I Love Pittsfield
The inspiration to make art again after many years began in 2010 when I had to walk the streets of Pittsfield, Ma. This was not my plan for the next three years. I guess it was fate’s plan that led me to “rediscovering” Pittsfield. I had to make the most of it. So I made an “I Love Pittsfield” sign and decided to do some street photography and voice recordings.
In this courageous new adventure, I chose to be brave. I chose to walk forward and change my life. In doing so I found a new freedom. A new door opened to me, which then led to more open doors. Because I chose to make the right choice. My adventure into art began after 17 years. There is something about walking that brings you closer to things.
The idea to make an “I love Pittsfield” sign began during the 250th Anniversary of the city in 2011. I was planning on leaving Pittsfield. It just didn’t happen that way. I wasn’t supposed to leave yet. Here I am still in Pittsfield. It’s 2013 and I am still walking but walking free. As I walk I do pick up “found objects” and attach them to my canvas.
I feel fortunate to be part of a city on the rise, changing into an artistic community. Things became new to me. It was a brand new road amidst the junk, debris, poverty, and crime was change. Change for the better. I met many new friends. I dropped the old ones. I decided to photograph people I met on the street, and the people who walked into my new life. I tried to capture a little bit of Pittsfield, Ma.
Day to day, walking to the bus, to the churches, to my studio, to the laundromat, to the grocery store. I have seen changes happening for the good. More people are walking North St. New stores have opened. The Beacon Theatre is fantastic. Bicycle riders ride. The crosswalks have been redone. I have befriended many disabled people driving wheelchairs and reacquainted with them. When before I used to drive them around as an EMT. I am amazed when I hear their stories.
I am interested in how people got to Pittsfield ? What brought people here, the locals, how did they wind up here? Do they like it here? I told them I am working on a photography project of the Pittsfield community. I asked them to hold up my sign. And they did. Even though some of them really didn’t “love” Pittsfield. It is their home and mine too today. And some really do love Pittsfield. Do you ?
I decided to voice record people as I photographed them on the street. I like working in the moment very seldom do I plan my art it just develops or happens. I asked them questions. I am interested in the history of the place but mostly how people got here. I have been recording a soundtrack which is an accompaniment to these images and unwritten stories. Many of these people I photographed and met in the past few years are very active in the community. They are local artists, healers, police, business owners, friends I met along the way. Some are suffering greatly, others have been very successful. Some I met just passing by. Some I believe could really be angels…
I want to thank these people from my heart for their friendship, guidance, generosity, inspiration, participation and most of all… THE RIDE…that got me to where I needed to go. Thank you for walking a few miles with me. I found the good red road in Pittsfield, Ma.
People photographed and voice recorded in 2011-2013:
Betty, Dae, Laurie from The Coin-Op, Officer Mike Albozek, Judge Rudy Sacco, Rinaldo Del Gallo III, Thomas Goodrich, Charles Budda. Fidel Moreno, Bob, Billy, Robert Stone, Steve, Denis, Dan Cohen, Rob, The Pittsfield Suns, Dae, Arthur, Merrill Davis, Katherine, Jo Duran, Bill, Richard…
All Artwork is FOR SALE. Photographs are $50.00 each.
Please email the artist Lisa Merullo or call 413 212-2800.