Something Fishy About
Sun staff report
LOWELL -- Constructed of steel and concrete, city parking garages aren’t exactly comfortable, inviting environments.
That’s about to change, however, at least in one city garage.
The Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) and the Lowell Cultural Affairs and Special Events (CASE) partnered this week to introduce a new public art piece to one of the city’s downtown parking garages -- “The Fish” mural that celebrates the city’s waterways, history, and arts and culture.
The piece by Lowell-based Brazilian artist Lineu Zaderski had been housed in COOL’s previous office location on Merrimack Street. With COOL’s move to their new office in Mill No. 5 this month, it was the perfect time for COOL and CASE to install the piece just inside the entranceway of the Leo Roy Garage on Market Street, where it now greets commuters coming into the parking facility.
The piece of art was commissioned through a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts in 2011, and stemmed from a collaboration of several organizations brought together by COOL, including the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, local schools, and downtown museums and arts organizations.
The featured piece by Zaderski was first unveiled at Riverfest in 2011 as a celebration of the benefits of the rivers throughout the Merrimack Valley.
A graduate of Middlesex Community College, Zaderski’s work is characterized by large and colorful geometric shapes defined by thick and smooth black lines a la Picasso or Haring. He has worked in lithography and with a variety of media, but finds acrylics represent his ideas best.
“We were thrilled to be able to reintroduce a terrific piece of artwork back into the community, to help brighten a corner of one of the city’s parking facilities,” said COOL Co-Chairperson Patrick Cook. “We recently moved the COOL office into new space at Mill No. 5, providing a great opportunity to showcase the piece to the public it was created for with the NEFA grant. Working hand-in-glove with the city of Lowell, we were able to quickly and easily identify a space that would serve as a showcase for the piece, but also help beautify a facility, while creating a warm, welcoming entrance for visitors to the downtown. All in all, “The Fish” collaboration with the city of Lowell went swimmingly.”
“The Fish art piece on display in the Roy Garage is a cooperative, creative effort between the City and the Cultural Organization of Lowell (COOL) to bring art to unexpected places,” said Lowell Mayor William Samaras. “We are delighted to work with COOL to bring it to the Roy Garage where it now brightens what is typically a drab environment, greeting residents, business people and visitors as they arrive and leave downtown Lowell. We look forward to continuing public art installations in cooperation with COOL.”