On Wednesday August 19th, 2015 at 4:30 PM, the City of Holyoke unveiled a public art project, “Arrivals,” under Mosher Street Rail Bridge. “Arrivals,” the selected proposal for the Mosher Street Underpass Art Project, transformed a key gateway between the flats neighborhood and downtown Holyoke into a safe, inviting and creative attraction.
The project consists of a 30 foot long glowing wall of light that depicts a historic scene of Main Street in Holyoke, punctuated by three vertical light boxes containing excerpts of local stories of arrival to the City. “The intention of the project is to contrast the singular image of the city with the multiple voices of residents’ arrival stories,” explained Joseph Krupczynski, one of the designers of the piece along with Caryn Brause. “The project is also responsive to the immediate context of the Mosher Street underpass, which is adjacent to the H.H. Richardson train station – one of the City’s great historic gateways – as well as Depot Square, which was the first and will be the next gateway for rail passengers to the City,” he said.
“Arrivals” captures Holyoke’s rich immigrant and migrant experience—the many stories of arrival that are shared by all Holyoke residents. The artists creating this project have captured those stories from families who arrived in Holyoke from 1890 to the present at several public input sessions that were conducted over the past few months.
“The installation is the work of Brause and Krupczynski of the Center for Design Engagement (CDE), both are also faculty members at the UMass Amherst Department of Architecture. The entire project, part of a competitive call for public art at the Mosher Street underpass, is funded by $35,000 allocated from a Community Development Block Grant as part of a larger improvement project to upgrade streetscapes at the intersection of Mosher and Main Streets.”
“I’m excited to be working on this project for so many reasons. The City of Holyoke is doing creative and ground-breaking work by considering art as an important part of public infrastructure,” said Caryn Brause. “The project also connects Holyoke’s past and the historic train station with its future in an art installation that showcases the advanced capabilities of some of the area’s fabricators.”
“The Mosher Street Underpass Art Project is yet another example of what public art does for a community,” Mayor Morse writes in his blog. “When completed, the ‘Arrivals’ project will have the effect of making this heavily-traveled pathway better lit and more inviting. For folks traveling from the downtown to the flats, it will provide something educational and interesting to look at.”