In April 2021, Executive Director Thea Wilshire launched I ART Globe under the sponsorship of the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts (CVCA). Her goal was to use art to counteract the general depression caused by Covid, to focus attention on the flora, fauna and history of the area, and to attract more tourists to Globe.
The initial scope of I ART Globe was to create 12 projects in 12 months. The group chose two major areas of focus. Murals in and near downtown would celebrate Globe. The Stairizona Trail would highlight 1930s WPA-built stairs, retaining walls and sidewalks with art featuring area plants and animals. Invitations to participate went out to 76 groups and individuals.
I ART Globe caught fire and exceeded expectations. In little more than 14 months, the organization has been responsible for the creation of 25 artworks and sponsored 9 art events, including the popular Chalkathon. A wide range of partners, grants and dedicated volunteers, including Wilshire and Art Director Regina Ortega, made this possible.
Over time the vision of Stairizona has expanded from a single circuit around downtown. Two additional loops have been added, allowing hikers to walk 1.4, 2.6 or 3.5 miles. Expansion to include the historic Globe Cemetery is being considered at this time.
In early July a massive 130-foot-long mural at the corner of East and Sycamore Streets was added to the Stairizona Trail. Native artist Averian Chee depicted a panorama of a single cardinal waiting out a high desert rainstorm. This is the largest installation I ART Globe has done to date and transformed a graffiti magnet into a striking attraction.
Originally Wilshire expected the art projects to be completed within a year. A late-arriving grant helped provide funds to extend the timeline to 2 years.
Projects in progress include artwork for the Stairizona Trail around the corner to the pedestrian bridge and installing benches. I ART Globe also wants to design code-compliant signage with information on the WPA and key locations along the trail, including G Hill, pedestrian bridges and stairs. Local artist Katie Stewart is working on a mosaic project for the Yuma stairs.
Plans for the future include possible mural projects with Safeway and the High Desert Humane Society. The High Street and East Globe stairs are possible additions to the Stairizona Trail. The project for an updated area timeline, to replace the fading version in front of the CVCA, is on hold.
Not satisfied to be simply an arts project, I ART Globe expanded to aid participating artists in gaining knowledge needed to apply for grants, form Limited Liability Corporations and compete in the professional arena.