Street Furniture Designed and Built by Local Artists Will Be Unveiled at Next Stop Holyoke

Following a Call for Art issued by the Planning and Economic Development Office, the City of Holyoke has selected a proposal submitted by local artists Kamil Peters and Michael Karmody to design and build street furniture that will remain available and periodically re-positioned throughout portions of Holyoke’s Innovation District.  Peters and Karmody are Holyoke-based artists and members of the Brick Coworkshop, a collaborative work environment that is home to artists, engineers, designers, and fabricators located downtown within the Wauregan Building at 420 Dwight Street.  The artwork will be unveiled throughout Next Stop Holyoke, happening October 9, 10 and 11: a weekend of art, sport, food, history, music and culture in Holyoke.

According to the selected proposal, the three pieces of street furniture will represent both Holyoke’s past and future by incorporating authentic rail track circa 1951 onto a tabular feature that will also serve as a docking location for a canopy. The furniture will be made of wood, steel, and concrete and is designed to be movable but weighted enough to not move too easily.

The Call for Art was issued in early August following an award of $7,500 in grant funding provided by the “TDI Places” Small Grants Program from MassDevelopment, a part of the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI).  The measure is meant to encourage “creative placemaking”, which is defined by The National Endowment for the Arts as “the process of leveraging the arts and engaging design to make communities more livable with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, a distinct sense of place, and vibrant local economies that together capitalize on their existing assets.”

MassDevelopment’s Transformative Development Initiative (TDI) seeks to enhance local public-private engagement and community identity, stimulate an improved quality of life for local residents, and spur increased investment and economic activity.  Holyoke earned one of ten Transformative District designations by MassDevelopment last year for the area located along and between Dwight, Appleton, Maple and Main Streets, encompassing most of the public and private projects happening within the City’s Urban Renewal Area.