|Mural Honoring Community Contributors Unveiled at North Adams Armory|
|By Brian Rhodes, iBerkshires Staff |
06:06PM / Saturday, February 04, 2023
|A mural painted by Kyle Strack on the wall of the Armory was unveiled on Saturday. The painting features six supporters or youth sports with plans to add more. |
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Well over a hundred people filled the basketball court at the Armory on Saturday to see the unveiling of a mural commissioned by the North Adams Youth Basketball League, honoring the history of the community and the building itself.
"This has morphed into something way bigger than the initial thought," said NAYBL board member Mark Moulton, who presented the finished mural to the crowd Saturday afternoon.
The mural honors six people whom Moulton said contributed to the league and youth sports in North Adams: state Rep. and former Mayor John Barrett III, Bernard "Bucky" Bullett, John Gaudreau, Caleb Jacobbe, Jim Shaker and Gene Wein. Local artists Kyle Strack and Anna Bond created the mural.
Moulton shared the stories of all the people on the mural, saying he felt for years that something should be on the previously empty wall. He also briefly invited family members of those on the mural to share their words and thanks with the crowd.
The league's plan for the mural is to add more faces from the city's history to the wall in the future.
"We're going to have a new board for this project; it's going to be long-term," said NAYBL board member Mark Moulton. "We'd like to honor a lot more people. I have a list of 30 people, probably. And they keep coming in."
Mayor Jennifer Macksey said her focus was making sure the mural told the story of the Armory and community members who have contributed. She said picking just six people to honor was hard.
"The one thing we've done today is we've invested and we've focused on the people that made this all possible," she said. "While we want to engage with all you young people, and we wanna teach you how to shoot that ball and score and win, we also have to remember the people who got us here."
Barrett was in attendance for the unveiling and went into the history of when the city acquired the Armory in 2007. He said this acquisition could not have been successful without the help of the basketball league and the support people put toward the youth in the community.
"They raised $20,000 in that first year and opened up the basketball league that assumed all of the costs that went with this," he said. "That's what community is all about, and what North Adams and Northern Berkshire has always been about ... I thank you for the honor you've given me today because it's probably my proudest honor that I can say in my years of public service."
Moulton thanked people who donated toward the mural and the others who made its creation possible. He gave special thanks to Adams Community Bank, which donated $10,000.