ABOUT AR:T ROUTE BLUE 66/99

THE WAYFINDER AR:T PROJECT

Imagine Art as a Wayfinder signage trail in a project that helps connect us all.

Imagine a connected legacy art and story highway road trip with art based place making experiences that support the local economies and people of the communities along the way.

Imagine connecting artists of all ages to the economic labour market in a talent based inclusion employment path.

Imagine a connected legacy art and story highway road trip with art based place making experiences that support the local economies and people of the communities along the way.

Back In 2002, Michelle kick started the Official Route 66 Mural City designation project in Cuba, Missouri; and she shared her vision of connecting us all on an Art Highway thematic overarching brand on a two-nation cultural designation!

Imagine the stories of the kaleidoscope of cultures being showcased, but keeping the content at home to grow the non profits and heritage art experiences at home. Imagine a road trip itinerary connected to the famous ROUTE 66 story, and extension of the power of the famed road combined with our Canadian Highways, and all nations trade routes.  Just imagine what you could see, experience and be part of.  Create art in your community and connect your story to ours……are your thoughts racing yet….well reach out to us.. lets talk.

MURAL LEGACY HIGHWAY Dream

An ART ROUTE LEGACY trail dream come true one town at a time!

Murals draw people into their community,  especially the youth that sometimes live between the system and the cities. Michelle’s philosophy is one that believes the roots of our talent are the pathways to the future for non traditional learners. While creating  mural spaces, these public artwork events unveil solutions to many social and economic issues faced by youth and communities today. As a child, Loughery witnessed firsthand how mural art rescued her hometown, a small coal-mining town in British Columbia that followed the Chemainus Mural inspiration. Inspired by that early experience, she has become a compelling spokesperson and practitioner of mural art in the service of community revitalization.  Loughery’s work has spanned the globe and has inspired hundreds of similar projects. 

Not only did Loughery design & paint the first mural in Cuba, Missouri (depicting a Model T Ford long ago owned by a local bank president) with a local Cuba artist, she also inspired Viva Cuba ( Route 66 Mural City) that a program of murals was just the thing to put Cuba back on the map.  As Jill Barnett of Viva Cuba put it:  “Loughery gave us the vision that we could do a mural project that would not only transform ugly walls into public art but also increase tourism and economic growth”

For over three decades, one wall at a time, Artist Loughery has led artists, youth, government and communities in art creative placemaking and thematic brand experiences. Her mural projects were ground breaking in a social economic wayfinding signature philosophy that has changed thousands of youth lives and the ripple effect of the projects have been far-reaching and legacy leaving globally.

Considered a pioneer in her mural work by those who aided her in her global art projects and by the artists and at-risk youth who took their lives to the wall and by those who followed in her footsteps to pursue mural-based art and skills education in other communities. Loughery’s projects have helped communities raise millions of dollars while helping to reduce youth poverty and providing local youth with the skills needed to achieve their dreams.

Creating opportunities for youth and community artists to meaningfully participate in community building and community revitalization though community specific community art in the community realm, creative youth interventions and inclusions and true creative community placemaking based on a strong immigrant community skills base. A visionary, community connector and an artist whose passion for giving youth a voice was a key influencer in the mural movement globally today.

Artist Michelle Loughery Community WAYFINDER AR:T Concept  AR:T ROUTE BLUE( AR:T ROUTE 66/99 and ART ROUTE CANADA -Destination Mural Town) has deep roots in her small rural coal mining community. Since 1995 Loughery has been innovating wayfinding public art and heritage as a social community action building program, that has become a movement along the highways of Canada with many partnered communities, non profits, youth, elders and lead by a wonderful bunch of visionary artists and community visionaries.

The connected rural community AR:T in action to recovery, connecting creatives and infrastructure building both physically and digitally. Wayfinder Rural Creates is a model of award winning Community Development Artist Michelle Loughery and the strong team of Creative minds that have supported her art in action projects for over 30 years. A true art infrastructure creating consortium, now call AR:T ROUTE BLUE. This group has carried the dream of a highway connected art route for decades, and now as a support to recovery the dream has been given wings.

Community art will lead a rural connection, to help creatives, creative businesses and rural communities connect in an over arching narrative brand to support to new tourism in educational art and heritage infrastructure trail to support the work all of us must so to support recovery after the pandemic. It will take all of us working together as an ART ALLIANCE to create a drivable route that pays tribute to the past as it paves a future.

