Similar art, worlds apart

BENNINGTON — A new public art piece here has inspired another one half a world away.

Last month, a design with a North Star compass bordered by piano keys was painted into the middle of Four Corners intersection. Polly van der Linde worked with officials to paint the design onto the pavement.

Now, it's been replicated thousands of miles away at a child welfare center in Delhi, India.

The owner and director of Sonatina Enterprises Piano Camps in Old Bennington said it was one of her long-distance, online students, Ash Vadera, who adapted the design in India. It's in a courtyard at the Orthopaedic Centre of the Delhi Council For Child Welfare (DCCW) , which offers rehabilitation services to children with physical disabilities and a place where Vadera volunteers.

"To me the world is just a large village," Vadera wrote on Facebook this week. He said it was while they were finishing a piano lesson over Skype on May 23 that Polly told him about the project. By June 14, he said, "we had adopted and modified her idea at one of the centers."

DCCW is a nongovernmental organization funded by donations. According to its website, over 2,500 use services each day including rehabilitation, medical treatment, housing for displaced and abandoned children, nutrition and education.

Ashe wrote that the paintings in Bennington "were so impressive that I decided to emulate it," adding footprints of children. He said the footprints and piano keys are symbolic because the center will soon introduce music therapy."

Vadera has been studying with van der Linde for four months; she said he is one of 44 students she teaches online through Skype video chat.

"He didn't tell her what he was going to do with the design, she said. "This blew me away and I was surprised to see it on Facebook this morning. He wanted to surprise me and told me that I'd enjoy it. Boy, did I."

Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.


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