FOLEY – With the main mural that will be part of the Cat Alley display completed, work is now shifting to preparing the walkway as a public art space for downtown Foley.

The alley extends from West Laurel Avenue to Jessamine Street to the west of North McKenzie Street. Project supporters plan to develop the site as a public art space and event location.

On Friday, April 28, the CATalyst event kicked off the Cat Alley effort to promote public art in downtown.

During the afternoon, the internationally known artist ARCY created an 8-foot by 12-foot mural as spectators watched. The mural depicts one of the early steam locomotives that brought many early settlers to Foley. Representations of many of the crops grown by those farming settlers, potatoes, cucumbers and other 

After sketching out some of the work the night before, ARCY began work on the piece around noon. As audience members watched, he completed the mural before 4 p.m.

Darrelyn Dunmore, executive director of Foley Main Street, said the event went very well.

“The weather was perfect,” she said. “We had a good turnout around noon with people coming by to watch and it’s been very good.”

The celebration also included a performance by the band “Roman Street,” as well as food vendors and other displays.

Young artists also contributed to CATalyst with about 1,500 submissions in the Elementary School Cat Alley Art Contest by student artists from Foley Elementary and Mathis Elementary schools.

“We had a wonderful response from the students at the elementary schools,” Dunmore said. “We had 1,500 responses, which is just amazing.”

The students’ art will be on display at the Foley Arts Center on North McKenzie near the pedestrian bridge through May 6.

Dunmore said young artists have also been working on other murals that will be displayed along with ARCY’s mural in the alley.

She said some next steps will include electrical wiring and security cameras along the alley. A fence that blocked off a lot next to the site will also be removed and that parcel cleared to expand the public space at the site.

Foley Main Street and its community foundation works with existing businesses as well as new upcoming businesses to keep them strong and growing.  The group also works on projects that will enhance the downtown experience.

For more information about Foley Main Street visit .