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Painter Makes the City His Canvas

Anyone passing the corner of Atlantic Street and Tresser Boulevard in Stamford this morning may spot an artist at work. That's where Walter Greeney has been staked out the past two days, beautifying a utility box near the intersection.

"The way I look at it, I get paid to practice," joked Greeney Saturday afternoon." He's one of several artists hired by the Stamford Downtown Special Services District to spruce up sites throughout the city. Greeney actually was hired two years ago to paint a large square portion the Atlantic-Tresser utility box, which he graced with ballerina legs. He was recently recalled to create an illustration for a smaller portion of the box, work he started Saturday. He estimated then it would take about three days to compete the acrylic painting, which expands on the original theme.

"I'm upgrading my box," said Greeney, who had to figure out how to match the new illustration with the existing painting. "The new addition caused design problems because it's no longer a square. You're kind of handcuffed to stuff you want to do."

When he's not helping beautify the city, Greeney, a third-generation Stamford resident, paints houses. The independent contractor said he often secures other, more artistic work from house-painting jobs. "Lots of times I'll get a mural job out of a regular paint job," he said. Greeney also specializes in seascapes, illustrations and portraits.

In addition to the Atlantic-Tresser utility box, Greeney's public paintings are at three other Stamford locations. The work for the city "gives a starving artist a chance to be seen," he said, adding, "A guy just drove by and asked for my card."

For more information about Greeney and his work, call (203) 231-9128.

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