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All aboard for art project

If there’s one thing downtown Suffolk could definitely use — OK, two things — it’s new life for older buildings and maybe even a splash of color.

A new large-scale public art project announced this week will accomplish both of those.

Suffolk’s Premier Art, Retail and Cultural Initiative announced this week it will accept submissions for 24 pop-up murals that will be temporarily installed over window openings on the Northwestern Train Station, a boarded-up historic building on South Main Street.

Executive Director Carolyn Phillips said the building was chosen for its historic interest and proximity to downtown. And, we think, for the fact it’s currently vacant and is one of quite a number of buildings in downtown that could stand some new life breathed into them.

Those who are familiar with historic areas in general are familiar with the extraordinary limitations on all human activity within them. Everything from the type of business that may open to the type of sign that business may use to the color a homeowner may paint his home is regulated stringently.

But for this project, artists are asked to submit designs with any content or color scheme, as long as they are appropriate for public viewing. Permission and support for this project comes from all of the relevant city departments — including Economic Development and Planning and Community Development.

We’re glad to see that it seems the city has let its hair down and decided to allow a bit of color to invade downtown — and perhaps bring a bit of business in with it.

We’re definitely all aboard, and we hope this project and others under way by SPARC have the desired effect.