NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Community members, artists and Greylock Elementary pupils joined together during Thursday's DownStreet Art festivities to celebrate the completion of the Arnold Print Works murals on Marshall Street.
"I think if you look around tonight you'll realize we didn't do this, it was you, the community," said Phil Sellers, owner of River Hill Pottery, the chairman of North Adams Open Studios and head of Art About Town.
The project, which began in March, was completed by local artists, nine students from Greylock Elementary School's after-school CAMP (Community Art Mural Project) program led by teacher Christina King and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts student Stephanie Vanbramer. The paint and related supplies was funded through a school grant and Art About Town.
The project also linked the city's history into the artwork. The paintings were based off cut-and-stitch cloth dolls printed by Arnold Print Works, which was once located at the current Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art site from 1860 through 1942, a worldwide supplier of textiles and the leading employer of North Adams.
Greylock Elementary School pupils enlarged and then transferred the images onto the six columns, with three characters on each one. Local artists helped to prime, paint and coat the artwork with an anti-graffiti film.
At the celebration, Mayor Richard Alcombright was on hand to hand out certificates to the students involved with the project.
Sellers said he hopes to add more artwork under the Veterans Memorial Bridge, with intention to paint the columns on the other side.
Art About Town is an organization with goals to link artists and citizens to build community through art projects. According to its website, "Art About Town increases public awareness, participation, and appreciation of the unparalleled cultural energy and natural beauty of the city and the region."
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