On the Ball! Davis School Gets a Splash of Color Before Summer

June 13, 2023
The bollards near the front entrance of Davis Elementary School got a facelift this month. Courtesy photo.

“I love this!”, “This makes me so happy!” and “Thank you so much for doing this!” are just a few of the comments Sarah Scoville and a crew of occasional volunteers heard as they worked on the newest art installation outside of Lt. Eleazer Davis Elementary School.

Volunteer Margo Boyd added a sun to one of the bollards. Scoville also added a frog in honor of the Davis School mascot to each design. Courtesy photo.

Scoville, a local mural artist, art instructor with the Bedford Recreation Department, and member of the Bedford School Committee spent the past two and a half weeks transforming the seven 30-inch spherical bollards that safeguard the main entrance walkway of Davis School from drab unadorned concrete to brightly painted colors with clean, bold, whimsical modern designs. 

Scoville said throughout the process of painting the bollards, “The biggest surprise for me was the nonstop positive energy. No matter when I painted, there was a constant flow of parents, teachers, students, neighbors, baseball families, or men’s basketball league players. The curiosity and the positive feedback were just awesome!”

The idea to brighten up the front of the elementary school that holds the town’s integrated preschool, kindergarten, first and second grades came from Davis School principal, Beth Benoit. Scoville is also the driving force behind the Bedford Utility Box Project. The Utility Box project is an effort to “brighten up Bedford in unexpected places.” With a limited number of Utility Boxes in town-controlled locations, Bedford Director of Facilities, Taissir Alani recommended Scoville check if any of the schools had unadorned boxes available. Benoit reported there were no boxes that she knew of, but she had always wanted the bollards painted. 

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Superintendent Philip Conrad had also been holding onto the vision. “I have been wanting to have [the bollards] painted since my arrival and with Sarah’s history of mural painting public places, I thought it was a great opportunity for all of us.” And with Conrad’s approval, Scoville got the ball rolling.

Scoville recruited adult volunteers and also invited some younger students to assist in painting. Courtesy photo.

Inspired by sculptures seen while visiting the campus of Northeastern University, and motivated to complete the project before school let out, Scoville recruited adult volunteers and also the hands of students Margo Boyd, Isabella and Audrey Rettman, Riley Levetin, Nina Sonpal, Lindsay and Justin Mark, and Violet Savoy to make her vision come to reality. 

Conrad said, “I am so excited that the bollards have been painted to match the spirit of the Davis School. I love the whimsical nature of each design and am excited that Sarah was able to complete this project with volunteer help!”

In response the comment, “This is so colorful!” Scoville said, “That’s my goal – to add color around town.” Scoville is currently helping oversee two new utility box designs and moving on to a senior center mural, but is keeping an eye out for more opportunities to create public art.

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Julia Whiteneck
June 14, 2023 10:24 am

Beautiful! What paint was used? I have a concrete project to do also

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