Artist uses color to revive skate park

Artist uses color to revive skate park

When artist Brian Trainor saw the “scary” appearance of the Glocester Memorial Park skate park, he took matters into his own hands. Using bright, warm colors, Trainor painted the park to have a friendly feel. (Breeze photos by Jacquelyn Moorehead)

GLOCESTER – Working under an orange umbrella of “genuine man-made shade,” artist Brian Trainor painted bright spots on top of a coat of “happy-face yellow” paint at Glocester Memorial Park’s skate park.

While he volunteered his time to paint the sign for the town’s senior center, located at 52 Adelaide Road, he noticed people driving by the skate park behind the center.

Trainor, who moved to Chepachet last year, said he noticed gray patches of paint on the skate park’s ramps that were covered in old graffiti. He said the park was in a general sense of disrepair.

“It had a really scary, dirty look to it,” Trainor said.

Trainor decided to volunteer his time and paint supplies to get the park looking its best. He said he acquired the majority of the paint he’s using at an end-of-the-year clearance. He said he likes to use all the colors in his palette and has found the work of reviving the park to be very rewarding.

“I want to be able to bring people into the community with art,” Trainor said.

At the beginning of the year, Trainor approached the Town Council to request permission to paint the park with warm, welcoming pops of color. To him, painting the park was about giving Glocester residents a sense of pride and a reason to come to this amenity.

Trainor’s work on the park started at the beginning of summer. While painting, he said he’s received numerous inquiries from children and parents about his motivation.

“I tell them, I say, because you deserve a better park,” Trainor said.

Making the skate park a clean, happy place is a way to give the children something to do and allow them to do it right, Trainor said.

The reaction to his work has been positive, he said, and he said the “overall well-mannered kids” in Glocester impress him. He said while curious, most children are happy to see the changes.

“I give them a smile and a wave and a little explanation why I’m doing this,” he said.

Trainor partnered with the town to have the Department of Public Works clear out brush so he could better access the park. He said he and the team were able to remove years of dirt and grime build-up to prep. Some 90 percent of the work on the park was preparation for painting.

After power-washing the ramps and surrounding buildings, Trainor got to work painting. He said he chose simple patterns that the DPW will be able to match and reproduce in the future.

His patterns include lava lamp-like blobs of color floating on a yellow background, green stripes to represent grass, and blocky plaid.

“I thought, I have a lot of paint and a lot of ideas,” he said.

Trainor also uses vinyl as a medium and decorates old bicycles that he places around town. A directory with each of the locations of the bikes can be found at the Glocester Manton Library, 1137 Putnam Pike.

He said the idea behind his bikes and the park is to show things differently with an emphasis on color.

Trainor moved to Chepachet after multiple artist residencies. His most recent was in Biscayne National Park in Florida where he photographed the Everglades. Similar to his work with the skate park, Trainor used light and color to give Biscayne Park a new, glowing appearance.

One of the bikes Trainor decorated in vinyl can be found in Glocester hanging in a tree.
Trainor painted easy to reproduce designs, like colorful camouflage on top of “Happy-face” yellow so DPW workers can maintain the park for years to come.