New West Side Mural Replaces ‘Visual Pollution’ With Inspiration | Berkshires Center

PITTSFIELD – The third artist brought it home.

A project to spruce up a corner of the West Side with a mural — and honor the residents of that neighborhood — ran into a problem early on, one of his supporters recalled Friday, as he and others celebrated the project.

“The first artist had pneumonia or COVID. The second broke his leg and wasn’t going to be able to make it,” said Dubois Thomas, neighborhood revitalization director for Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.

But eventually, the nonprofit found Hope Aguilera, a local artist and former art teacher at Pittsfield High School. She created a work titled “I Wish…for a Greener Future” that occupies the side of a commercial building at the corner of Columbus and Robbins Avenues.

“I love it,” Thomas said. “I was always optimistic that Hope was going to produce something beautiful and it was getting more and more beautiful every day.” He said more murals are to be expected in the future.

The Aguilera mural shows a young boy who lives nearby, Quincy Jones, blowing on a dandelion against a backdrop of gardens and mountains. There is a car in the left corner, the requirement of the B&P Auto Body Supply Store, located in the building.

Dubois said Friday he believes the mural is an important step toward revitalizing the area. “It brightens up the neighborhood,” he says. “This wall has always been a bit of an eyesore. And now he knocks it down and it’s almost a destination.

Maria Menaca, a community navigator with Habitat who moved from Columbia, said the mural embodies what she loves most about life in Pittsfield. “It’s beautiful, it’s green.”

Allison Egan from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission came to the official debut of the mural on Friday and was impressed with the result.

“I think it’s beautiful. He embodies a vision for the West Side. It’s just beautiful walking up the hill to Columbus,” she said, as her toddler, Margot, pointed to the depiction of butterflies on the mural.

“Honestly, I had never even noticed this big wall before the mural was there. And now it’s kind of like a bright spot when you’re going up,” Egan said.

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