Lights, art, action
Folks will now be illuminated in the crosswalk in front of the Patchogue-Medford Library and PeraBell Food Bar when they cross Main Street.
And, in the bargain, treated to vibrant artwork at their feet, called “The Growth of Patchogue.”
The long-awaited lighted crosswalk system, a LightGuard Systems Inc. product that presents a lit trail along its borders when you push the cross button, was installed two weeks ago, said Patchogue Village trustee Lori Devlin. It had been sitting in the Department of Public Works for several years awaiting the upgraded crosswalk project.
Piano keys, comedy-and-tragedy masks, books, a shopping bag, utensils, a filmstrip and pen, brush and pencil, representing Patchogue Village by ArtSpace artist Dave Rogers, segue across. Rogers first approached Mayor Paul Pontieri about the idea last year. Through a Patchogue Arts Council grant and competition, he got the commission for the design that embodies Patchogue’s essence.
The lively design was inserted across the street last Wednesday, said Devlin, PAC president. “Dave mentioned that Baltimore did it; PAC put a call out,” she said. “And we narrowed it down. We decided Dave’s was the one we liked the best.”
“I got lucky on both ends,” said Rogers, a pubic artist with a mural gracing the Roe Walkway and a sculpture in the Patchogue Garden Club garden among other places. He’s producing a mural for a Harlem food bank and has sculptures in universities in China and Korea. He is also an oil painter.
“The mayor liked the idea and PAC liked the design. No other village or town has this. And we’ll have it in lights,” he said.
“It gives people the idea that we’re doing things different and moving forward all the time,” said Pontieri.
Rogers said the process to create the design took him about a week. “The longer you do public art, you do the designs easier,” he said. “When I originally approached the mayor I already had an idea to begin with. The village has been very supportive of the arts.” He had the arts concept and books in; the shopping bag and utensils represented Patchogue’s retail businesses and restaurants. The artwork is 6 by 40 feet.
“I designed it on a computer,” he said. “It gets printed on tiles in sections by a company that does this and then it’s melted into the ground a piece at a time.”
It did draw a crowd. “I watched,” Rogers said. “There were a lot of people who enjoyed it.”
Ever the entrepreneur, “I hope other villages and towns get jealous and call me,” he said.
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