Art with a purpose springing up in U City

The public art project along the Olive Link is the brainchild of UCity in Bloom's Judy Prange. 

There's something new and colorful in University City, something along Olive Boulevard, that's sure to catch your eye. It's an artistic endeavor with an important purpose.

Otis Davis and his sidekick, Princess, are a fixture near 81st and Olive.

"I spend a lot of time outside, I get tired of being in there," said Davis. "So I come outside, watch the cars, watch the neighborhood, watch the people go by."

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Davis, who visits Greater Love Adult Day Care five days a week, is the self-appointed watchdog of everything that goes on in these parts, but these days, the world he watches just got a little brighter.

"I see something that's colorful, you know, that's easy on the eye," said Davis.

The public art project along the Olive Link is the brainchild of UCity in Bloom's Judy Prange.

"When I drove along Olive, I thought 'How perfect, it's a canvas waiting to be painted,'" said Prange.

The project was funded by University City and is an effort to celebrate the community's diversity. It's also a nice way to spruce things up. Prange said it's been an amazing transformation for people who drive down Olive.

Seven local artists were commissioned to paint a total of ten utility boxes. Kim Kissinger-Marino painted two of them.

"The topic was diversity and felt like these characters could address that and communicate that message that we're all the same, but we're all different and that's really a good thing," said Kissinger-Marino.

Davis said the box in front of Greater Love Adult Day Care certainly brightens his day and he thinks it will do the same for the community.

"I think we need that right there, you know what I'm saying, because of what we are going through in our lives right now with the world and all of the chaos and stuff in it, that's soothing right there," said Davis.

You can check out University City's biggest art gallery along Olive Boulevard, plus meet the artists, next Sunday, Oct. 22 from 2 to 4 p.m. on the lawn of Centennial Gardens.

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