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HousEART Murals Bring Hope To Abandonment

Thursday, August 05, 2010


It's a collaboration creating hope from abandonment. And the latest effort is set to be previewed tonight, Thursday August 5th, at 63 Kossuth Street in Olneyville.

It's the next mural by Lydia Stein in the HousEART Project. Smith Hill Community Development Corporation (SHCDC) Project Manager, Christian Calderone began HousEART in an effort to "bring life and color" to the neighborhood. HousEART is a community art movement, where housing associations and local artists teamed up to paint murals over the vacant homes that lined the neighborhood streets. SHCDC has recently purchased 24 closed or vacant Smith Hill properties, which they plan to restore and rent/sell at affordable prices. The HousEART project is a great opportunity for artists to transform rundown neighborhoods into art exhibits while they wait to be renovated.

HousEART pioneer Lydia Stein

Providence artist and community organizer, Lydia Stein was the first artist on the project and painted a mural on 16 Bernon St (left) last summer. "The (vacant) properties have blighted the community for such a long time," Stein said. "People are excited to see that something is being done." The community has embraced the project. People would drop in and help out, Stein said; the local ice cream man would stop by and give her free ice cream and even chat about Italian art history.

Stein's latest mural has just been finished on 63 Kossuth Street in Olneyville. The mural depicts the animal kingdom, an allegory for peace, she said. Its Grand Opening will take place Thursday, August 5th from 4:30-6pm. In conjunction with a celebration of the Manton Avenue Community Garden and the D'Abate Youth Garden Club in partnership with the Southside Community Land Trust, the event will be a neighborhood celebration, including a DJ and BBQ. (The rain date is Friday, August 6, 4:30-6pm.)

The murals are temporary and will only be on display until the buildings are renovated - about six months to a year. Afterward, the artwork done on the window panels and doors will be kept and displayed in a citywide art gallery.


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