Artist Loughery has a reputation for considered, creative, and critical strategic foresight and insight, research and infrastructure analysis. She is a respected thought leader and innovator in the development and implementation of actionable national, regional, and local art policy and projects, community art strategy and plans to support arts and cultural organizations, creative placemaking, and creative culture-led regeneration. Master mind of the Wayfinder Rural Creates model and a connected Destination MURAL TOWN Augmented Reality – AR:T ROUTE RADIO PODCAST Art app tour.

While producing a mural and mural project in the Route 66 town of Cuba, Missouri, she realized how important the Mother Road heritage was to them and how wonderful it would be to have a chain of murals down the entire length of the road. That is when she contacted the National Historic Route 66 Federation with her unique idea for the National Route 66 Mural Program. This program and partnership is still going strong today with the partnership of the same unique idea for mural art along the heritage highways of Canada. After 20 years what was a dream is now a reality as murals are a movement and a tourism and community renewal tool that Loughery saw decades ago, as the visionary artist she is.  The Wayfinder Project -ART ROUTE Blue is the connected mural route that joins the two countries of the USA and Canada and meets at the Peace arch in an inclusive root to route mural story trail that all communities can connect to.

A legacy art highway vision that Loughery saw in 2001.

This history started decades ago and a strong group of like minded art highway champions have been pushing this creative boulder for a very long time. Using public Art as Wayfinder signage strategy is an idea Artist Loughery created in British Columbia as a model to include all those disconnected to the systems to get connected. In the creation of the whole Wayfinder ARTWORKS system Lougherys projects were the catalyst for millions in economic community and tourism infrastructure and the innovations of her community projects are legendary. Covid 19 has bought much urgency to renew and this project has the legs to be part of the Creative recovery story as we heal from a global pandemic. a Creative Community Model called Wayfinder Rural Creates and a connected overarching Highway connecting community art path that in the ancient wayfinding way uses iconic creation, social justice experiences and community inclusive projects to support people, place and planet..and her passion for making sure the creative people maintain their place in the economics of a creative infrastructure.

Route 99 Alliance Quest to Establish a Consortium of Partners…and how the blue was formed…


Words of QUEEN OF THE HIGHWAY & TRAVEL WRITER LORRIE FLEMING

Over the course of a 5-year timespan (2004-08), an enthusiastic group of Highway 99 devotees & Historic Road buffs worked collaboratively to form a consortium of partners to establish & incorporate the preservation of the Old Route 99 roadbed to become dedicated & declared as Historic Heritage status.  This involved a northern corridor spanning the Mexican Border at Calexico through (3) States CA, OR, WA and (1) Canadian Province BC to revitalize the ultimate cross border heritage highway experience.  

Through a bloodline of the famed US Mother Road, several Historic highway stewards worked together in pursuit of forming an International Route 99 Alliance to replace the retiring Highway 99 Society registered in Bakersfield, CA under the auspices of Art & Pam Carlock.  Over the course of this 4-5-year endeavor, many partners of joint & shared interests sought to acquire seed funding to set the Route 99 Alliance in motion, covering 3 states and BC province.  Notable participants:  The Carlock’s, Jim Conkle, Bruce Clark, Russ Connelly, (Mike Ballard & Joel Windmiller who both later resigned) and Lorrie & Bob in collaboration with Councillor Judy Higginbotham of Surrey and Master Muralist Michelle Loughery of Vernon, BC.

Back In 2002, Michelle kick started the Official Route 66 Mural City designation project in Cuba, Missouri; and she shared with me her vision of connecting us all on an Art Highway thematic overarching brand on a two-nation cultural designation! During this time Loughery was engaged with to create the extremely successful Canadian Country Music Mural Project in Merritt, BC. During the projects, extremely successful period the BC Legacy Highway project signed an agreement with the Province of BC to build an road to the Olympic Legacy Project. The province engaged in an MOU and collaborate on a branding package and an at risk indigenous youth charity was formed. Unfortunate at the time, the economy took a hit and the project was stalled..

Then an introductory meeting in 2004 facilitated by Surrey Heritage Councillor Higginbotham, a few Route 66 aficionados, culminated at Surrey City Hall to brainstorm ideas of designating portions of the Old King George Highway (aka Route 99) as heritage status.

Councillor Higginbotham called a subsequent meeting with Mayor Doug McCallum & council board members present; and the Carlock’s of Bakersfield CA were invited as special guests to determine the next steps in forming a Route 99 Alliance extending beyond borders. Councillor Higginbotham conducted a tour of the original Semiahmoo Trail built in 1874-75 to link New Westminster with a settlement at the 49th parallel located in US territory where the present-day Blaine WA is situated.

