Far-Out “Inside Out” Sequel Envisioned
by Paul Bass | Feb 14, 2013 1:56 pm
Posted to: Arts & Entertainment, Visual Arts, Upper State Street
A drab concrete high underpass may come to life again with community art—this time more permanently, with more people’s input.
That’s what Ben Berkowitz is hoping, anyway.
Last spring Berkowitz and a host of other east-side civic-doers decided that rather than complain about the way interstate highway overpasses divide and uglify New Haven’s neighborhoods, they would reclaim the barren stretches and bring them to life. They started with the I-91 underpass on State Street near Bradley. A posse of volunteers created a public-art project called “Inside Out NHV.” They took photos of everyday New Haveners and plastered them along the underpass. A second photographic mural subsequently went up on the walls of the Humphrey Street I-91 underpass.
Soon vandals defaced the State Street mural, sparking an extensive Independent readers’ discussion (of over 100 comments) about the definition of true community art. Meanwhile, volunteers tried repaired the damage.
The elements proved a bigger challenge. Mold eventually got the better of the pictures. The exhibition, never intended to be permanent, came down a few months ago. Pictured: A new message chalked onto the wall.
Tags: inside out, ben berkowitz
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I think the temporary Inside/Out project will be a great launching point for a really inclusive, well thought-out permanent project.
ConnDOT has been very responsive and progressive in letting the community use their walls, and the City’s ready to lend our sidewalk, street and maintenance support.
Turning these underpasses from liabilities to assets for the surrounding neighborhoods is a great idea. The planning needs to be inclusive, but I also encourage it to be ambitious. Use the sidewalks and even the road, perhaps. I’m excited to see what people come up with…