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Amherst downtown artwork honors Emily Dickinson

  • Terry Mollner, left, Eileen Spira and Susan Bellak, all with Stakeholders Capital, pose outside their office on Main Street in Amherst with a utility box on the corner of Dickinson Street they were inspired to have painted with a quote of Emily Dickinson, whose homestead is just across the street behind them. The work was painted by Ezzell Floranina.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Terry Mollner, left, Eileen Spira and Susan Bellak, all with Stakeholders Capital, pose outside their office on Main Street in Amherst with a utility box on the corner of Dickinson Street they were inspired to have painted with a quote of Emily Dickinson, whose homestead is just across the street behind them. The work was painted by Ezzell Floranina.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Terry Mollner, left, Eileen Spira and Susan Bellak, all with Stakeholders Capital, pose outside their office on Main Street in Amherst with a utility box on the corner of Dickinson Street they were inspired to have painted with a quote of Emily Dickinson, whose homestead is just across the street behind them. The work was painted by Ezzell Floranina.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

    Terry Mollner, left, Eileen Spira and Susan Bellak, all with Stakeholders Capital, pose outside their office on Main Street in Amherst with a utility box on the corner of Dickinson Street they were inspired to have painted with a quote of Emily Dickinson, whose homestead is just across the street behind them. The work was painted by Ezzell Floranina.
    KEVIN GUTTING Purchase photo reprints »

  • Terry Mollner, left, Eileen Spira and Susan Bellak, all with Stakeholders Capital, pose outside their office on Main Street in Amherst with a utility box on the corner of Dickinson Street they were inspired to have painted with a quote of Emily Dickinson, whose homestead is just across the street behind them. The work was painted by Ezzell Floranina.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING
  • Terry Mollner, left, Eileen Spira and Susan Bellak, all with Stakeholders Capital, pose outside their office on Main Street in Amherst with a utility box on the corner of Dickinson Street they were inspired to have painted with a quote of Emily Dickinson, whose homestead is just across the street behind them. The work was painted by Ezzell Floranina.<br/>KEVIN GUTTING

A metal silhouette representation of her conversing with Robert Frost is located in the Gates lot on Main Street, next to Sweetser Park.

Dickinson’s image is prominently featured at the heart of the history mural at West Cemetery, which is also her final resting place.

And the Emily Dickinson Museum is one of the more popular destinations for tourists visiting from across the globe.

Now, adjacent to the homestead and the bedroom where Dickinson composed her poems, a small painting marks the intersection of Main and Dickinson streets as Emily’s Corner.

This painting was the brainchild of Terry Mollner, chairman at StakeHolders Capital Inc., a wealth management company with an office in a building on Main Street that also houses Wheatberry Cafe, Amherst Dog Wash and Hope and Feathers Framing.

“This creates a feeling of place,” Mollner said.

As efforts were already under way to improve the parking lot and appearance greeting visitors to the building, Mollner noticed that the utility box painted Army green was detracting from the visual appeal.

At the same time, though, he saw it as an opportunity. The utility box is also next to a patio with tables, chairs and flowers, where Wheatberry customers dine.

“It was right where we wanted to have a wonderful sign for the neighborhood,” Mollner said.

The art was created by Ezzell Floranina, an artist who was able to match the golden yellow and dark green colors of the homestead with a subtle and elegant approach, Mollner said.

Floranina wrote “Emily’s Corner” in script on both sides and painted leaves next to the words. On the side facing Dickinson Street she wrote “a flower expected everywhere” and then signed it “Emily.”

Mollner said he wanted to incorporate a Dickinson quote and pored through her poems until he found four to five words that would capture the right feeling.

The cost of creating the artwork was around $1,000. Besides StakeHolders, contributors included Wheatberry, Family Outreach of Amherst, Dr. Samuel Gladstone, The Lumber Yard restaurant and Elements Hot Tubs, all located nearby.

Susan Bellak, director of marketing for StakeHolders, said the project reflects well on the businesses on Main Street.

“These are all local businesses that are giving back to the community,” Bellak said.

Mollner said he hopes the name Emily’s Corner will catch on as a way to distinguish that section of the downtown business district. “The idea is to make it easy for people to know we’re at Emily’s Corner,” Mollner said. And, he said, it enhances the whole town center.

“We took an eyesore and made it into an attractive thing for the community.”

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