CHEERS to the city of Salem for hiring Deborah Greel as its first public art planner.
In her new position, Greel, a Salem resident, will work with the newly formed Public Arts Commission to tout a wide range of community art, including the acquisition of pieces for the city. She will also serve as a contact for city artists and help guide Salem’s public art policies.
The city made another smart move in having Greel take over management of Old Town Hall from Gordon College this September. Much of her $50,000-a-year salary will be paid for from revenues from weddings and other functions at the historic hall. Peabody Essex Museum is also contributing $5,000 a year to help pay for the position.
“It will be budget-neutral and not add to our bottom line,” said Dominick Pangallo, aide to Mayor Kimberley Driscoll.
In Greel, the city’s arts community is getting an experienced, enthusiastic supporter. She previously served as director of Salem Main Streets and for the past eight years has led the Marblehead Arts Association, seeing the organization grow to include more than 500 artists from 35 communities and seven states.
“Getting Ms. Greel for this position is a coup for Salem,” City Councilor Josh Turiel said. “This will help us become a premier arts destination in the Boston area.”
We agree and offer Greel a hearty welcome back.
JEERS to the thieves who stole two decorative urns from Beverly’s Vittori-Rocci Post over Memorial Day weekend.
The urns are each about 2 feet tall and weigh 100 pounds, and until they were swiped, they sat on either side of the stone memorial dedicated to all the city’s veterans.
Dominic Carnevale, a 92-year-old World War II veteran, has been planting flowers in the urns every Memorial Day for three decades.