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Tour the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven

Many of you have followed along with me this past year as I have volunteered with the Building on Hope renovation of the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven. My responsibilities included designing the lobby of the building. I knew from the start the lobby is what makes the first impression. Therefore, I wanted to include custom elements and artwork in the Nashua PAL.

Earlier this month was the virtual Grand Reveal. As with nearly everything this year, this project experienced a lot of surprises. Typically, a Building on Hope project involves an intense 10-day period of all hands on deck to complete the renovation. This year, to protect the health and safety of volunteers and the community, the renovations were completed in phases throughout the year. The grand reveal, originally planned for May, took place virtually on Thursday, December 17. If you’ve enjoyed hearing about this project, check out this virtual tour of the space.

While working on this project, I had the pleasure of meeting many talented designers, contractors, and builders. I have introduced some of them to you on this blog, such as Lisa Law, Kelly Murphy, and Denyne Sanville. I was truly inspired by all the members of my local community who came together and donated their time and skills to this project. All that was on top of my inspiration for the Nashua PAL staff, who all do an amazing job for our community.

Here is some of the artwork at the Nashua PAL.

PAL Logo Needlepunch Pieces
Since this space is dedicated to young people, I liked the idea of something soft in the space. I took the PAL logo and deconstructed it into four separate squar, intended to hang together. I needlepunched this design with wool on cotton canvas. The softness of the art brings a comforting vibe to the lobby.

Original Block Prints
I created a series of original block prints to hang in a stairway for a splash of color and pattern in an otherwise less decorated area of the building.

Custom Printed Cushions
Last winter I went to PAL to draw with a group of kids. I talked about my career as a textile designer, showed them examples of fabric designs, and we all drew together. Back at my studio, I turned those drawings into patterns. Thanks to my partner, LDI Interiors, those designs are on cushions in the lobby. I also had custom wallpaper printed with the Nashua PAL logo for an accent wall.

Officer Plaques
It was important to me to acknowledge the different police officers who commit themselves to the work at the Youth Safe Haven. I created individual plaques for each officer to hang together in the lobby.

Tile Mosaic
By far, the most ambitious of my art projects! I wanted the lobby to have a big statement piece and created an original mosaic. The project began by enlarging the PAL logo and recreating it out of tiny half-inch sized tiles for a 6′ x 4′ piece. I like small, detailed work and actually found it quite meditative to make, once I got the hang of it. Transported and installed, I did the final grouting in the lobby.

Officer plaques with mosiac • Close up of mosaid.

It has been inspiring to work on this project. The work the Nashua PAL does in Nashua is critical to building trust within the community.

Join me in supporting the Nashua PAL.

If you have been inspired by this project, I encourage you all to join me in supporting the Nashua PAL Youth Safe Haven with a financial contribution. Together, we can help them start 2021 in a beautiful new building and on strong financial footing.

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Kristin Crane

Kristin Crane has designed jacquard designs for the home furnishing and residential jobber market for many years, with mills in the US and in China. Today, she writes about pattern and design trends for Design Pool from her home in Providence, Rhode Island. When not writing about fabric, she can be found weaving in her home studio or hiking along the Rhode Island coast.


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