"Umbrella Sky Project" on Cross Street in downtown Bangor during its installation. Credit: File photo / BDN

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An army of colorful umbrellas, in a grid formation, is now strung between buildings on Cross Street in downtown Bangor. This is a good thing. They’re pretty cool. According to information on the city of Bangor’s website, the “Umbrella Sky Project” is meant to be an “economic driver,” drawing people’s attention from Main Street towards businesses on Columbia Street.

As a resident in the downtown area and a business owner, I am all for that. As the cliche goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. But this is only true if we’re in the same body of water, and perhaps the spirit of Mary Poppins just made that happen.

Meanwhile, look up Center Street and you cannot miss a two-story mural of bees and honey. There are a few other murals scattered about, too. And, of course, there’s the bright “Hopeful” sign perched on the old Greyhound bus depot. These are all good things.

While driving the economy is important, art is also beautiful. It does something great, maybe on a soul level. That’s especially good for those of us in difficult circumstances, perhaps in marginalized communities, who might struggle to find positive things to focus on.

To whoever is funding these urban art projects, thank you, and please keep it up.

Jason Canniff