Hopeful quotes from some memorable individuals are now artistically painted on business storefront windows in downtown Homewood, thanks to a project by the Homewood Art Commission.
According to HAC president Greg Loudon, the group initiated the project as a way to provide paying work to two local artists, while offering inspiration to people passing through downtown during a strange time to be alive.
The project was conceived as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic collapse.
“We’re always trying to find local talent and give them opportunities through the HAC,” Loudon said. “They’re not getting paid a lot for this, but we can provide something. We hope when people see how talented they are, they’ll get some other work out of it.”
Narita Sharma and Nina Harris are the two artists painting windows in downtown Homewood. The women both paint the artistic window signs seen at Bookie’s Bookstore.
“I was always jealous of Bookie’s windows,” said Loudon, who is owner of Bottle & Bottega, nearby Bookie’s on Ridge Road.
HAC is paying the artists each $200 for their work, and Loudon said the organization asked Homewood businesses that signed up for a window quote to provide a donation to pay the artists.
“We suggest a $20 donation for the (artists),” Loudon said. “Some businesses are doing right around there, and some are doing more.”
Sharma was recently found painting a quote sponsored by South Suburban Humane Society on a business window on Ridge Road.
The quote, from American anthropologist Margaret Mead, reads, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Sharma said the quotes offer a good opportunity to try to bring some joy to people’s days.
“I hope it makes people in Homewood feel more positive when they walk by and see it,” Sharma said.
Like images, quotes also lend themselves to interpretation by the reader, Loudon said, as everyone “takes it their own way.” He also mentioned how much artistic talent it requires to paint words, as the two artists must determine what fonts, spacing and overall design will have the greatest impact.
“They have a great sense of composition and how to display type artistically,” Loudon said.
So far nearly 20 businesses have requested a window quote. There’s no plan to remove them at any particular time, Loudon said.
“Hopefully they’ll outlast the pandemic, but we’ll see,” he said.