On October 14th, Providence College Galleries (PC–G) and the My HomeCourt initiative unveil Providence artist Jim Drain’s extraordinary floor mural on the basketball courts of Fargnoli Park in the Elmhurst neighborhood of Providence.
Established by Friends of Friars Basketball in collaboration with Providence College Galleries and the City of Providence Parks, My HomeCourt is an initiative that revitalizes public basketball courts and empowers the people who play on them. By restoring neglected courts and turning them into colorful, living works of art, collaborating organizations are able to create vibrant gathering places that become a source of pride for neighborhoods.
Working with lead funder Friends of Friars Basketball and producers City of Providence Parks and Project Backboard, PC–G Director and Curator Jamilee Lacy and other My HomeCourt collaborators plan to transform several local public basketball courts into works of art over the course of the next few years. For this first court at Fargnoli Park, 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.
Before the court mural is painted, Friends of Friars Basketball and City of Providence Parks replace and repair hoops, backboards, fencing and cracked and worn asphalt courts. The court painting is then overseen by the nationally acclaimed Project Backboard non-profit based in Los Angeles. Providence artist and entrepreneur Shawn Gilheeny of Providence Painted Signs consults. Dozens of volunteers from across the city of Providence, Providence College’s student body and alumni network, the community-service group Friends of Friars Basketball then come together to help paint the mural. The continued care and maintenance of the courts is supported by volunteer members of Friends of Fargnoli Park.
The official court unveiling is at 12pm Sunday, October 14th with a ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening media event at Fargnoli Park, 945 Smith St, Providence, RI.
ABOUT JIM DRAIN
Jim Drain is a multimedia artist based in Providence, RI. He graduated with a BFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1998. Drain 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. He has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, including at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles, California; University of Florida, Gainesville; Locust Projects in Miami, Florida; Blanton Museum at the University of Texas, Austin; Greene Naftali Gallery in New York; John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; David Risley Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark; and The Garage in Moscow, Russia. Drain’s work is in the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of Art; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Modern Art; The Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Drain was one of two receipients of the 2005 Baloise Prize and recently was recognized with artist Bhakti Baxter for creating “best public art projects in the nation” by the national advocacy group Americans for the Arts. With artist Naomi Fisher, Drain has received numerous grants for their artist run space, The Bas Fisher Invitational, most notably two from the Knight Foundation. Drain is represented by Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York and recently completed a project room exhibition at the PIT 2 in Los Angeles.