About the Greenfield Mural

About the Greenfield Mural

The Greenfield Mural was a labor of love -- twice -- uniting a small group of talented people, and supported by several local businesses and non-profit organizations. Please thank them if you see them.

History of the Mural

Janet Braun Reinitz
Janet Braun Reinitz

The Greenfield Mural was originally the brain child of Rebecca Tippens, Greenfield resident at the time, and her friend and community muralist from the NYC area, Janet Braun Reinitz, who has collaborated in over 60 community murals across the globe. Together saw the big wall adjacent to the Veterans Mall park beckoning for vibrancy. The Veterans Mall committee agreed, and we came up with the theme for the mural to complement the Veterans Park memorial: to honor those things of the county that we have loved whether in memory or presence. The greys of the postcard-like images of the buildings, bridges and monuments, reflect their long histories and for some our grief at their absense. The mural is styled as a cross stitch design, reflecting, too, the fabric arts that so many throughout the county are skilled in. Janet shares: “Implicit in my work are stories waiting to be re-told – remembrances of recent events and those fading from memory that resonate in many registers, formal, narrative and personal.”

We put a draft design of the mural in the library asking for input and suggestions; we collected those suggestions daily and nearly 100% were included! For a couple of weeks, the mural was front page news as people debated even having what would be the first mural and large piece of public art in the city; those concerns culminated in a public hearing at the High School that drew more people than any other hearing had up to that time and a vote for acceptance! Talk about publicly involved art from its very inception!

Painting began for the Greenfield Mural by volunteers in the community as summer drew to a close in 1990 -- coordinated and designed by Janet Braun Reinitz and then by Greenfield artist Nancy Baker who took over that coordination when Janet had to return to NYC to teach. Nancy says, "I was in between jobs at the time and saw this as a great chance to do something for and with the community."

A small group of thoughtful futurists and artists had coalesced around Janet to learn about mural painting. Rebecca coordinated community volunteers who not only painted but helped in physical ways, like donating paints, brushes, scaffolding and more. On the bottom left side of the mural is a list of those volunteers and financial supporters (see, below).

Cleanup and Additions in 2017

Someone on a ladder working on the mural

Nearly twenty years on, in 2017, the colors on the mural were fading and Rebecca asked the community if they would want to entertain a new mural design or just refresh its paints. Loudly and clearly, people supported the design that had webbed into the town's consciousness. Again, Nancy Baker spearheaded the painting, and images were added that reflected the area's growth over time; the community placed suggestions into a box displayed at the library's entrance which were incorporated into the repainting. "We worked very hard to find appropriate placement for nearly 30 new images that the community suggested", says Nancy. "It was fun to add all these ideas and really perk up the wall."

Rebecca Tippens painting the mural
Rebecca Tippens painting the mural

Rebecca then coordinated the gathering of materials and volunteers, Nancy the design and painting and another group of mural enthusiasts went to work over the month of September in 2017. On the bottom right side of the mural is a list of those individuals and businesses who gave more than 6 hours of help to refresh & update the images and/ those who donated at least $100 and/or contributions of goods and services to cover material costs. This mural is a reflection of our county coming together to create a paean to our place and the things we love, do and cherish. Its completion was celebrated with a grand evening of stories and songs at Hawks and Reed just as the fall winds began to blow in.

List of Artists and Helpers in 1990

  • Designed by Janet Braun-Reinitz
  • Executed by Nancy Baker
  • Sponsored by the Institute for Cultural Understanding, Director, Rebekka Tippens
  • Special Thanks to: Golden Artist Colors, Inc., of Berlin, NY for donating the paints; and the Business Fund for the Arts who encouraged local supporters.

Helpers: Paul Baines, Aaron Baker, Jim Bell, Elizabeth Bonney, Michelle Burke, Alice Crawford, Francesca Dudley, Alice Jurci, Richard Kinner, Sue Kramer, Misha Krushnic, Sasha Krushnic, Matthew Leighton, Seth Lustig, Peter Miller, Lisa Miskimen, Ray Neades, John O'Connor, Michael O'Donnell, Jim Perkins, Urijah Rivard, Cynthia Rothschild, Tyra Smith, Lynn Stowe Tomb, Gary Stratton, Tom Strom, Rebekka Tippens, Robert Wagner, Rhonda Wainshilbaum, Kathryn Whitney, Leigh Yardley.

List of Underwriters in 2017

Greenfield Mural being retouched
  • American Pride Painting - patched holes in the cement blocks and power washed the wall.
  • Baker Office Supply - gave many detail brushes, pallette knives, etc. when we rushed in, slightly panicked.
  • Golden Artist Colors - generously donated ALL of the weather resistent paints -- swiftly, graciously & comraderly also mailing small batches of the colors we were running out of.
  • Greenfield Business Association helped recruit painters and enthuse businesses to support our efforts.
  • Greenfield Cooperative Bank. Their donation along with others made it possible for the full time painters and designers to receive a small stipend for their daily work over more than a month.
  • Greenfield DPW enthusiastically helped in the raising of the scaffolding and closing down the alley so that we could paint.
  • Greenfield Local Cultural Council Generously funded the painting of the mural, again to contribute to artists' recompense.
  • Greening Greenfield encouraged their members and supporters to add ideas and join us in the painting.
  • Greenfield Savings Bank Generously and enthusiastically gave to help pay for the various related costs.
  • Greenfield's Sherwin Williams happily gave brushes and big gallons of primary paints.
  • Hawks & Reed hosted a celebratory party/entertainement for those who created or wanted to celebrate the mural's completion.
  • Montague WebWorks donated their skills & artistry to create our lovely & informative website & QR code access giving backstories to the images and creation process.
  • Rick Larsen gave of his professional skills coating the entire mural in a lacquer protecting the colors from the UV rays.
  • The Solar Store - sponsored an employee to help paint the mural -- over the month process -- instead of working in their store

List of Artists and Helpers in 2017

  • Nancy Baker - Artist / Designer
  • Rebecca Tippens - Producer / Designer

Judith Atkins, Louise Armyot, Denny Baker, Sandra Boston, Betsy Browning, Michelle Bryan, Michelle Burke Burrell, Cynthia Carr-Kramer, Katherine Cole, Garrett Connelly, Sandy Denis, Judy Draper, Corinne Dugas, Paul Franz, Peter Kramer, Dan Jarvis, Russell Johnson, Anita Locksmith, Bob Markey, Sharon McGuinnes, Joan Morel, John O'Connor, Lewis Perry, Suzy Polucci, Jim & Terry Renaud, Rachel & Sebastian Roberts, Wisty Rorabacher, Stan Rosenberg, Andy & Cyndie Rothschild, Pete & Sandy Ruggeri, Claire Sagor, Sandy & Russ Thomas, Peter Vacchina, Susan & Lenny Weeks, Martha Werman, & Ted Hinman & Armene Margosian.