Hoop Dreams

Wow. The basketball courts at Fargnoli Park on Smith Street have been repaired and repainted with results that should please both athletes and aesthetes. Which is to say: The courts look fabulous, and since the project came together through the efforts of Friends of Friars (and their newly created My Homecourt Providence), Friends of Fargnoli Park, and the city Parks & Rec department, it’s safe to assume the unorthodox surface is cool with basketballers as well. The artwork was curated by Providence College Galleries and executed by local artist Jim Drain.

Drain (RISD BFA — Sculpture ’98) was a member of Forcefield, a collective that explored the merging of music, performance film and installation into one platform. Forcefield was active from 1996 to 2002 and was part of the Whitney Biennial in 2002. It would appear that Mr. Drain is currently an adjunct professor at RISD in Textiles (while jetting around the world doing art).

We last wrote about Mr. Drain four years ago when Forcefield was featured in the What Nerve! exhibition at RISD.

From PC Galleries:

For this first court at Fargnoli Park, [PC Galleries curator Jamilee] Lacy has commissioned Providence native and internationally acclaimed artist Jim Drain to create a design for a basketball court mural. Lacy, along with the artist and Providence College students, spent months in communication with Elmhurst residents and players who most frequently use the courts at Fargnoli Park. The final design blends Drain’s signature aesthetic of kaleidoscopic color and form with dense geometric patterns inspired by athletic apparel fashion and international decorative styles found throughout the area.

What a swell park. In addition to the two basketball courts, there is a softball field, swing sets, natural wood climbing structures, and an old-timey cinder block out-building, all under the shade of towering oaks and London plane trees.

More at the ProJo.

Fargnoli Park, 945 Smith Street, (directions)

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