Follow up sessions were held by Councillor Higginbotham which included interested CR66A folks present from Washington State (Judy & Paul Dexter), Surrey residents Bob & Marguerite McLean, Lorrie & Bob; and appearing by conference call Master Muralist Michelle Loughery all gathered to determine the next steps for Heritage Highway designation and funding for Arts & Cultural opportunities.

In 2006, A special luncheon session was held in Surrey BC collaboratively with Mayor & Council and invited guests present were: Jim Conkle of CA spokesperson for Route 66, Dr. Karl Schutz of Chemainus BC Mural Society along with Lorrie & Bob. This venue set the tone for a tangible future of Route 99 preservation on an international scale, drawing Art into the fold to enhance the journey.

In 2007, fellow CR66A members from Washington State Judy & Paul Dexter, Jim Conkle of CA R66, Art Carlock of Bakersfield, Lorrie & Bob and April Moi of Hello North Tourism Society covering Dawson Creek at the Gateway to the Alaska Highway were invited to attend the Big Valley Conference in Sacramento CA to discuss the revival of the Route 99 Corridor. Our spirits were lifted by this meeting of Highway 99 Ambassadors which generated subsequent meetings in 2008 to form a committee dedicated to formulate & draft the Route 99 Alliance incorporation parameters. The interim members are listed on page 1, paragraph 3 written herein; and the Bylaw document & Mission Statement was drafted by Russ Connelly on behalf of the newly formed advisory committee.

In closing, timing is everything within this timeframe; and subsequently the City of Surrey had a Changing of the Guards with a newly appointed mayor & council which put a pause on the efforts of finalizing a Route 99 Alliance. This factor, coupled with the upcoming behemoth budgetary constraints of the 2010 Winter Olympics, tabled the Route 99 initiative (ART Legacy Route) (at that point in time).

Equipped & energized with a shared popular culture and interconnected crossroads, we stand together as one international gateway for humankind to widen the circle of life beyond borders. And following this heritage pathway, together we shall grow, stronger, diverse, and wiser through the course of time.

Footnote: 

Our original partners set the course in motion for the Alliance to travel into the future and devoted an incredible value for their time.  However, time speaks to age and sadly some of our beloved comrades are now deceased; and many have moved onward.  I take this opportunity to appreciate their efforts in reaching this milestone.   As prospect reopens the gates, may our remaining teammates be the mentors for our next generation of leaders to be willing and strive to regain the momentum to rejuvenate the Route 99 Alliance as in is now in the last years (AR:T ROUTE BLUE) the Alliance of Rural Tourism has been brought forward again and has been brought to many levels of provincial ministries, tourism sectors, regional districts and many more conversations and sharing as we push for the blue. Adding a digital twist has brought a multi layered employment dimension that is a true digital highway that creates a safe physical and digital journey to the plan!

Written as a summary of events leading up to the forming an International Route 99 Alliance…into AR:T ROUTE BLUE (Alliance of Rural Tourism)


COMMUNITY CALL OUT TO JOIN
Imagine the stories of the kaleidoscope of cultures being showcased, but keeping the content at home to grow the non profits and heritage art experiences at home. Imagine a road trip itinerary connected to the famous ROUTE 66 story, and extension of the power of the famed road combined with our Canadian Highways, and all nations trade routes.  Just imagine what you could see, experience and be part of.  Create art in your community and connect your story to ours……are your thoughts racing yet….well reach out to us.. lets talk.

AR:T CREATES- RENEWAL in times of Covid and beyond

One place of community art or mural at a time, one story at a time, one community at a time… connected communities join into movement along the highways. The creative connected trade routes. AR:T ROUTE BLUE is poised to become a connection  global creative community experience that supports artists and art non profits. THE BLUE MOVEMENT of “Indigenous Blue” is one of social CONNECTION through our creative abilities and common talents! Connected global digital art community conversations through our shared histories towards a connected creative future.

The highways and byways that connect us all with a collective lens. ART connects us all!

ROUTE 66 MURALS

While producing a mural and mural project in the Route 66 town of Cuba, Missouri, LOUGHERY realized how important the Mother Road heritage was to the incredible artist and community she as working with and how wonderful it would be to have a chain of murals down the entire length of the road. That is when she contacted the National Historic Route 66 Federation with her unique idea for the National Route 66 Mural Program. This program and partnership is still going strong today with the partnership of the same unique idea for mural art along the heritage highways of Canada. After 20 years what was a dream is now a reality as murals are a movement and a tourism and community renewal tool that Loughery saw decades ago, as the visionary artist she is.  The Wayfinder Project -ART ROUTE Blue is the connected mural route that joins the two countries of the USA and Canada and meets at the Peace arch in an inclusive root to route mural story trail that all communities can connect to.

