Whole Foods to Sponsor Major Public Art Event

AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market based here will sponsor "Green Gates," a citywide public art exhibition that will showcase 100 12-foot gates designed by individual artists that will be installed in Austin city parks and green spaces on Earth Day, April 22, 2006.

Organized by Austin Green Art, a nonprofit environmental public art organization, Green Gates will be the city's biggest public art event to date.

Although individually designed, all Green Gates will address the artistic theme of environmental awareness, with an end goal of engaging Austin citizens in public art and to increase awareness of environmental issues.

"What makes this so exciting is that it is the perfect cultural fit for Austin," explains Cathy Cochran-Lewis, Austin community relations director for Whole Foods.

In a collaborative process, local artists, elementary school students, and businesses will design and create the 100 Green Gates. Of the 100 Green Gates to be exhibited, Whole Foods Market will underwrite the design, creation, and installation of up to 25 Green Gates created by local school children. Whole Foods Market will host three completed Green Gates at its flagship store in Austin.

To raise awareness of the Green Gates exhibition, Austin Green Art and a local restaurant group, Paggi House, are hosting a series of monthly concerts featuring popular Austin musicians.

Founded in 1980, Whole Foods Market is the world's leading natural and organic foods supermarket and America's first national certified organic grocer. In fiscal year 2005 the company had sales of $4.7 billion and currently has more than 180 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
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