There is a window on Broad Street that gives passersby a glimpse at vibrant colors and beautiful images.
And a time when many people are divided by social issues, this one window at least is a cause to smile and to reminded to love one another.
The window belongs to the Rome Area Council for the Arts and is located at 305 Broad Street, a location it shares with the Rome Area History Center.
The RACA window is filled with several vibrantly colored paintings done by local artists and students. Each tells a unique story in the themes it portrays, the colors it features and the way in which it is interpreted by the public.
“Those pieces are actually from our Heart Health Awareness project a few months ago,” said Ali Booker, RACA’s director. “Those are the paintings that were featured on the banners we hung in the 3rd Avenue parking deck.”
At the time, the paintings were created by various locals who were given the task of simply creating an image that, to them, said heart health. It was their interpretation of what heart health meant.
But that was before the coronavirus pandemic and before the recent racial tension across the country.
Now it seems the paintings illustrating love, care, health and community have taken on new meaning.
“It’s very cool how the paintings have now taken on new life,” Booker said. “They were meant to be a part of our heart health project but today you look at them and they remind us to take care of others and to take care of ourselves and to spread love. Some of them illustrate unique nature themes. And right now when people are getting into nature more to avoid big crowds, that’s a reminder to take care of nature and the environment.”
The paintings are on display for the public to see as they drive or walk by the RACA office and Booker said they’re available for purchase as well.
She hopes that the display can keep art in the forefront of the community’s thoughts as we move forward in these uncertain times.
“We’re in the process of planning new ways to view art and to highlight local artists,” she said. “In times of crisis, art is unfortunately one of the first things that takes a hit. We want to keep artists, especially our local artists, in people’s minds.”
Booker praised the Rome community for its willingness to support art in a variety of forms — the The Rome International Film Festival, Rome Little Theatre, the Shakespeare Festival as well independent artists and crafters.
She said this is a pivotal time for the RACA board of directors as they work toward fresh and innovative programming that will allow them to keep supporting the arts in Rome.