A legacy art highway vision that Loughery saw in 2001. Then in 2005 when she signed a 3 million dollar contract to add the British Columbia communities to the connected highway trail and again in 2020 when the AR:T ROUTE BLUE 66/99 rebranded to an international ART ROUTE

FOLLOW US

MURAL HIGHWAY Dream

An ART ROUTE LEGACY trail dream come true one town at a time!

Not only did Loughery design & paint the first mural in Cuba, Missouri (depicting a Model T Ford long ago owned by a local bank president) with a local Cuba artist, she also inspired Viva Cuba ( Route 66 Mural City) that a program of murals was just the thing to put Cuba back on the map.  As Jill Barnett of Viva Cuba put it:  “Loughery gave us the vision that we could do a mural project that would not only transform ugly walls into public art but also increase tourism and economic growth”

For over three decades, one wall at a time, Artist Loughery has led artists, youth, government and communities in art creative placemaking and thematic brand experiences. Her mural projects were ground breaking in a social economic wayfinding signature philosophy that has changed thousands of youth lives and the ripple effect of the projects have been far-reaching and legacy leaving globally.

Considered a pioneer in her mural work by those who aided her in her global art projects and by the artists and at-risk youth who took their lives to the wall and by those who followed in her footsteps to pursue mural-based art and skills education in other communities. Loughery’s projects have helped communities raise millions of dollars while helping to reduce youth poverty and providing local youth with the skills needed to achieve their dreams.

Creating opportunities for youth and community artists to meaningfully participate in community building and community revitalization though community specific community art in the community realm, creative youth interventions and inclusions and true creative community placemaking based on a strong immigrant community skills base. A visionary, community connector and an artist whose passion for giving youth a voice was a key influencer in the mural movement globally today.

Artist Michelle Loughery Community WAYFINDER AR:T Concept  AR:T ROUTE BLUE( AR:T ROUTE 66/99 and ART ROUTE CANADA -Destination Mural Town) has deep roots in her small rural coal mining community. Since 1995 Loughery has been innovating wayfinding public art and heritage as a social community action building program, that has become a movement along the highways of Canada with many partnered communities, non profits, youth, elders and lead by a wonderful bunch of visionary artists and community visionaries.

The connected rural community AR:T in action to recovery, connecting creatives and infrastructure building both physically and digitally. Wayfinder Rural Creates is a model of award winning Community Development Artist Michelle Loughery and the strong team of Creative minds that have supported her art in action projects for over 30 years. A true art infrastructure creating consortium, now call AR:T ROUTE BLUE. This group has carried the dream of a highway connected art route for decades, and now as a support to recovery the dream has been given wings.

Artist Michelle Loughery Community AR:T Concept  AR:T ROUTE BLUE( AR:T ROUTE CANADA) has deep roots in her small rural coal mining community. Since 1995 Loughery has been innovating art and heritage as a social community action building program, that has become a movement along the highways of Canada with many partnered communities, non profits, youth, elders and lead by a wonderful bunch of visionary artists and community visionaries.

Community art will lead a rural connection, to help creatives, creative businesses and rural communities connect in an over arching narrative brand to support to new tourism in educational art and heritage infrastructure trail to support the work all of us must so to support recovery after the pandemic. It will take all of us working together as an ART ALLIANCE to create a drivable route that pays tribute to the past as it paves a future.

The connected rural community AR:T in action to recovery, connecting creatives and infrastructure building both physically and digitally. Wayfinder Rural Creates is a model of award winning Community Development Artist Michelle Loughery and the strong team of Creative minds that have supported her art in action projects for over 30 years. A true art infrastructure creating consortium, now call AR:T ROUTE BLUE. This group has carried the dream of a highway connected art route for decades, and now as a support to recovery the dream has been given wings.

A legacy art highway vision that Loughery and Fleming saw in 2001.

Harness the Global Street Art Mural Movement that Award winning Artist Loughery helped to Pioneer

WAYFINDER AR:T ROUTE CANADA-The heritage highways of Canada have been a common route for all and preserving the stories of the Highways through community art storytelling is an extension to the famed Route 66 and a gateway to Highway 1, the largest Highway in the world.

A true collaboration with many people, nations, creatives, nonprofits, businesses and all sectors. The project is inspired by ancient hand to land creative skills, that bridge cultures and people and the globe. The creative skills process combined with environmental and social tourism stewardship. Connecting communities with murals, digital public art, music, film, monuments and outdoor stewardship in communities along our global routes and highways.


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