By Rich Place
Students with one of Springville Center for the Arts’ summer classes were joined by a handful of volunteers to create one last display of art for the community as part of the Public Art Corps workshop.
Led by Francesca Rosati, SCA’s visual arts resident and intern for the summer, a group spent several hours last Friday and Monday painting mural on the Springville Pop Warner Rail-Trail near Eaton Street behind Slippy’s Collision.
The project is a more permanent display of public art and joins the wrapped polka-dotted trees on Mechanic Street and the pool noodle art on fencing at the spray park on Franklin Street. Final art projects were expected to take place on a smaller scale Wednesday throughout the village as part of United Day of Caring.
“This is really nascent for us,” said Tracy Maybray, director of operations at SCA, using a term she said she got from SCA Director Seth Wochensky. “I would like to see us be able to offer this workshop again next summer for kids. I’d like to be able to work with the village and do stuff that everyone is happy with, enhances our spaces and creates interest.”
Although SCA has offered summer workshops in years past, Maybray said this is the first year they brought in an intern dedicated to visual arts. Sessions throughout the summer included producing graphic novels, sculptures and these public art displays.
The Public Art Corps classes, which traditionally met on Wednesdays during the summer, had five students participate, Maybray said. She’s hoping the art seen around the village will entice youngsters to sign up for next summer’s expected classes.
“I hope that kids who see the fun projects we did this summer – when they see Public Art Corps come next summer — they’ll think about doing it,” she said.
Rosati, a Seattle, Wash., native who will be entering her final year at Rhode Island School of Design this fall, led the classes, including the mural painting this past week.
“This summer I had the goal of working very intensely as an art educator and just having the total initiative to have decisions to make and having the freedom to do that,” she said on Monday. “I could do the same thing in a much larger institution but I’d probably have a lot less say. Here, it’s amazing because they trust where I come from.”
Maybray and Rosati in mid-July presented ideas to the Springville Village Board that included when and where the public art would be displayed and what its content would be.
Rosati said original plans were to paint the mural on the Public Safety Building at 65 Franklin St. but the location was instead chosen on the Springville Pop Warner Rail-Trail.
“This fence ended up being a lot better because it’s a lot bigger,” she said. “It feels great (to do it) because we have been talking about this all summer.”
A group of nearly a dozen people comprised of SCA summer students and volunteers were at the site on Monday bringing Rosati’s paper sketch to life on the wall. They drew outlines of the design in chalk before painting the surface.
“For me coming in as an outsider, it’s really beautiful,” Rosati said about the Springville area. “I think the agriculture is the most beautiful part about this town so I really wanted to pay homage to that in the mural.”
Maybray was happy to see the permanency of this project specifically, as other projects like the tree wraps and the pool noodle art will eventually be coming down.
The SCA this summer also hosted a handful of workshops in other artistic mediums, including Nature + Art classes, media arts, performing arts and theater workshops.
For additional information on any of SCA’s workshop offerings and other events, visit springvillearts.org.