VIDEO: Local Artist Brings a Slice of Tuscany to Thoreau Street
Along Thoreau Street, there's a vision of Tuscany where an empty wall -- and an empty storefont -- used to be.
As the Brazilian street artists Os Gemeos’ splashy display of street art grabbed headlines around the Hub, a local teen went quietly to work on beautifying a plain brick façade next to a row of empty windows where a meat market recently held shop.
Sophie Germaine Paolino, an Acton native and student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, would look at the blank brick wall across from La Provence, where she ate often, and think of what could be.
“I like to add art everywhere that I can, and I thought I could add some to this wall,” said Paolino. But “thought” was the keyword of that statement until earlier this year, when she decided to put her paintbrush where her mind was.
After years of envisioning, she finally proposed painting the wall mid-way through her first year of art school, while eating at Thoreau Street’s sliver of France during her winter break. With approval from the DiGiovanni family, who own’s the building, she set out decorate the wall with a pastoral Tuscan landscape.
“I drew this up from a lot of pictures I took from Tuscany,” said Paolino. “It’s a culmination of some of my pictures. I took the picture of this balcony at one place, and then the hill wass a totally different location.”
Obviously the mural's rolling hills, fields, trees and terrace with life-size table and chairs livens up the brick wall and oft-empty parking lot. However, the 19-year-old artist was a bit hesitant about the piece, given the town’s tighthold on its history and the unpredictable reactions to street art in other areas.
“I was actually on the fence because I was unsure how people would feel. Especially being Concord it’s very historic, they don’t want a lot of this kind of stuff. But I think it makes the place better, and I think other people will think that, when they see it and realize that, you know, you have a blank wall, you can make it look better.”