Let it shine murals brighten Pittsfield — #berkshireweekend

Bluebirds are flocking on North Street. Phoenixes are lighting down on the corner and in the park. Migration season is coming … but this is more than I was expecting. We have magic in the hills this week.

As a giant puppet walks through North Adams and Ashfield on a journey across the country, the Let It Shine artists are finishing their murals across Pittsfield before the party on Saturday.

Several of them are painting today, in the heat of a late summer afternoon. I’ve been waiting for weeks to see their work, and in a way these early stages are just as fascinating. A new world is taking shape near city hall in turquoise and deep green and lemon yellow, and a giant rooster is emerging from abstract color near St. Joseph’s.

Riverside Park will have two new paintings too, by Jasmine Sade and Pops Peterson, and so I’ve come looking for them on the corner of Dewey Street, and I’ve found the sitting park by the water, with benches and bright color. People are taking care of this quiet, green place by the water.

The most vast and beautiful eastern cottonwood tree I’ve ever seen is growing here across the way, and crickets are singing in the meadow near BB’s Hot Spot — chef and owner Ronny Brizan is running the restaurant at Hancock Shaker Village right now in the heat of the summer.

And at the top of the street another mural catches my eye — a boy is blowing a dandelion clock and making a wish for a greener future. He’s standing in the hills, and around him three men are gardening, filling baskets with summer harvest. I’ll second that wish too.

These lights of ours

The ‘Let It Shine’ project welcomes new murals to Pittsfield and celebrates art across the city this weekend …

Bluebirds flock around a man and a dog on a sunny yellow background in Qwynto's mural on the side of Carr Hardware on North Street in Pittsfield

Bluebirds flock around a man and a dog on a sunny yellow background in Qwynto's mural on the side of Carr Hardware on North Street in Pittsfield

A boy blows a dandelion clock, letting the seeds fly in a wish for a greener future, in a mural near Riverside Park in Pittsfield.
@hopenmagic.art

A boy blows a dandelion clock, letting the seeds fly in a wish for a greener future, in a mural near Riverside Park in Pittsfield signed by @hopenmagic.art

Pittsfield artists have painted murals in Dunham Park including a vividly colorful celebration that reads 'We are Pittsfield,' overlaid by the chain-link fence around the tennis court.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Pittsfield artists have painted murals in Dunham Park including a vividly colorful celebration that reads 'We are Pittsfield,' overlaid by the chain-link fence around the tennis court.

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Wildflowers bloom on Stone Hill with the Clark Art Institute in the distance. Press photo courtesy of the museum
Apr 17 2024 @ 1:00 pm
Celebrate spring and Earth Day at the Clark with an art-making activity that incorporates indigenous pollinator seeds that you can take home and plant.
Saodat Ismailova’s first feature-length film follows three generations of fishermen living near the Aral Sea. Press image courtesy of the Clark Art Institute
Apr 18 2024 @ 6:00 pm
Journeying across natural, mythological, and sacred spaces, Saodat Ismailova’s films mark cinematic time through Central Asian songs of everyday survival.
Thomas Gainsborough, Wooded Landscape with a Boy Leading a Donkey and Dog, and an Extensive Panorama with Buildings and Distant Hills, early 1760s, oil on canvas.
Apr 19 2024 @ 11:00 am
Inspired by the morning’s Earth Walk with Dogs, the Clark offers a free display of works on paper in the Manton Study Center for Works on Paper.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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