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Public art project shining light on Uncle Sam

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Albany/HV: Public art project shining light on Uncle Sam
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If you don't remember who Uncle Sam is, the City of Troy is getting ready to remind you. Our Lori Chung has more on a new public art project, shining the spotlight on the Collar City's favorite hometown hero.

TROY, N.Y. -- "It's a very important piece of art that I get to do," photographer John Bulmer said.

Bulmer is among 30 artists now getting put their stamp on Troy, with a little help from the man that made a mark of his own on the Collar City.

Bulmer said, "I have a plan. I'm roughly basing it on about 200 photos of downtown Troy."

It's part of a major public art project by the downtown bid.

"I thought it would be interesting to stand in public places over the next couple of months," artist Geoffrey Raymond said.

Plans for each statue as different as the artist.

Raymond, said, "Hand people magic markers, let them write their version of the history of Troy on the sculpture."

Uncle Sam, hometown hero, offered up as a blank canvas to promote the city and its history.

"Uncle Sam is a wonderful part of the history of Troy, something that no one else can claim. We are the home of Uncle Sam," said Elizabeth Young, Downtown Troy BID Executive Director.

"We're connecting our past to the current and with these 30 statues of Uncle Sam and the artists, this will be the last time they all look alike," Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia said.

By the spring, the Uncle Sam statues will find their homes all over the streets of Troy, meaning anyone who comes here will be reminded of who Uncle Sam was and why he's important here.

"A traditional symbol of Americana,” Young said. “Everyone can picture that ‘I want you’ poster which is so famous."

And Troy, his birthplace, with local businesses pitching in to sponsor statues and the artists decorating them, creating a world of possibilities for the artists lucky enough to participate.

Bulmer said, "I'm down here every day, so to have it down here every day and walk by it and see it, it's very important."

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