Department of Small Interventions Strikes Again
Welcome signs are just one element of a hospitable environment. And they make a first impression too! Welcoming the old and the new: An impressive Hand-Painted sign now offers a warm welcome to Newburgh. An uninviting blank wall on Water Street in the City of Newburgh has new life. The concrete structure has been transformed into a beautiful work of art. The imperfections have been covered with a dark grey base etched with the phrase, “Welcome to the City of Newburgh.”
The hand-painted sign, adjacent to the entrance of the waterfront, greets visitors along a well-traveled artery into the city. The painting celebrates the city’s rich history and is meant to elicit pride in the community.“The wall is in fine physical shape, but over the years it has been discolored by the natural elements,” said Gas T&D Superintendent Brianna Peak, who helped coordinate this project with Director of Media Relations John Maserjian. “We have enriched an obtrusive wall in a prominent location near the Hudson River. Hundreds of residents and visitors who pass by this location on a daily basis are now greeted with an attractive welcoming sign that this city deserves.” The wall is 98 feet, 10 inches long and 12 feet high and required more than 25 gallons of paint.
The project was initiated by Naomi Hersson-Ringskog, founder of the nonprofit Dept. of Small Interventions and Pat Nunnari of King St Sign Co. She first saw photos of the site on Independence for Newburgh blog which sparked the idea. Hersson-Ringskog coordinated the project was a collaborative effort between with Central Hudson, the City of Newburgh, Orange County Citizens Foundation and five other local businesses to secure funding and resources.
The installation was painted by Pat Nunnari, a multi-generational Newburgh resident who has designed & painted many of the storefront signs along Liberty Street . “Welcome” is written in cursive with “City of Newburgh” displayed in traditional, heavy block lettering that is derived from old style signage. The design is influenced by the old ghost signs seen now faded on the sides of many buildings in Newburgh but with a modern twist. The installation will be protected with a clear-coat of anti-graffiti paint. More examples of Nunnari’s work can be found at http://www.patnunnari.com. “I wanted to create a design that is fresh but respectful of the past,” Nunnari said. “It fits the vibrancy of the city and acknowledges its golden age. I hope it ages over time to look as good as some of old faded signage seen around town.” Nunnari’s father, Joe, helped paint the dark grey background. He is a longtime Newburgh resident who expressed optimism in the city’s future.“This is an important gateway to the city, so I’m glad we were able to do this.” Joe Nunnari said.