Monday, June 24, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Allan and Ara Osterweil at Hudson Hall; City of Pittsfield’s First Fridays; Berkshire Pride Tea Dance; Drag Story Hour at the Ramsdell Library; Alice Nash at Bidwell House Museum; Housatonic River clean-up; Stockbridge Grange community dinner

Hudson Hall to open ‘Shapeshifters’ exhibit featuring the works of father and daughter, Allan and Ara Osterweil.

Hudson Hall to open ‘Shapeshifters’ exhibit featuring the works of father and daughter, Allan and Ara Osterweil

Hudson— From June 8th through June 28th, Hudson Hall to open ‘Shapeshifters’ exhibit featuring the works of father and daughter, Allan and Ara Osterweil. 

This exhibition celebrates the use of shape and color in the work of two abstract artists, Hudson-based painter Allan Osterweil (b. 1943) and his daughter, Montreal-based painter and writer Ara Osterweil (b. 1977). In Allan Osterweil’s exquisitely crafted drawings and paintings, shapes impose an exhilarating order on a natural world that nonetheless defies all attempts to control it. In bold contrast to her father’s meticulous compositions, the aesthetic embrace of contingency and unpredictability is the very essence of Ara Osterweil’s practice.

The exhibit runs from June 8th through June 28th at Hudson Hall at the historic Hudson Opera House at 327 Warren Street in Hudson. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, June 8th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is a pre-reception conversation with the artists at 5 p.m. More information can be found online. 

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City of Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk and First Fridays at Five

Pittsfield— On Friday, June 7th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the First Fridays Artswalk in downtown Pittsfield returns as part of the City of Pittsfield’s First Fridays at Five.

Participating venues include Berkshire Art Center, Clock Tower Artists, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge/Dorothy’s Estaminet, Hotel on North, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, Marie’s North Street Eatery and Gallery, Marketplace Cafe, NUarts gallery + studios, Roots and Dreams and Mustard Seeds, and the Soda Chef. 

There will also be interactive pottery demonstrations in Palace Park with Jim Horsford, a free “Kids’ Paint and Sip” on Dunham Mall, and live music at Dottie’s/Dorothy’s. 

Work by artist Nicole March.

The Soda Chef at 161 North Street will feature the art of Nicole March. 

An interesting highlight is Niel Davis’ in-progress multi-media piece “Within These Scales.” This 40-foot long dragon can be found at Marie’s North Street Eatery and Gallery at 146 North Street. Fabric represents some of its scales; the other scales will be artist representations of the 27 basic human emotions. Visitors are invited to try to identify the artists’ intended rendering of a particular emotion. 

Download the Downtown Pittsfield app in the App Store or on Google Play to follow a virtual walking tour of art on your cell phone. Check out all of the events online.

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Celebrate Pride with Berkshire Pride’s third annual Tea Dance

Stockbridge— On Sunday, June 9th from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Naumkeag, in partnership with Berkshire Stonewall and Berkshire Pride, is hosting Berkshire Pride’s third annual Tea Dance, sponsored by BlueQ.

Berkshire Pride’s third annual Tea Dance.

The Berkshire’s LGBTQIA+ community and their allies are invited to move to the beats of legendary DJ RuBot (Occupy the Disco,) fresh from his Paradisco residency at Le Bain at the Standard Highline in NYC, in the gardens at Naumkeag. This is the 18-and-over pride party you aren’t going to want to miss!

The 18+ dance is on Sunday, June 9th from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Naumkeag at 5 Prospect Hill Road in Stockbridge. Tickets are $30 and there is a $5 per car parking fee; carpooling is highly encouraged. Tickets and more information can be found online.

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Celebrate Pride with Drag Story Hour at the Ramsdell Library

Housatonic— On Sunday, June 9th from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., celebrate Pride with Drag Story Hour at the Ramsdell Library.

Drag Story Hour at the Ramsdell Library.

