Egyptian Artist Gives Gift of Art to North Adams

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

Egyptian artist Alaa Awad takes a break from working vigorously to complete his mural on Center Street in North Adams before its official unveiling Thursday night during Down Street Art.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Egyptian artist Alaa Awad is giving a gift to the city of North Adams: an original, nearly 60-foot-long mural on the base of the Route 2 overpass.

Awad has painted street art in Asia and Denmark and has had exhibitions and murals in Germany and throughout Egypt. This North Adams piece, though, marks his first commissioned work in the United States.

“It’s a gift for North Adams; it’s a fabulous city,” Awad said. “Everything is very nice and the people are very nice and I decided to make something that will speak to the city.”

Awad’s work draws from historical Egyptian tomb paintings, and his mural is covered in stylized figures of ancient gods, chimeric beasts and people.

Awad looks to celebrate humankind and bring Egyptian heritage back to the surface as a source of pride for Egyptians and instill ideas such as “peace, mercy, justice and balance.”

Awad is a graduate and a faculty member of the Luxor Faculty of Fine Arts and Egypt, and he teamed up with fellow artist to use art to protest censorship, social injustice, and civilian life lost during the revolution in Tahrir Square in 2011.

Awad’s mural will be unveiled June 26, along with his “Thebes” exhibit in Gallery 51, as part of the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center’s Down Street Art Initiative, which aims to bring more public art to downtown North Adams. Down Street Art runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at locations throughout downtown North Adams.

The general theme of the new North Adams mural is “Justice.” Awad said the piece is designed to point people toward the past so they can learn from it and be better equipped to make a peaceful and brighter future.

“I believe absolutely you can never make the past again, but I think we can learn from our past and refocus the positive values and principles form the past,” he said. "The past is something to learn from, and we can see…what is negative and what is positive and we must focus on things like peace and mercy.”

 

 

2 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future

Submitted by Edward Jones

The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.

Here are a few of these questions:

* What will happen to my children?
With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.

* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.

View Full Story

More North Adams Stories