Bits & Bytes: Norman Rockwell Museum family day; Citizens’ Hall Residency; Maplefest; Izzy Heltai releases new single; Todd McLeod at Ventfort Hall

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By Thursday, Mar 9 Arts & Entertainment
Norman Rockwell Museum
Illustrator Jerry Pinkney teachies students at Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School as part of Norman Rockwell Museum’s Berkshire County Student Passport Program.

Norman Rockwell Museum to host family day For Muddy Brook Elementary families

Stockbridge — As part of its new Berkshire County Student Passport Program, the Norman Rockwell Museum will host a day for families of students at Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School in Great Barrington who recently completed the education outreach program on Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Since starting the program earlier this year, Muddy Brook students have not only benefitted from working with NRM staff, but also from a visit from Caldecott Medal-winning artist Jerry Pinkney, whose work they had been studying alongside the work of Rockwell. Pinkney met with each of Muddy Brook’s four third grade classes to explore the creative process and connections between visual storytelling and classic literature. The experiences inspired student projects designed by the school’s education staff, which will be on display during the family day.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., art teacher Ali Benton will greet students and families in an exhibition of illustrated fables created by Muddy Brook third grade students and their teachers. At 11 a.m., Muddy Brook librarian Patty Melville will read “Minty: A Story of Young Harriet Tubman,” written by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by Pinkney, followed by songs of the Underground Railroad led by the school’s music teacher, Kim Chirichella, and students. Starting at noon, students will be invited to a guided nature walk on NRM’s grounds led by Muddy Brook physical education teachers Jessica Pleu and Tina Soule and followed by drawing activities with NRM educator Patrick O’Donnell. At 1 p.m., Melville will read “John Henry,” written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Pinkney. The reading will be followed by songs of John Henry led by Chirichella and students. Finally, at 2 p.m., Pleu and Soule will lead a reading and movement activity inspired by “Pretend You’re a Cat” by Jean Marzollo and illustrated by Pinkney.

For more information about the Berkshire County Student Passport Program, contact NRM at (413) 931-2252 or education@nrm.org.

–E.E.

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Citizens’ Hall Residency artists’ exhibit

Artwork by Peter Long.

Artwork by Peter Long.

Stockbridge — On Saturday, March 11, from 5 to 7 p.m., IS183 Art School of the Berkshires will host an opening reception featuring works by Peter Long and Jared Gelormino, the artists participating in its Citizens’ Hall Residency.

Long is a painter and printmaker originally from Pembroke and now living and working in Housatonic. He graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in 2D fine art. His work draws from the aesthetics of Mexican Renaissance mural painters, Bolshevik propaganda, abstract expressionists and American hardcore music to create painted collages of postindustrial decay, social unrest and economic disparity.

Gelormino is based in Stockbridge and the objects he makes speak to contemporary cultural and political issues as well as the rich history of ceramics. Humor and sarcasm are his key tactics in creating objects that contain knowledge from ancient sources and Twitter feeds, and reflect the absurdity of the times in which we live. Gelormino completed his MFA in ceramics at Indiana University in 2014 and is currently IS183’s ceramics studio manager.

The reception is free and open to the public and will include refreshments and a cash bar. For more information, call IS183 at (413) 298-5252 x100.

–E.E.

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Hopkins Forest to hold Maplefest

Williamstown — Williams College’s Hopkins Memorial Forest, at the junction of Bulkley Street and Northwest Hill Road, will host its annual Maplefest celebration on Saturday, March 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Attendees will be able to observe and take part in the process of producing maple syrup.

Maplefest attendees will be able to visit a working sugar house, observe the finishing and bottling of the final product, try their hands at tapping a tree and gathering sap, and taste homemade syrup on pancakes and “sugar on snow.” In addition there will be demonstrations of old-time evaporating methods, a taste test, videos and more.

The event is free to the public, appropriate for people of all ages and will be held regardless of the weather. For building locations on the Williams campus, consult the online map or call the Office of Communications at (413) 597-4277.

–E.E.

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Izzy Heltai releases new single

Izzy Heltai.

Izzy Heltai.

North Adams — Sounds and Tones Records has announced that folk singer Izzy Heltai will release the new single “Not Eden” on Friday, March 10.

Boston native Heltai, who is freshly settled in southern Vermont, is an emerging fixture on the New England folk scene. He keeps an active touring schedule that has brought him and his guitar all over the East Coast and Midwest. After releasing an EP with his backing band, Secret Creature, in late 2016, he returned to his singer-songwriter roots and is working on a solo release for 2017.

“Not Eden” will be released on Sounds and Tones Records and will be available for free via Heltai’s and Sounds and Tones’ Bandcamp pages and web store.

–E.E.

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Ventfort Hall to present Todd McLeod

Todd McLeod.

Todd McLeod.

Lenox — In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Stockbridge guitarist and singer Todd McLeod will serenade his audience with folk songs of Ireland and Scotland along with original songs from coastal Maine at Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum on Sunday, March 12, from 3 to 5 p.m. An Irish tea will follow the performance.

A member of the Ventfort Hall staff, McLeod performs throughout New England, including the Berkshires and venues in Vermont and Maine, where he can frequently be found on board the Margaret Todd, a four-masted schooner docked at Bar Harbor. He gets his musical inspiration from his Maine roots.

Tickets are $35. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or info@gildedage.org.

–E.E.


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