SPark! Igniting Our Community
Public Art in Pynchon Plaza
SPark! Public Art Display – Project Description
Theme: Art should be literally or abstractly inspired by Springfield’s cultural and historical legacies, including past and/or present day residents, neighborhoods, cultural traditions and landmarks, places and landscapes, architecture, and other distinctive qualities that make the city a special place to live, work, and visit.
There are a total of eight (8) projects. Art should be inspired by Springfield’s people, cultures, places and historical legacies, which may include, but is not limited to, Springfield landscape, iconic architecture, people, or cultures and can be literal or creative/interpretive representations.
We encourage artists to utilize the theme in a way that ensures that Springfield residents are reflected in the artwork and have pride in the public art created through SPark!.
Please sign up to receive Springfield Cultural Partnership (SCP) e-newsletters and follow us on social media to receive more information about in-person, online and transcript versions of information sessions. To sign up for the SCP e-newsletter, join the creative directory, access the online application, follow us on social media and receive other updates, please visit www.SpringfieldCulture.Org.
Congratulations to the Artists Chosen for SPark! – Bringing Art to Pynchon Park Plaza
1. Roberley Bell (Pelham, MA): Artful Seating
Born in Greenfield Massachusetts, Bell received a BFA from University of Massachusetts and an MFA from the State University of New York College of Ceramics. She maintained a studio
in Holyoke, MA. Bell’s work centers on the production of sculpture and site-specific public projects.
Inspired by nature, Bell’s practice draws on the world around her, in particular the observation of nature and the built environment. Bell’s sculptures are embedded in the formal language of spatial composition. color, contrasting material, textures and distinctive form are all at play -straddling the space between representation and abstraction.
Bell has been awarded many fellowships including the New York Foundation for the Arts, a Pollock Krasner Fellowship, and a Senior Scholar Fulbright to Turkey.
2. Lauren Celini (Springfield, MA): Utility Art
Lauren Celini is a disabled multimedia artist from Philadelphia who strives to create unifying artwork that addresses our basic need to be seen and heard. Her career as a public artist began in 2015 following a serious health issue, it was then that she began to open her work to the public.
As a long time admirer of public art, she loved how walking down the street became like walking through a museum – ever inspiring, ever-changing, ever accessible. Though the inspiration of her work stems from a very personal space, her motivation to keep creating is to have a positive impact on the communities in which she works.
3. Jefferey Laura (Springfield, MA): Seating Sculpture
My name is Jeffrey Lara I’ve been a resident of Springfield since I was 11, I am currently 21, I’m currently planning on entering school for architecture. I own a design studio called Stoneyhill, its a spiritually based design studio.
Part of our focus is creating and developing functional installations and objects, that promote healing in form of light and color, as well as teaches the wisdom of spirituality. I’ve found great joy in hearing about the call due to the fact that part of the studios DNA is focusing on community-based installation and teachings that allow community members to have an easier time interconnecting with each other.
4. Beth Crawford (Springfield, MA): Sculpture
I have always believed in the power of art to change lives. I am especially committed to free public art as a way to inspire young people, to encourage thought and conversation and to bring communities together.
My goal is to bring solace, inspiration, peace and happiness to others who view my art. Our team is made up of three women who are committed to social justice and who have spent decades working to improve the lives of others in the fields of law and social work, and now through our art. We each have our own aesthetic, which compliments each other. We are all drawn to recycling and repurposing as part of a commitment to the world we will leave our children.
5. Ryan Murray (Springfield, MA): Fencing Art
I combine elements from pop culture, my photography, Google Earth stills, magazine collages, and social media into a digital image, which I then layer in Photoshop or Gimp. Once printed, I take them back to my home studio in Springfield where I make the intricate cuts by hand until my wrist gets sore.
This deliberate act of cutting by hand is both meditative and progressive. A social commentary I spend a lot of time exploring in my art is the underrepresentation of mental health in African-American communities, which leads to conversations on racial tensions in our country.
6. Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegría(Springfield, MA) & Michelle Falcón Fontánez (Boston, MA): Mosaic Art
Alvilda Sophia Anaya-Alegría, was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico and has a Master’s of Science in Economic Development, from Southern University of New Hampshire. She is a writer, poet, scholar, performer, muralist and installation artist.
In her quest to incorporate Urban Planning and Development, she collaborated with architects to design and paint murals and has also worked with museums to build Art History and Economic Development Architectural Installations and museographs and Architectural Murals, one in Springfield and another in Guayama, Puerto Rico, her birth place. Her poetry has been published in several newspapers in North America and Latin America.
Michelle Falcón Fontánez, is an award winning storyteller working in photography, film, theater and installation art. Michelle has witnessed and personally experienced injustices that have shaped her views of the world, motivating her pursuit of making change through art.
