project:

Arrivals Art + Infrastructure Project

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Winner of an open public competition, “Arrivals” is a public art + infrastructure project at the Mosher St. Underpass in Holyoke, Massachusetts. The project transforms a key gateway between downtown Holyoke and an adjacent residential neighborhood into a safe, inviting and creative attraction. The intention of the project is to contrast the singular image of the city with the multiple voices of residents’ arrival stories, and in doing so, capture Holyoke’s rich immigrant and migrant experience. The $35,000, CDBG-funded creative placemaking project is a direct response to the immediate context of its site, which is adjacent to the historic gateway to the city--H.H. Richardson’s former train station.  

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 Completed in August 2015, the project consists of a thirty-foot long LED-lit wall of digitally fabricated perforated panels that depict a historic Main Street scene. Set within the wall are three “story boxes” comprising English and Spanish excerpts of arrival stories gathered through a series of public engagement sessions. These stories are included in their entirety on an accompanying website, which has the capacity to be an ever-evolving archive of stories.

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With each successive wave of immigrants and migrants, its new inhabitants have redefined Holyoke. This project acknowledges that those diverse voices influence both the historic and the contemporary understanding of public space in the city. The work seeks not to simply beautify the underpass site, but to use art as a means to connect the aesthetic, historic, social and everyday perceptions of public art and public life.

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