A site-specific, cut-paper installation by Lexington artist Pai-Fang Lin, graces the first- and second-floor windows of MCC’s historic Boston & Maine Building in downtown Lowell.

Lexington artist Pai-Fang Lin, an alumna of Middlesex Community College’s Graphic Design Program, has created a site-specific, cut-paper installation in the first- and second-floor windows of MCC’s historic Boston & Maine Building in downtown Lowell.

Visible from street level, this year-long project is comprised of 73 cut-paper panels. Featuring images of flowers on the first floor, with symbols of astronomical constellations on the second, the installation represents Lin’s vision of spring and hope. Located at 240 Central St., MCC’s B&M Building is slated for interior renovation. Upon completion, the building will house a performance space, plus dance and theater classrooms.

Lin’s striking images of irises, pansies and other spring flowers in the first-floor windows are fashioned from three layers of colored paper – white, yellow and violet. Adding to the 3-D illusion, the trio of papers in each panel is hung on special brackets crafted by Gary Sirois of MCC’s Facilities staff, who helped Lin install this ambitious project.

The symbols of astronomical constellations in the second-floor windows are cut from teal blue paper and include well-known images, such as Leo, Orion and Pisces, as well as Chinese constellations. Lin finds the night sky to be very hopeful: “I chose the constellations, because whenever one feels sad or happy and looks up at the stars, the stars are still shining. Everything will be all right,” she said.

The survivor of a traumatic brain injury, suffered when she was a child in Taiwan, Lin has difficulty processing language and communicating with others. Despite her disability, she is an accomplished artist. A 2009 Middlesex graduate, Lin currently works as a staff assistant with the college’s Art & Design Department.

Built in 1876 as the Boston & Maine Railroad Depot, the two-story, brick High Victorian gothic structure has housed a number of businesses over the years. Considered a Lowell landmark, it was saved from demolition by the Lowell Historic Preservation Commission in 1989. The exterior of the building was renovated by Lowell National Historical Park, which transferred ownership to Middlesex in 2008. The college is in the process of acquiring funding for interior renovations.

Lin has created two previous cut-paper installations in the windows of the B&M Building. The first, in 2009, was a two-window panel that celebrated the building’s history with images of trains and mills. After seeing this intricately cut, multi-layer piece, Margaret Swan, Art & Design Department Chairperson, asked Lin to consider designing a paper piece that celebrated the building’s future as a performing arts center. Lin’s 2011 cut-paper installation of musical notes and instruments was on display for a year, and became a celebrated landmark on Central Street. This new installation will be on display until the building is developed – or Lin has another vision.

For more information about Pai-Fang Lin’s B&M Building windows project, contact Margaret Swan, Chairperson of MCC’s Art & Design Department, at swanm@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3803.