canvas. "Artists were asked to submit their designs and then they selected four to be painted on the wall," Bakersfield artists Jennifer Cordova said.

Cordova is one of the 60 artists who submitted artwork to Lagenelli after seeing the wall mural contest instagram post on the, "Be in Bakersfield" instagram page, in hopes of landing her own mural behind the Locale Farm to Table restaurant. 100 submissions and one contest later she had the support she needed to transform a portion of the alleyway between 17th and 18th street in downtown Bakersfield,"They provided all the colors so I was able to pick like an actual match all the shades to the colors I wanted," Cordova said.

Sherwin Williams sponsored supplies for Cordova and the other  three  artists also selected by the community panel. This helped bring the artist and their vision alive in the community, while also staging the perfect shot for instagramers and their accounts.

Laganelli also said she believes the art is doing more for the downtown areas that need attention, "I think bringing something light, lively, artistic and creative to an area you would kind of avoid, it's a good approach."
Laganelli and the non-profit hope to inspire more artists to stick with it while also helping establish more foot traffic into downtown Bakersfield area through art, "By having murals there I think it's fun because people can kind of at their own leisure go by and appreciate art," Laganelli said.
Artist like Cordova are just thankful for the opportunity to share their Kern County inspiration with the support of the community in an organic way, "I like that it's abstract and people can really interpret their own meaning behind it." Cordova said.
Lageneli told The Now Bakersfield that she plans on hosting another instagram contest with the Be in Bakersfield non-profit to give four other new artists a chance to showcase their work after December. You can share your art by following the "Be in Bakersfield" instagram page as well as the "Locale Farm to Table” restaurant instagram page to communicate with organizers for the future.
Be sure to hashtag, "mural-alley-bakersfield" if you snap a picture in the upgraded alleyway.