Two long-separated neighborhoods may soon be rejoined by branching shadows, or a warm orange glow, or high-flying kites.
Those are three of five options for the future of dreary highway underpass on Humphrey Street.
The underpass is currently a bleak passageway connecting East Rock and Jocelyn Square. Neighbors hope to turn it into a colorful and inviting corridor.
That’s the goal of the Under 91 Project, an effort to install some kind of public art in the underpass. Organizers put out a call for submissions, to gather proposals from artists who might be able to help reclaim the space.
Of the submissions collected, five finalists have been selected. Voting is now open online, to pick the winner. Under 91 is also holding an in-person voting event at the underpass on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Click here to see the finalists and cast your e-ballot.
The finalists are:
Hi Crew, Damian Paglia, and Alberto Colon: This proposal comprises a combination of the work of several artists. Hi Crew does graffiti murals, most famously on Water Street. Paglia would create a mural with the word “LOVE” as a theme. Colon is know for his abstract swirls. Their proposal is called “Bright Big Wall.”
Phil Lique would connect the two neighborhoods with a color gradient, from orange to yellow. The installation, dubbed “Bright Pass” would cover not just the walls but the ceiling of the underpass.
Giada Crispiels wants to “recreate a little Eden, where a forest takes over the urban structures and spaces in our cities and the landscape changes back into nature.” Treee shadows would be painted on the walls of the underpass and people would be asked to add leaves and flowers with chalk every spring. Her idea is called “Urban Shadows of Nature.”
Cat Balco has created a number large patterned murals in New Haven, including in the lobby of 360 State (pictured). With community input and participation, she would paint a colorful band to connect East Rock and Jocelyn Square.
Rachel Paupeck would decorate the underpass with images of kites flying on strings. “This work narrates the idea that out of an object that is seemingly flimsy and awkward, a kite, when paired with that off our peers, something really powerful and magical can occur.”