City department heads and Mayor Tom DeBaun spent the morning painting the spaces with stars, stripes, bear paws and a map of Indiana -- all a way to "bring art to nontraditional arts spaces," as DeBaun put it.
Gaye McKenney of the Shelby Arts Alliance and Street Commissioner Jennifer Jones spearheaded the project. McKenney praised DeBaun's administration for its support of the arts.
"This administration has gone above and beyond in supporting the arts," McKenney said, noting the parks department's Music in the Park series and the street department's support of the painted crosswalks initiative, among others.
"Any time you can interject art into people's lives, it's a positive thing," DeBaun said.
McKenney said she and Jones came up with the designs for the parking spaces. The bear paws are a nod to the Bears of Blue River; the map of Indiana with a star representing Shelbyville shows the city's pride; and the stars and stripes are a celebration of American pride.
By painting the stars in a space at one end of the row and the stripes at the other end, the design shows a respect for the American flag by not simply painting a flag that people would be parking on, McKenney said.
McKenney said the painting projects are a positive influence on the community.
"I get calls and messages when they're out painting, people stop to look," she said. "It's just such a surprise (to see that art); it puts a smile on your face."
It's a good team-building exercise for the department heads as well, DeBaun said.
By using asphalt paint, the hope is the designs will last up to a year.