Letter: Community Penalized by Pillar Art Decision

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To the Editor:

As some of you are aware, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art was solely responsible for the paint over of the historic artwork done by the children of our city which is located on Marshall Street pillars. It is, and should be, disturbing that our the children and a supportive general public are being penalized for something that they did not create but rather was created by the illegal action of Mass MoCA.

It is interesting to read how PAC member Mr. Eric Kerns who is so outspoken in defense of MoCA closes his eyes to the accomplishment of our young artist who depicted the history of our parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends that worked in the textile mills that once thrived in our area.

The fact of the matter is that Mr. Kerns has his business in and directly connected to MoCA. He is a tenant who thrives on income derived from the museum. Clearly, he has an economic tie with the institution and apparently has chosen to represent the interest of his economic, personal and political connection over the interest and desire of the people of our city.

The question now is how do we resolve the issue in a meaningful way which best represents the interest of the community?

In all fairness to the public and all others, I believe that the first step should be: "Test the site and see if restoration of the children's art is possible." A rather simple first step. If the anti-graffiti coating covering the art fails, then the issue is moot and we move on.

Another suggestion concerns the rearrangement of the rather two small sound boxes located on Marshall Street. As one city councilor suggested, move the sound box now located on the easterly side of Marshall Street over to the western portion of the newly created walkers pathway to downtown. This pathway was created by Mass MoCA and also leads to the public art display on the corner of Main and Marshall.

The next step would be to turn around the existing sound box on the westerly side of Marshall Street so that it faces westerly towards the newly located box. That way, the sound boxes would face each other on both side of the new pathway and have it's background of grey paint as desired.

Doing the above would allow the artwork of our children to independently exist in its previous location on Marshall Street while the sound art would independently exist in its new location backed up with grey pillars as desired. This could and should be viewed as a simple and rather acceptable solution.

Over the past months, we have worked diligently in efforts to represent the interest of the children and your interest as the residents of North Adams. We are thankful for the support of over five hundred area residents who signed petitions, called, and sent email of support for restoration of our students historic artwork.

With that being said, now it is time for those who represent the community via government and the art world to make the decision. Support MoCA or support the people of North Adams! Who has the courage and strength to speak on behalf of the people?

PS: No private negotiation meetings as proposed.

Vincent Melito
North Adams, Mass.





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North Adams Installs Sister City Signs Recognizing Tremosine

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The signs were paid for out of the Sister City account.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Two signs at the southern and western entrances to the city now proudly proclaim its relationship with Sister City Tremosine sul Garda in Italy.
The 3-foot by 4-foot signs were installed Tuesday near the signs marking the  North Adams border — one at Hardman Industrial Park and other near Harriman & West Airport.
The two communities have been in the Sister City program since 2005, when the late Dr. John Moresi and Ed Morandi led the first of what would become an annual trip to scenic Northern Italy.
Many North Adams residents have ancestors who grew up around Lake Garda. Former councilor Marie Harpin, who went on that first trip, joked that the cemetery is full of North Adams names. 
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