SPARC gets it done

Published 10:25 pm Friday, January 4, 2019

The SPARC Initiative continues to churn out good ideas to help improve downtown Suffolk’s image.

SPARC, which stands for “Suffolk’s Prime Arts, Retail and Culinary,” has been in operation for a little over a year and has hosted events, kicked off projects, created artist studio space and opened a shop for local artists to sell their wares.

Now they’re going “trashy” by looking for artists to paint metal planters and trashcans that currently dot the landscape of the historic downtown area. This project, if approved by the city and carried out, would serve to bring some color to a plain element of a plain commerce district.

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Funded by the Suffolk Foundation, this project will be viewable by more than 20,000 drivers who come through the downtown area every day as well as hundreds walking by them daily.

That’s a pretty good incentive for the artists to participate. Where else in Suffolk could they get that much exposure?

Applications for artists interested are being accepted through Jan. 31 or until budgeted funding is fully allocated. Those interested can email Carolyn Phillips at and include details on their qualifications and their ideas for color scheme and imagery (which must, of course, be appropriate for public viewing).

We applaud SPARC, its founder Ed Beardsley and its executive director, Carolyn Phillips. In only about a year of operation, they have achieved so much, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.