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Biracial ballplayer finally gets his due

Millers Falls art pop-up to bring artists to Montague village

  • Marco Correia, a junior at the Mass. College of Art and Design, fills in the outline of Doug Smith, a one-time Red Sox pitcher from Millers Falls. Recorder Staff/Miranda Davis

  • Marco Correia, a junior at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, fills in the outline of Doug Smith, a one-time Red Sox pitcher from Millers Falls. Recorder Staff/Miranda Davis



Recorder Staff
Sunday, July 16, 2017

MILLERS FALLS — Next Sunday, artists and art lovers can wander through the streets of Millers Falls in Montague, where artist Marco Correia and Richard Widmer of the Millers Falls Art Bridge will be unveiling a mural of Doug Smith, a 1910s Boston Red Sox player and resident of Millers, along with an art pop-up exhibition throughout the village.

The first look at the mural, which was funded by Republic Services, will be in conjunction with a broader pop-up art event throughout Millers. The event, “Calling All Artists,” will run throughout Sunday July 23, starting at 10 a.m. The mural will be unveiled at 11 a.m.

The Millers Falls Art Bridge, an organization that connects local artists and community, has planned the mural, which will be on the footing of the Central Railroad bridge. The footing was sanded and primed in summer of 2016 and Correia is completing the mural this week.

Correia, of Amherst, is a junior at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and heard about the mural project through a friend of a friend.

The mural will be of Doug Smith, a Boston Red Sox pitcher from 1912 who was originally from Millers Falls.

Widmer said Smith pitched in one game for the Sox but was then dismissed because it was reported he was biracial, something that was taboo at the time. He said the mural serves as both a way to revitalize the village through art while also making a statement about racial issues.

The event is free and open to the public. There is a $10 registration fee for artists, which covers food and exhibition space.

Widmer said that all formats and types of media are welcome, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, performance, spoken word and music.

They are unveiling the mural at the event because it was started on July 10, the 105th anniversary of the day Smith pitched for the Red Sox.

“I hope this will be one of the highlights of a day full of fun activities,” Widmer said.

Widmer said much of Millers Falls will be transformed into an art exhibition.

He said art spaces on the Ward’s Block will be open, with Rodney Madison, Eric Grab and Charlie Shaw opening their spaces and welcoming outside artists.

“This is a great way for the Millers Falls Arts Bridge to support the local arts community and to support the village of Millers Falls,” he said. “Our pop-up is a open format, a gathering of artists and a celebration of creativity — outside the walls of museums and galleries.”

Artists can register at bit.ly/2utjLXu and those interested can check out the Calling All Artists to Millers Falls Facebook page. For attendees, parking is available at St. John’s church.

Reach Miranda Davis at
413-772-0261, ext. 280 or mdavis@recorder.com.