|Figure 1: close up of the fence portion of What’s Your Story?|
On a hot, sunny Tuesday afternoon at the end of July, a large crowd of people gathered in the parking lot of Empire Loan on the Southside of Providence to celebrate the unveiling of a piece of public art. What’s Your Story? is a project designed by a team of students from Dr. Jorge Alvarez High School, and facilitated by designer and teaching artist Anna Snyder. The Steel Yard’s Public Projects team fabricated and installed the piece in conjunction with the Weld to Work program.
What we love about What’s Your Story? is that it is a true embodiment of art designed by and for the surrounding community. At the unveiling, many Southside residents joined the Mayor, school officials, and other art folks to celebrate the installation. Several of those in attendance had walked by every day while it was being installed; they asked questions, and contributed their own meaning to the piece. Overwhelmingly, the people who spend the most time there were so pleased to have something to brighten up the space. As Mayor Jorge Elorza said at the opening, “Art, and particularly public art, has a unique way of bringing people together”.
What’s Your Story? is a thought-provoking series of abstract shapes and strong colors, designed by the students through a process of story gathering and contemplation. There is a mural on the wall of the Empire Loan building as well as a steel mural that is bolted onto the chain link fence along the parking lot. The colors are carried onto the ground in front of the murals through paint, to create a really eye-grabbing space.
Go check it out for yourself!!
See more photos of What’s Your Story? here: http://thesteelyard.org/publicprojects/urb_pprojects
What’s Your Story? was funded by an ArtPlace grant, Providence Arts, Culture + Tourism and LISC Rhode Island, and created with community engagement assistance from Margie Butler and unique programming by Marta Martinez at RI Latino Arts.
Read more here!
Figure 2: Mayor Elorza addresses some of the high school artists who designed the art piece.
Figure 3: What’s Your Story? is now installed outside the Empire Loan building off of Broad Street.