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Photos: Downtown Fairbanks' freshly painted pipes

Downtown Fairbanks' newly painted pipes.
Left: Amy Nordrum, right: Suzanna Caldwell
Downtown Fairbanks' newly painted pipes.
Left: Amy Nordrum, right: Suzanna Caldwell
Downtown Fairbanks' newly painted pipes.
Left: Amy Nordrum, right: Suzanna Caldwell
Downtown Fairbanks' newly painted pipes.
Left: Amy Nordrum, right: Suzanna Caldwell
Downtown Fairbanks' newly painted pipes.
Left: Amy Nordrum, right: Suzanna Caldwell
Downtown Fairbanks' newly painted pipes.
Suzanna Caldwell photos

'ART IN THE HEART' MAKES A PLACE FOR UGLY FAIRBANKS PIPES

Sheri Olesen, owner of Chartreuse, a downtown art gallery and boutique, tried to encourage local artists to get a program going where some sort of Alaska-themed ceramic statue was painted, like horses in Lexington, Ky., or cows in Madison, Wisc. That didn't work out, but when out walking one day, she noticed the steam pipes.

"Well, what about painting these ugly steam pipes?" she said.

So Olesen, working with her group Project Fairbanks (a group looking to "make Fairbanks a little more awesome" according to Olesen), teamed up with the Downtown Association to paint the pipes.

About 60 designs were submitted. Thirteen were selected by a committee that deemed them "striking, professional and relevant to life in Fairbanks."

Read more: Finding a place for steam pipes in Fairbanks art project