PITTSFIELD -- The walls in City Hall are a bit more colorful now thanks to some local artists, the Office of Cultural Development, and Pittsfield's first family -- the Bianchis.
As a result, this Friday's First Fridays Artswalk will incorporate City Hall along the tour -- the first time it has been since the monthly event started in May.
Almost 20 pieces of art were put on display by local artist Scott Taylor on Tuesday afternoon. The City Hall portion of this month's Artswalk will be referred to as the Mayor and First Lady's Invitational Art Show.
The Bianchis are art enthusiasts, according to Theresa Bianchi. In the past, City Hall has also displayed art from younger grade-school artists, but now has evolved into showcasing artists along with the rest of downtown during the monthly Artswalk.
"It makes City Hall part of what we do and part of the fabric of our life," Theresa Bianchi said. "I'd love to bring some of that feeling of community spirit into City Hall. It's a great building, it just needs a little bit of refreshing and sprucing up."
Taylor hung three of his own artworks for display in City Hall. About nine other artists' works also are on display for the rest of the month.
"I think this is a great place for art every month," Taylor said after hammering a nail into the wall. "There are only so many spaces to hang out and hundreds of artists."
One of Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi's favorite pieces of local art, "Loop" by Joanie Ciolfi, was hung just outside his office door. When he arrived at his office, he saw the painting and said, "Oh, beautiful!"
"My taste is more linear, more representational," Theresa Bianchi said. "Dan's is more abstract. He loves contemporary, abstract art. I have to have definition. Our tastes are vastly different."
The Mayor and First Lady's Invitational City Hall Art Show will take place in tandem with the Artswalk this Friday beginning at 5 p.m. Theresa Bianchi said she hopes it will become a regular event.
City Hall hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with occasional evening hours.
"People may come to City Hall now for something other than paying taxes or getting permits. It'll be more enjoyable," Mayor Bianchi said.
Every first Friday since May, business owners have exhibited local artists' works in their stores, giving both the artists and the businesses exposure. This month's is set to be the biggest one with more than 30 businesses displaying art and photography.
"It's a great opportunity to shop local and get a one-of-a-kind gift," said Megan Whilden, the director of the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development.
To reach Adam Poulisse:
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