How Artwork Helps Cities Get better From Covid-19
Cities and towns use art and design to give inner cities a much needed shot of positivity and optimism when they are carefully reopened for business
Pablo Picasso is said to have said, "The purpose of art is to wash the dust of everyday life from our souls". This laundry has never been as necessary as anyone who has recently wandered through an abandoned city center can attest.
A stroll through the center of Huddersfield on a Saturday morning shows a city flashing in the daylight, carefully picking up pieces from the past three months and carefully opening its doors to buyers. In an alley on New Street, the main shopping street, artist Rob Walker applies a light blue-green color to the masonry, while the word PRIDE appears in giant shadow letters. Passers-by stop to admire, at least three of them use the words "happy" or "happy". The response was overwhelmingly positive, says Walker: "It was" we need it "and" we deserved it "and in one case" why so chic? "Even with 2% of the negative responses, it felt" to have a platform to talk about things, "says Walker.
Elsewhere in town he has the words let's stick together, you painted that and hope. All of this is part of Huddersfield BID's (Business Improvement District) Tart Up The Town project, which installs window vinyls, street art, and floor graphics in six of the less attractive parts of the city center. The aim of the BID is "to develop and maintain a safe and attractive environment for visitors, residents and people who work in the city center", and how could this be done better than with art?