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Local artists featured throughout downtown Albany businesses

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 7:16 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The demolition of an old building is bringing new life and new artwork to downtown Albany.

The Albany Museum of Art (AMA) is transforming an old dance studio into a sculpture garden.

This lot is adjacent to the former Belk building on W. Broad Avenue where AMA is headlining renovations for its new location. But it’s only one of many spotlights on creativity in the downtown district.

Demolition Site
Demolition Site(WALB)

WALB’s Molly Godley spoke with local businesses and learned how they are helping local artists and the community grow together.

Britney Wray opened the Broken Heart Bakery at the start of the year.

One of her first decisions as a new business owner was to share her shop with local artists’ one-of-a-kind pieces.

“If I have the means why not use it and use our walls as a gallery space,” said Wray.

Britney Wray, owner of the Broken Heart Bakery
Britney Wray, owner of the Broken Heart Bakery(WALB)

Wray said AMA’s move to downtown means expanding the cultural footprint in the area.

“I am an artist, and I know that there needs to be a bigger platform for local artists here in Albany,” said Wray.

She’s also hoping the museum will spur more traffic to downtown and the locally owned stores in the area.

“There are more things here than they know, and that there are so many talented artists that if we just embrace them, we could have a really unique city,” said Wray.

The Paisley Fig Boutique sits a few storefronts down from the bakery.

The owner, Missy Whitney, said AMA moving downtown and the sculpture garden, gives art the appreciation it deserves.

Missy Whitney owner of the Paisley Fig
Missy Whitney owner of the Paisley Fig(WALB)

“I think it will bring more art to Albany. It will introduce people who aren’t really into art and haven’t really been to art shows, it will introduce them to new artists and recognizing new types of art,” said Whitney.

For her, supporting local art and artisans is more than a good business model.

“Local being the keyword there. You want to bring them out, let them be known. Let’s bring in our own. It’s our family, it’s our city. We’re all a family! Let’s highlight them,” said Whitney.

The museum is still finalizing plans for what the sculpture garden will look like. Once they do, we’ll share those plans.

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