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Framingham’s Renaissance Man: Sorin Bica Dreams Big

Downtown Framingham Mural Project, 2015-2016.


TYPE

CYNTHIA ATWOOD: ALPHABET OF WEAPONS

THOMPSON GALLERY

CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL OF WESTON

45 GEORGIAN ROAD

WESTON, MASSACHUSETTS

By Brian Goslow

As visibility for an artwork goes, Sorin Bica’s mural alongside the MBTA Commuter Rail stop at the junction of Routes 126 and 135 in Framingham, Massachusetts is about as good as it gets. The Downtown (or Front Door) Framingham Mural Project artwork was painted over a total of two months, start- ing in August 2015 and seeing completion in the spring of 2016.

It’s an enticing spot for your eyes and draws you to the surrounding busi- nesses and architecture. “It’s always bright because of the colors,” Bica said. “There are lights above it, so you can see it at night.”

As part of his agreement to paint the mural, Bica agreed to return to restore the work should it be damaged. He’s had no problem with that requirement. “Public art should be permanent unless it’s declared to be temporary,” he said. “You don’t paint over the Mona Lisa.”

The work is intended to serve as a memorable gateway to the city’s down- town which, like many urban centers, hopes to be revitalized. “You paint the fence, then you paint the house,” Bica said. “Framingham has needed change for some time.”

It sits a few blocks from the Jonathan Maynard Building, the future home of Danforth Art, which recently survived a town vote to buy the building back from the organization when it had been unable to raise the funds for its agreed-upon purchase price. Instead, it was celebrating an agreement with Framingham State University to buy and renovate the build- ing for $4.5 million, giving the Danforth Art Museum and Danforth Art School a new permanent home. The Danforth ArtCenter at FSU is scheduled to open in 2019.

With two boys ages 13 and 9 (“who’ll soon be 14 and 10”), Bica puts great importance on ensuring that the city’s youth have access to explore their creativity. “Education and the arts are the most important thing to the young mind,” he said. “With the Danforth, you have an art school and art classes. You have to create a place for people to have interesting things to do. I have children, so it’s not just about me. It’s our kids’ future.”

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