Check & Mate! Dexter Training Ground Chess Tables

Two Young Folks battle it out on the newly installed Dexter Training Ground Chess Tables PHOTO CREDIT: Jenny Sparks

July 13th, 2017, crowds gathered at the Dexter Training Grounds in Providence, RI for the ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating a newly installed bocce court and three Public Projects chess tables! Folks in attendance couldn’t wait to start playing and enjoying the new additions to the park.

The Public Projects team hired Luke Montes and our most recent Weld to Work 2.0 graduates to fabricate the chess table bases and stools. The intricate and vibrant ceramic mosaic table tops were created by Nidal Fakhouri & Josh Rodriguez with help from friends and family. “This was a really exciting project for our team to collaborate with our ceramicist colleagues and friends and we’re looking forward to doing it again!” Said, PP Client Relations Manager, Jenny Sparks.

Nidal has been involved with the Steel Yard for over 10 years and has always wanted to incorporate tile work into Public Projects. “I am so excited to have installed my second Public Project, I think tile work is an excellent medium for public art and looking forward to more partnerships in the future! Plus, the chess tables are installed close to where I live and I can’t wait to enjoy them!” Nidal explained every tile was individually hand- made out of porcelain, fired in an electric kiln and then hand glazed. He went on to explain, the internal patterns for the table tops are tumbling block, a common pattern for quilting and tiles, whereas the outer pattern is an Islamic pattern that pays homage to Nidal’s heritage.

This new project and installation was funded by the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA) through a generous donation from the Jeffrey Family. Gilda Jeffrey and her family are impassioned philanthropists with long standing roots in the neighborhood and this project is just one example of their commitment and lasting impact to the park and community. The WBNA,  organizes neighbors and businesses on the West Side of Providence to preserve and promote our diverse, historic, urban community as a safe, vibrant, and sustainable place to be SWELL (Shop, Work, Eat, Live, and Learn locally).

The chess tables and bocce court join the Public Projects bulletin board, recently revamped with a new coat of paint to match the chess tables, with a brand new sign created by Providence Painted Signs. The concrete bases were installed by the Providence Parks Department.

These projects, which involved so many intricate and meaningful partnerships that result in a long term free and publicly accessible as well as functional piece of art is why what our Public Projects department is all about. Congratulations and thank you to everyone involved!

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