Join drag artists Miz Rebel and Sativo Green for story time, music, movement, and crafts! The event is geared towards kids but all ages are more than welcome. All children at the event will receive a free book!

The event is on Sunday, June 9th from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ramsdell Library at 1087 Main Street in Housatonic. More information can be found online. 

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Bidwell House Museum presents ‘Unlearning in Order to Learn: A Conversation about Local Indigenous Histories’ with Professor Alice Nash

Tyringham— On Saturday, June 8th at 11 a.m., Bidwell House Museum presents its Summer History Talk, “Unlearning in Order to Learn: A Conversation about Local Indigenous Histories” with Professor Alice Nash.

Most of us have information in our heads about Indigenous peoples, learned in school or from popular culture. Much of this information is wrong or based on biased assumptions. This lecture with discussion will present the concept of unlearning what we already “know” as the starting point for learning about Indigenous peoples.

‘Unlearning in Order to Learn: A Conversation about Local Indigenous Histories’ with Professor Alice Nash.

Alice Nash is Associate Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She holds a PhD in History from Columbia University (1997) and an MA in American and New England Studies from Boston University (1989). Her research interests range from the impact of colonization on family and gender relations in Wabanaki history before 1800 to current topics such as the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She has published numerous articles on northeastern Native American history including three in French translation in the Quebec journal Recherches amérindiennes au Québec (RAQ). In 2003–2004, she was awarded the first Fulbright-Université de Montréal Distinguished Chair.

Her most recent publication is “Indigenous Peoples of the Americas to 1900,” published in The Routledge Handbook to the History and Society of the Americas (2019), which she co-edited with Olaf Kaltmeier, Josef Raab, Michael Stewart Foley, Stefan Rinke, and Mario Rufer. She is the recipient of four grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to serve as director or co-director of Teaching Native American Histories, a Summer Institute for K–12 teachers drawn from a national pool of applicants.

The hybrid lecture is on Saturday, June 8th at 11 a.m. at the Tyringham Union Church at 128 Main Road in Tyringham or on Zoom. In-person tickets are $25 or $15 for members. Zoom tickets are $15 and free for members. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Volunteer to help clean up the West Branch Housatonic River with BEAT and HVA

Berkshire— On Sunday, June 9th from 9 a.m. to noon, volunteers are invited to help clean up the west branch of the Housatonic River with Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) at one of their annual river cleanups.

Cleanups make a considerable difference in the health of the Housatonic River. Over the years, BEAT and HVA have collected a startling array of debris, including mattresses, shopping carts, inflatable pools, bicycles, televisions, tires, construction materials, metal barrels, and all kinds of everyday trash. Once, they even found an empty ATM. Since beginning annual cleanups, their efforts have made a noticeable difference, which wouldn’t be possible without the help of their volunteers.

Housatonic River clean-up.

Participants should meet at Wahconah Park at 105 Wahconah Street in Pittsfield. Cleanup teams will disperse to nearby locations, gathering miscellaneous trash from the river banks and bottom. Canoes will be used to transport the trash. After the cleanup, volunteers will be provided a free lunch from a local restaurant. Volunteers must RSVP in advance to reserve a free lunch.

Registration and more information can be found online. Old clothes, a hat, sunscreen, old sneakers or waterproof boots/waders, a full water bottle, and sunglasses are recommended. In the event of heavy rain or lightning, the cleanup will be postponed to Saturday, June 29th.

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Stockbridge Grange community dinner

Stockbridge— On Sunday, June 9th, the Stockbridge Grange is having a community dinner  featuring ham, mashed potatoes, and a vegetable with dessert choices of chocolate cream or lemon meringue pie.

Lemon meringue pie. Photo by Renee Comet.

The dinner is on Sunday, June 9th, take-out only, with a pick-up window of noon to 1:30 p.m. Dinner is $15 per person. Pick-up is at the Stockbridge Grange Hall at 51 Church Street in Stockbridge. Orders may be made by calling 413-243-1298 or 413-443-4352.

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