Bangor’s ‘Hopeful’ New Artwork, Meant to Get a Message across, has lit up – BoilingNews

On Thursday evening, a new piece of public art was unveiled in downtown Bangor, with the message to all residents of the region: be hopeful.

“Hopeful,” a permanent light-up electrical installation created by Yarmouth-based artist Charlie Hewitt, was installed Monday at 152 Main St. Main Street, and on Thursday United Way of Eastern Maine staff flipped the switch to turn it on for the to light up for the first time.

“It’s even bigger and better than I imagined. And it’s beautiful,” said Jesse Moriarty, Chief Operating and Experience Officer, who spearheaded the effort to bring the board to Bangor.

Moriarty said the entire purpose of the installation was summed up when the sign was installed Monday. She said a woman passed by and saw it being put on the building, and came to the crew in tears.

“She said, ‘I really needed this. Thank you so much,’” Moriarty said. “That’s what we want. We want those moments where people can see this and think to themselves, ‘It’s going to be okay. I can get through this. We can get through this.’”

Hewitt has already installed some of his “Hopeful” sculptures in Maine, including on the Speedwell Building on Forest Avenue in Portland, in the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, and on the side of the Bates Mill Complex in Lewiston. Hewitt says the image is meant to remind people to be hopeful and challenge them to make their communities a better place.

“Hopeful isn’t a gift — it’s a challenge,” Hewitt said in the installation’s city approval application. “Hopefully it takes action, it takes dedication. It is my wish that this sign will serve as a symbol to the people of Bangor as a message of hope and inspiration, and that it will provoke a dialogue and illuminate our better nature.”

When lit, the sign can be seen all the way to Main Street, as well as from the top floors of buildings in the city and from parts of Joshua Chamberlain Bridge and in Brewer.

United Way, along with Bangor Savings Bank, Cross Insurance and Bangor’s Commission on Cultural Development, managed to raise $33,000 in the spring and summer. The sign is manufactured at Neokraft Signs in Lewiston. The money paid for fabrication, installation in Bangor and ongoing maintenance.

The statue joins the “Welcome to Bangor” mural painted by Annette Dodd on the other side of 152 Main St., which is owned by Peter Brountas, who operates the Main Tavern. Also in that building is Robinson Ballet, whose Artistic Director, Stevie McGary, was there to watch the sign lighting.

“It’s a really cool feeling to be in a building that’s covered in art, and inside we’re also artistic,” she said.

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