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Street performers and patrons dance and listen to salsa music in the concourse of 85 Main St. in North Adams during Thursday’s DownStreet Art event.

NORTH ADAMS -- Ominous clouds over the city didn’t discourage residents and visitors from venturing to Main Street on Thursday for the second DownStreet Art event of the summer.

With another night of art exhibition openings, live performances and community events, attendees also celebrated the city’s newest public art piece.

Corwin Levi, an artist residing in Washington, D.C., recently completed his mural "Circumnavigating Through." The 60-foot mural faces the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and adorns the northern side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, which carries Route 2 over Marshall Street.

"I wanted to make a mural that would fit in with the environment, not just stamp it over the environment," Levi said at a ceremony celebrating the new piece.

It took Levi nearly a month to create the mural, a set of intersecting patterns and shapes in shades of black, white and gray.

"Rather than prime the bridge, I left the color of the concrete and worked with shades of that," he said.

The lines represent connections between individual people, he said, and each color represents a different group of people. Each set of lines form a bird-like shape which lifts the piece up.

Mayor Richard J. Alcombright said he was pleased with the mural, adding that "this is another great addition to the art projects around town."

Thursday also saw the opening of 13 new exhibitions at galleries downtown, as well as open houses at local businesses.


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One exhibition on display through the next month, "Nature As Medicine, Nature as Companion" at PRESS Gallery, will showcase the work of Erika Radich and Jaeok Lee "in an exhibition that explores the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature," according to a statement from the artists.

Maureen Stripe, of Williamstown, and Susan Flash, of Stamford, Vt., took part in an interactive activity at PRESS in which they selected paper cutouts of images that gave them strength, and glued them onto a grid.

Stripe said she enjoys coming to DownStreet Art every summer.

"I like the feeling of the community," she said. "Seeing people downtown is a great thing."

"It’s also great to see so much of a young crowd," Flash said.

DownStreet Art runs through Oct. 31. and new exhibitions will open the last Thursday of August and September. For more information, visit www.downstreetart.org.