Suzi Van Ness has posted a new message on her homegrown billboard-of- hope that may add cheer to both humans and their four-legged best friends:




THE WINDOW turned billboard at 65 Carroll Ave., Newport, has a new message to cheer passersby during the COVID-19 crisis, this one aimed at both people and their canine companions.

Van Ness earlier this month turned a big picture window into a kind of billboard, with hand-lettered messages that she hopes will lift the spirits of people going past and her husband Dave’s home at 65 Carroll Ave., Newport.

She figures that during the COVID-19 crisis – which demands that people keep away from one another to curb person-to-person spread of the contagious coronavirus – that it’s important to act as a caring community and stay connected.

In her case, she realized that the Van Ness’s picture window presented such an opportunity, since it faces a sidewalk on Carroll Avenue often busy with people out for a stroll – usually taking care to keep 6-feet or more distances from one another.

PHOEBE, a Newport resident, takes time from her morning walk to contemplate the new message posted at the home of Suzi and Dave Van Ness.

The first message, as reported in What’s Up Newp on April 6, was:



FULL DISPLAY – Before Suzi Van Ness turned a picture window into a billboard for inspirational messages, she also “planted” a row flags in front of her home on Carroll Avenue, Newport.

If it seems that the messages have a certain artistic style to them, it’s no accident. Van Ness is a retired art teacher. Thus, her displays seem at first glance to be hand-sewn tapestries; in fact, they’re painted with foam brushes on sheets of “banner” paper.

Since the COVID-19 containment measures prescribed by state and city officials are expected to last a while, Van Ness plans to change her messages periodically.