Refurbished mural puts county’s best face forward

  • Jonathan Dinsmore and Ester Gonzalez of Greenfield glance up at the newly refurbished and enhanced mural at the Veterans Mall in Greenfield on Monday afternoon. August 28, 2017 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz

  • Details of the newly refurbished and enhanced mural at the Veterans Mall in Greenfield on Monday morning. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

  • Rebecca Tippens puts the finishing touches on the newly refurbished and enhanced mural at the Veterans Mall in Greenfield on Monday morning. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Recorder Staff
Published: 8/28/2017 8:56:45 PM

GREENFIELD — After a month of work by 100 volunteers, the mural overlooking Veterans Memorial Mall has been refurbished and updated to reflect how Franklin County has grown over the last 27 years.

To celebrate the completion of the project and raise money for additional expenses, Rebecca Tippens of Colrain, who produced the original mural, has organized an event at the Hawks and Reed Performing Arts Center on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. The celebration will feature musicians, storytellers and more.

“We invite all to come and celebrate this beautification in town, but also what the mural means and will mean for us all,” Tippens said, adding, “this has truly been a community effort that has not only given brightness to the county, but will also be an important historical record of our county.”

The mural, which features images of Franklin County landmarks, including Poet’s Seat Tower and the Eunice Williams Covered Bridge, was originally painted in 1990.

New images

Several new images were added during the refurbishment in an effort to reflect recent happenings in Greenfield, including images of alternative energy sources and Wi-Fi; artistry, including easels, palettes, brushes and musical instruments; fruit; cross country skis; contra dancers; the rag shag parade and people advocating for freedoms.

Nancy Baker worked alongside Tippens to gather ideas for the mural, which Baker then created.

Tippens said the mural is nearly completed, except for a layer of acrylic protective coating and UV varnish that is scheduled to be applied this weekend. The more than 50 volunteers who gave at least six hours of work or contributed more than $100 to help meet mural expenses had their names added to the wall, but Tippens said many others also contributed.

“It was kind of extraordinary to me because there were so many people involved — it felt like it was truly a community-created project,” she said.

Montague WebWorks also organized a team to put together a brochure and website about the mural, which Tippens hopes will be completed in September or early October.

“This will be an important educational tool in describing the history and meaning of the images,” she said.

Visitors will also be able to add their own stories through the website, once completed.

Concert

Wednesday’s event at the Hawks and Reed at Main Street and Court Square will feature at least eight performers, including storyteller Peter Kozinski, musicians Molly Scott, Russ Thomas, John O’Connor, Pat and Tex LaMountain, and more. There is a $10 suggested donation.

Tippens said she is still looking for volunteers to apply protective coatings to the mural this weekend. Anyone interested can contact her at rebecca_tippens@yahoo.com.


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