Rain or snow showers this evening will give way to clearing overnight. Low 27F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 40%..
Rain or snow showers this evening will give way to clearing overnight. Low 27F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 40%.
Updated: November 18, 2022 @ 4:14 pm
Shorey
Shorey
I don’t often give my opinions on local matters, for obvious reasons as a journalist, but I’ll occasionally make an exception to talk about the importance of local journalism or bring up something everyone should get behind (like not littering!).
This week’s no-brainer (who knows, maybe I’ll make this a regular thing) is public art. It’s interesting, beautiful, creates a unique sense of place in the communities where it’s found, and generally discourages graffiti and the feeling of neglect or not caring that leads vandals to believe everything is their canvas.
We want to live in places with a point of view and story to tell, and art tells stories and creates interest like nothing else can. Adding it makes streets look less basic and cookie-cutter, and more like people care.
Last week, our reporter Zack DeLuca wrote about Pawtucket continuing to lead the way on creating a sense of place through a public/private arts initiative. He mentioned the city’s paintbox initiative, something I’ve long been a fan of, as part of that story.
I was around to cover the beginning of Pawtucket’s paintbox initiative in 2014, when the idea of transforming those ugly silver electric boxes had barely come together. To see the difference today, with prolific Pawtucket artist Paris Fisher responsible for the largest share of art pieces, is remarkable.
Murals have also become big in Pawtucket of late, with the downtown now experiencing a whole new vibe because of it.
In Pawtucket, artwork must be original, artists must avoid dark palettes to prevent boxes from overheating in the sun, and designs may be representational or abstract but must respond to the urban context and be appropriate given the location and audience.
This week I asked Cumberland Mayor Jeff Mutter whether he’s ever contemplated anything similar, and though that town’s efforts on public art appear to the be in the early stages, I was happy to hear that it’s a priority to him and that he and his team have spoken to an artist who completed art in Central Falls and Pawtucket about bringing some of it to Diamond Hill Park.
Though it sounded like a Cumberland utility box-as-art initiative is more in its infancy, it was also great to hear that those ugly electric boxes might also get a fresh look. I can only imagine how creative we could get with those boxes at the new roundabouts.
Give me all of that seasonal creep
While much of the populace moans and groans when the Christmas decorations hit the stores in early October, or the holiday tunes start playing shortly after that, I’m here for all of the seasonal creep.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be stockpiling decorations now or consistently tuning my headphones to songs about roasting chestnuts, but I love the reminder that my favorite season is coming. Some might feel rushed, like they can’t properly enjoy fall, but I’m OK with it. For a sentimental chap like myself, who’s not big on Halloween, it gives me a small taste of what’s to come after that.
Shorey has been the editor of The Valley Breeze Newspapers since 2017. When it comes to Christmas music, some of his favorites are the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Celine Dion.
Shorey
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