Tri-town police show off artistic abilities

By Tanner Harding | Feb 14, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Marion Lt. John Garcia's tinsmithing work on display.

Police officers are more than just a badge. And that fact is something the “Command Presence” exhibition at the UMass Dartmouth College of Visual and Performing Arts Star Store hopes to show.

From the tri-town, Lt. John Garcia and Det. Scott Smith of Marion and Capt. Anthony Days of Mattapoisett all have pieces in the exhibit.

The idea for the show came from New Bedford Police Lt. Scott Carola and spread from there.

“There’s a whole bunch of talented guys in law enforcement,” Days said. “Nobody thinks us, as police officers, have outside interests or talents. They just see us as a uniform.”

Days believes that not only does the exhibit show the community a more human side to law enforcement, it’s also a way of connecting with people.

“I find art a great bridge for communication for adults and children especially,” he said. “Any form of art is a great bridge. You can cross a lot of divides with that venue.”

Days has been drawing since he was a kid and started using oil paints within the past few years. Currently, he’s taking a watercolor class at the Marion Art Center a well as teaching a drawing class there.

As an adult Days said it became harder to find time to paint, but he has started to manage his time better so he has more time to do so.

“I would paint for a special occasion or a fundraiser,” he said. “Overall I painted when I really felt passionate about helping someone.”

While he usually takes inspiration for his artwork from the scenery of the South Coast, Days does have a more work-related painting in this year’s exhibit.

“I painted a police officer hugging a child,” he said. “It has a lot to do with what I’ve seen over the past 31 years. Police officers’ kids didn’t take the oath to protect and serve but they get caught up in the middle a lot.”

Days said while different from the scenic paintings he usually does, this painting of a father and son allows him to represent the passion and service of his job.

Garcia got involved with the art exhibit through Days, though his art uses a very different medium.

“I’m a tinsmith,” Garcia said.

A volunteer with the Fairhaven Village Militia, Garcia learned how to tinsmith in order to have a skill to showoff to visitors of Fort Phoenix.

However, what started off as a skill just for the militia turned into a hobby for Garcia.

“When I first started doing it it was just for the reenactment events, but I do it fairly regularly now,” he said.

Generally, Garcia said he makes more utilitarian objects such as lanterns, but wanted to do something more artistic for the exhibit.

“I made a rose out of tin, one out of copper and then one mixed,” he said.

The exhibit ran through Feb. 15.

A painting by Mattapoisett Capt. Anthony Days. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Another painting by Capt. Days. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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