Her artistry has primarily focused on social issues, where she has created work to illuminate voices that have not been heard. Michelle’s early work, a women’s focused documentary on the impacts of the economic crisis of Puerto Rico before Hurricane María, has expanded her advocacy on Puerto Rico, establishing a group that supports entrepreneurship on the island through a yearly arts fundraiser.
7. Make-It Springfield Artists (Springfield, MA): Free Library Box
Make-It Springfield is a community incubator and workshop space for everyone to make, create & share their skills and tools.
Make-It provides a platform for community members of all backgrounds to learn new skills, build relationships, launch businesses & inspire one another. We strive for a community and city where everyone is inspired and empowered to make & create.
8. Acoustic Arts (Springfield, MA): Free Library Box
SPark! Video Tour is
Enjoy a virtual walk-through of each public space in this video.
A two-year public art project to envision and create public art that serves to connect our city, residents and visitors, that will transform recently reopened Pynchon Plaza into a vibrant public space!
- Collective process to imagine, select, and commission public art that celebrates Springfield’s citizens, culture and heritage.
- Use the arts to connect neighborhoods and people, creating equitable partnerships that demonstrate the power of civic engagement for more vibrant and livability communities.
- Turn an under-utilized urban park into a free outdoor art gallery that all city residents and visitors can experience as an inviting place to gather, socialize and enjoy their city.
- Improve physical access between neighborhoods by improving traffic patterns and pedestrian and public safety.
- Encourage tourism throughout the city.
SPark! Mural Design
In 2019, the current mural was created in part by residents and visitors during paint parties and finished by Common Wealth Murals and GoodSpace Murals. One of the largest murals in Springfield, it is adjacent to Pynchon Plaza.
SPark! Free Library Box
The placement of the Free Library Box will be located at 75 Dwight Street under the overhang in front of the Police Substation next door to Pynchon Plaza.
The Free Library Box will tie into the themes of literacy and potentially incorporate a Seuss or literacy theme. The Springfield City Library will help populate the free library box with books that move out of the libraries’ circulation for community members to “take one leave one”.
SPark! Pynchon Park Signs
The Pynchon Plaza signs (quantity of 2) serves as a park identification sign welcoming visitors to Pynchon Plaza.
The sign will include brief information about the history of Pynchon Plaza, the City’s Pynchon Plaza 2020 redevelopment and collective artists’/artwork installations.
One sign will be located at the Pynchon Plaza entrance on Dwight Street (when facing Pynchon Plaza from Dwight Street, on the left side garden bed). The second sign shall be located at the entrance to Pynchon Plaza on Chestnut Street closest to the elevator pathway (when facing Pynchon Plaza from Chestnut Street, on the left side garden bed).
SPark! Utility Art
Drain covers located throughout Pynchon Plaza will be used for small murals and artful design. There are 6 flat drain covers and 4 domed drain covers.
The theme of literacy, Springfield icons, directional art leading toward the Springfield Museums, Springfield Main Library and Main Street’s Springfield Central Cultural District should be considerations. Dr.Seuss themed art is preferred to connect Pynchon Plaza to the Springfield Museums.
SPark! Art Installation on Fencing
An artistic installation will be installed on the face of the fence covering the utilities boxes. The artwork (mural, mosaic, fiber, etc) will be framed in teak or similar material by the CIty of Springfield Parks Department and bolted to the front face of the fence.
SPark! Mosaic Design & Installation
Primary Location: Residential Property wall across Pynchon Plaza from and directly facing the Police Substation.
Optional Location: The location is next to the elevator’s bottom level at the Dwight Street entrance. Panels will be framed and installed by the City of Springfield Parks Department by bolting to the concrete wall.
SPark! 3D Pedestal Art/Sculpture
There are four (4) pedestals that are open for 3D art installations.
Size = Three of the pedestals are seventy-one (71) inches in diameter and one of the pedestals is forty-seven (47) inches in diameter.
Art can be sculpture, mosaic, solar lighting, sound sculpture, or other mediums of visual art.
SPark! Sound Sculpture
Sound sculpture examples can be found outside of the Springfield Museum’s Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts and at https://acousticarts.org.uk/.
Desirable locations are at the edges of flower beds within Pynchon Plaza.
SPark! Seating Art – Artful Seating Project Description
Artistic seating design will be placed between the Police Substation located at 75 Dwight Street and Pynchon Plaza.
Playful and artful designs that act as a community gathering space are encouraged.
Thank you to our funders!
Support for SPark! Igniting Our Community has been generously provided by: National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant & City of Springfield Community Development Block Grant!