Artwork by students from the Arts in Recovery for Youth program is featured in the exhibit 'Messages of Hope' at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield. An opening reception for the exhibit will take place Friday, Nov. 2, during Pittsfield's first Fridays Artswalk. Image courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Bits & Bytes: First Fridays Artswalk; ‘Bach and More’; artist Neumann at Berkshire School; Kapteyn Prize for Mount Greylock teacher

The 'Bach and More' concert will feature James Bagwell conducting an ensemble of 12 a cappella voices in sacred and secular music from the early Baroque period.

First Fridays Artswalk to feature wide variety of art

Pittsfield — The Nov. 2 First Fridays Artswalk will encompass over a dozen art shows featuring more than two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District from 5 to 8 p.m. The Artswalk will kick off with opening receptions and artists present throughout, plus a free guided walking tour beginning at 5 p.m. at the BRTA Intermodal Center.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield will present “Messages of Hope,” a collaboration among the church, teaching artist Marney Schorr and emerging Pittsfield artists from the Arts in Recovery for Youth program. The show will feature original paintings and drawings by Schorr and her students. Curated by poet and artist Jack Kelly, the show aims to inspire hope, healing and community action about suicide, including the youth perspective. In addition to the opening reception during Artswalk, there will be a community artist talk with Schorr Sunday, Nov. 4, during the church’s Sunday services, which begin with coffee and conversation at 9:30 a.m. and the service following at 10 a.m.

Artwork from the ‘Messages of Hope’ exhibit by students in the Arts in Recovery for Youth program. Image courtesy Downtown Pittsfield Inc.

Hotel on North will present “Berkshires in Winter: New Watercolors (and a few old favorites, too)” by Marguerite Bride. The show will be on view through Monday, Dec. 31. Sean McCusker will present “Layers and Line” at Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men through Saturday, Dec. 1, which will display his surreal landscape paintings. For the month of November, the Kinderhook Group Real Estate will feature digital macro photography on metal by Lisa Marie Goudey, and oil paintings and pen and ink drawings by Michele Ridgeway. The Whitney Center for the Arts will host a group show representing the Guild of Berkshire Artists.

New shows from local artists will also be displayed at RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, the Marketplace Café, the Funky Phoenix, Berkshire Paint and Sip, the Brothership Building and Berkshire Medical Center. For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501.

–E.E.

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Berkshire Bach Society to open season with ‘Bach and More’

James Bagwell. Photo: Daniel Welch

Great Barrington — The Berkshire Bach Society will open its 28th concert season Saturday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Great Barrington, 251 Main St., with “Bach and More: James Bagwell Conducts Baroque Songs of Praise.”

Renee Anne Louprette. Photo: Joshua South Photography

The concert will feature Bagwell conducting an ensemble of 12 a cappella voices in sacred and secular music from the early Baroque period. The program includes nearly a dozen of the composers who laid the foundation for the expressivity and sound of Bach, Handel and other masters of the period. The concert finds early hints of Bach’s compositional techniques in motets and madrigals by Isaac, Schutz, Monteverdi and others, including rarely performed pieces from Polish master Pekiel and Francisco Lopez-Capillas, the first native-born chapel master in the New World. Organist Renee Anne Louprette will set the framework by opening the concert with a solo performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G Major and ending by accompanying the Bach motet, “Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden.”

Tickets are $35 for the general public, and free for children and full-time students with ID. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Berkshire Bach Soceity at (413) 528-9555 or info@berkshirebach.org.

–E.E.

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Jeffrey L. Neumann, ‘Old West,’ oil on linen, 24 x 36, 2018

Jeffrey L. Neumann to display paintings at Berkshire School

Sheffield — The oil and watercolor paintings of Jeffrey L. Neumann will be featured from Friday, Nov. 2, through Saturday, Dec. 15, in a solo exhibition at Berkshire School’s Warren Family Gallery. The public is welcome to meet the artist at an opening reception Friday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Working in a style of contemporary realism, Neumann’s paintings focus on the 20th-century American commercial landscape. Neumann is excited about sharing his work with young people. Commenting on the anthropological aspect of his work, he said: “As the corporate homogenization of our commercial landscape continues relentlessly, vernacular roadside places are fast becoming an endangered species. These paintings help to preserve an important part of our American cultural history.”

The Warren Family Gallery is located in Berkshire School’s Kennard Visual Arts Center. For more information, call (413) 229-1265.

–E.E.

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Mount Greylock teacher Jeffrey Welch receives Kapteyn Prize

Jeffrey Welch. Photo courtesy Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Williamstown — Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has announced that Jeffrey Welch, a social studies teacher at Mount Greylock Regional High School, has been awarded the 10th annual James C. Kapteyn Prize for excellence in teaching. He will receive a $10,000 award for study or travel to enrich his teaching, and the school will receive a $2,000 grant in his name.

In his 21 years at Mount Greylock, Welch’s teaching assignments have ranged from core world and U.S. history classes to topics in a wide variety of disciplines such as conversational Italian, psychology and introduction to the law. He has directed the spring musical since 2000 and has served as the curriculum leader of the social studies department since 2005. Colleagues and students have described Welch as a devoted, engaging, resourceful and inspirational educator who respects his students and instills in them a love of learning.

Welch will receive the Kapteyn Prize during an award ceremony Sunday, Nov. 4, from noon to 2 p.m. at the high school.

–E.E.