[LOWELL, MA] - When the Lowell Folk Festival returns to downtown Lowell July 28-30th, visitors will enter festival areas past security blocks and barriers that have been transformed into works of art. The Cultural Affairs and Special Events Office (CASE) has teamed up with local artists to create public art from chunks of concrete as a creative approach to brighten the entries to the festival. 


Eighteen security blocks are being painted by artists Mary Hart, Alexandra Derderian and Ioana Singureanu. CASE provided funding for stipends and materials.

“With the City of Lowell owing much of its multi-cultural heritage to its immigrants, each pattern I selected is meant to honor individual immigrant groups without being too specific about the inspiration,” said artist Ioana Singureanu. “I'm happy to participate in this project and I hope other cities follow Lowell's example of creative integration of safety and art.” 


In addition to the concrete cubes, twelve jersey barriers will be painted by artist Bret Weese. 

“When you give the public something to look at, the way they interact with each other changes, making the community stronger,” said Weese. “If my work is to be defined, I would say it is inspired by the graffuturism movement, which is a more modern and contemporary fusing of abstract expressionism and graffiti.”  


“We are delighted to engage our local artists to create works of art out of basic construction blocks and in so doing, change perceptions about our safety measures,” said City Manager Kevin Murphy. “We look forward to continuing this program and to using these blocks to create a temporary art park when they are not in use for events.”


In addition, a metal storage container, placed in The Mill Yard in the Hamilton Canal Innovation District, will receive an artistic treatment.  The painted container will be used for events equipment storage for Mill Yard events such as Friday Nights, enhancing the area and serving as another piece of public art.