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Local Artist Creates Official Painting For First Night Boston

BOSTON (CBS) - With First Night 2012 a little more than a week away, there's one local artist whose work is already on display for all to see.

That artist is Fay Chandler of Boston and she's been a prominent figure in the arts scene for nearly a half century.

This year, Chandler has created the official painting for First Night.

WBZ-TV's Lisa Hughes reports

"I think First Night to me definitely means hope," says Chandler, who at 89 years old is still going strong.

She's been painting for more than 50 years, but she's still not used to getting an assignment.

"What I try to do when I'm painting now is to not really plan," says Chandler. And when it came to her commission for First Night, "I tried a couple of times and I thought, this isn't going to work."

But it did work, and now her creation is the official painting of Boston's 2012 First Night celebration and will appear on 70,000 First Night buttons and 600 posters.

More than a million people will see her work, and to Chandler that's exactly the point, because making art that's accessible to people is what it's all about.

"If you just paint something to have it in a museum, I think what turns out is apt not to be a particularly exciting piece," she says.

With that in mind, in 1995 Chandler founded the Art Connection, which gathers original art donated by hundreds of local artists and makes it available for free to non-profit organizations.

In addition to being a prolific painter, Chandler is also known for her collection of thousands of discarded objects which she transforms into unique sculptures.

We wanted to know if Chandler will be going all the way from her studio in Brighton to First Night this year.

"I was afraid you might ask that," Chandler says, laughing. "At my age, I usually go to bed at 9:30 at night, but I think it would be pretty exciting to stay up."

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