Make It Your Own in Northeast Indiana with Alex Hall
Get to Know Fort Wayne Artist Alex Hall
Northeast Indiana boasts many opportunities for its residents. Whether you want to build a family, attend a four-year university, create art or start a company, it allows for all different walks of life to Make It Your Own in Northeast Indiana.
Alex Hall, founder of Art this Way and owner of AH Public Spaces Consulting, is sharing her story of what it's like to live and work in the region.
1. What brought you to the Northeast Indiana region?
I started my life in Indianapolis. Then, I was three-years-old I was living with my family in Fort Wayne’s ‘07 neighborhood. In second grade, my family moved to Churubusco, and that is where I spent the rest of my childhood. I have ties to different areas of Indiana, and, ultimately, my family has kept me in the Midwest.
2. Why do you think Northeast Indiana is a special place to live and work?
I owe my entire career to an innumerable group of inspiring and wonderful Hoosiers who helped me along the way, supported my artwork, cut the path ahead of me, cheered me on,and motivated me to forge ahead. I couldn’t begin to name them all, but I am grateful for them. I truly believe it is the people of Northeast Indiana that make it a special place to live and work.
3. What does “Make It Your Own” mean to you?
Building an arts career is not easy, and I was able to create a healthy small business here. It is not easy to get one’s foot in the door in L.A. or New York, but here I was able to get involved with local municipalities, install my work in my downtown, advocate for and build a public art program that brought more opportunities to other artists. The potential for a passionate person, with enough determination and follow-through, to carve out a niche, watch their projects implemented and see the changes happen in their community—that is what make it your own means to me.
4. What is your favorite weekend activity here in the region?
For me, there are too many to list only one, and it often depends on the day. I am a downtown Fort Wayne dweller, and I like to walk or bike to everything on my weekend. On a Friday night in Fort Wayne, I might attend a gallery opening at Artlink, Rhapsody, Wunderkammer or the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and then meander over to a local bar to have a cocktail with friends.
On Saturday morning, my dog and I walk to the Fort Wayne Farmers Market on Barr Street to get some produce and sunflowers flowers, if they are in season. After brunch at Proximo, The Dash-In or Junk Ditch, I might catch a matinee at the Cinema Center, visit the stores along the Wells Street Corridor, shop at The Find, Creative Women of the World or another local boutique, or I might go for a bike ride on Fort Wayne’s trails. If I haven’t hit my sugar quota for the day, I may get a West Central Microcreamery ice cream cone. If I have hit my quota, I’d head over to Juice Jar on Illinois road for a healthier treat!
I sometimes hold public art tours on Saturday afternoons, so you could see me guiding a dozen, camera-wielding, art enthusiasts through the alleyways!
On Saturday night you could find me at a Philharmonic concert, the Clyde, dining out at the Copper Spoon, catching a set at the Brass Rail, or hanging out at Weather the Fort—or some other amazing downtown event like Middle Waves, Taste of the Arts, or Buskerfest.
Weather permitting, on Sunday I head to Fort Wayne Outfitters and I launch my paddleboard from Promenade Park. The water treatment plant looks beautiful from the water! On my way back, I may stop at the Deck and have a sashimi appetizer before I return to Promenade. If it is cold outside, Sunday is a great day to grab brunch, lunch or dinner with friends downtown!
5. What do you love most about your job, industry or company?
My industry provides opportunities to visit large and small communities across the country and throughout the world. I have an unquenchable wanderlust, and I am able to visit new and interesting places almost every month. When I travel, I like to discover things about other places that I think could be reinvented and implemented in our region. I am so grateful to be in a position where I sometimes get to do just that! My job allows me to invite a muralist I discovered in Paris to my hometown, create an opportunity for a local artist to create a new sculpture for our community or advocate for more public art across our region. Art and culture can redefine our pride of place, create economic growth, retain and attract talent and improve quality of life. I am constantly inspired by the people I meet in this industry and the positive impact that the arts have on our region.
6. How are you involved in the community?
I like to be involved, collaborate and network with numerous organizations in my community. In 2016, I developed the Fort Wayne Downtown Improvement District’s Art This Way program. The project was meant to help create opportunities and bring more public art to downtown. In order to raise funds for the program, I created the annual Art This Way Art Crawl event in 2017. Because of my work implementing public art projects, I was invited to sit on the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission Steering Committee, the group responsible for the development of the Fort Wayne Public Art Master Plan. I now act as a consultant for the Fort Wayne Public Art Commission.
I sit on the Downtown Economic Improvement District (FWDID) Public Realm Committee, The Philharmonic’s Music + Mixology Committee, Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne Award Committee, Broadway Street Stroll Committee and I am the Fort Wayne Artists Guild Website & Social Media Chair.
7. What’s one thing/amenity you think can be found only in Northeast Indiana?
This may sound crazy, but we do have the cleanest streets and alleys in downtown Fort Wayne. I travel often for work, and I sometimes need to set up my art festival booth along litter-strewn streets with unkempt sidewalks, damaged street signs or over-flowing trash bins. I am not saying those things don’t happen in Fort Wayne, but over-all, our downtown is EXTREMELY well maintained and very clean.
8. What are three words to describe you?
BOHEMIANISM – DILIGENT – ANALYTICAL