Art commission enriching Niles

Published 9:33 am Monday, February 1, 2016

Last week, Niles native Michael Hambouz returned to his hometown to discuss a topic that is growing interest in the City of Four Flags: art.

The now Brooklyn resident was featured in a special event Wednesday hosted by the Niles Public Arts Commission at the Niles District Library. Hambouz discussed how his series “Factory Made” was a sort of coping mechanism — a way to reconnect with his roots as he dealt with the loss of his mother, who lived in Niles.

The artist’s process to create his work is quite reflective of the impact art has across the board. Just as making his pieces offered Hambouz a way to dive into Niles, those who view the work are offered an outlet to do the same.

The event featuring Hambouz was the first of many similar events the art commission plans to host, and is representative of the council’s entire mission. As Chair Jeanne Watson noted last week, the seven members of the council have big plans for the city of Niles and ways art can connect not only its residents to downtown, but also people from out of town.

We tend to agree, and fully support the commission’s efforts.

Business leaders in downtown Niles have been working hard in recent years to increase traffic and make the business district the booming region it used to be, and based on the constant flow of new businesses, it seems to be working.

Other organizations like the Niles District Library, the Four Flags Chamber and the Downtown District Association have done a great job of coordinating events and activities to help expose all that Niles has to offer, which also seems to be making a big impact.

We feel the Niles Public Art Commission’s goals to bring more art to the city will not only enhance the progress made by these entities, but also enrich the culture of our beautiful city.

We know Niles has a lot to offer, and we want to broadcast that. It takes passionate, hard-working and dedicated individuals like the members of the Niles Public Art Commission to make a lasting difference in our community, and we feel fortunate to have such people dedicated to that mission.

Just as Michael Hambouz re-bonded with his hometown through “Factory Made,” we’re excited to connect to our town through the works of talented creatives native to our region.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.