Monday, July 22, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

Bits & Bytes: ‘Ratajkowski Revealed;’ coffee & conversation with Sen. Downing; Olana’s 50th; Harrington to open campaign HQ; gates & gatehouses; Williams College planetarium schedule

Williams College’s astronomy department will host free shows for the public at the Hopkins Observatory’s Milham Planetarium.

‘Ratajkowski Revealed’ at L’Atelier Berkshires

Great Barrington — L’Atelier Berkshires presents “Ratajkowski Revealed,” featuring the works of California painter John David Ratajkowski, through Thursday, June 30. A reception for the artists will be held on Sunday, June 26, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., at L’Atelier Berkshires, 597 Main St.

John David Ratajkowski’s abstract pieces have many stories to share, such as his experiences painting in Ireland and Spain to riffings on ancient texts. Ratajkowski has exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Poland, Ireland, and Bulgaria. An exhibition of his work, titled “Los San Patricios: The Story of the Mexican and Irish Alliance,” will be on view at the Embassy of Mexico in Dublin, Ireland, later this summer. He has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Council for the Humanities, and has served as Artist-in-Residence in Torun, Poland and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Ratajkowski will be present at the reception, which will also feature classical guitar music from Mark Dufault and furniture by Irish designer Mick Galvin. For more information, call the Gallery at (510) 469-5468.


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Coffee and Conversation with Senator Downing

State Senator Benjamin B. Downing.

Egremont — State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) will hold his next Coffee and Conversation at Egremont Town Hall, 171 Egremont Plain Rd., on Monday, June 27, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

In order to be accessible to all his constituents no matter where they live, Senator Downing hosts monthly Coffee & Conversation open forums in rotating towns across his Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin & Hampden district. All are welcome to join Senator Downing and his staff during the event to pose questions, submit comments, or pitch ideas regarding state government. Downing provides free coffee and refreshments for those who attend.


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Olana to celebrate 50th anniversary

August View across the Lake photo by Melanie Hasbrook 2014 300dpi
Olana across the lake. Photo: Melanie Hasbrook.

Hudson, N.Y. — On Monday, June 27, at 10 a.m., the Olana Partnership and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will gather at Olana to mark the 50th anniversary of its creation. On June 27, 1966 (also a Monday), Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller arrived by helicopter to sign the Lane-Newcombe Bill into law, authorizing the state to purchase Frederic Church’s Olana. Those attending the 50th anniversary commemoration will include Sam Aldrich; Trudy Huntington, David Huntington’s widow; and a number of others involved in Olana’s preservation. Remarks will be given by Chair of the New York State Council of Parks Dr. Lucy Rockefeller Waletzky and Deputy Commissioner for Historic Preservation Ruth Pierpont. Light refreshments will be served.

Those attending are asked to RSVP to or (518) 828-1872 x103.


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Grand opening of Harrington campaign headquarters

Andrea Harrington Headshot
Andrea Harrington.

Pittsfield — On Tuesday, June 28, from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., Democratic State Senate candidate Andrea Harrington will hold an event to mark the grand opening of her campaign’s headquarters at 139 North St. All are welcome to attend.

Harrington, a local attorney and small business owner who grew up in the Berkshires, is raising her two young sons in Richmond with her husband.

For more information, contact Casey at (413) 801-2820 or


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‘Past Private Gateposts’ at Ventfort Hall

Gilder by Philip Howard 2015
Cornelia Brooke Gilder. Photo: Philip Howard.

Lenox — Architectural and social historian Cornelia Brooke Gilder will present a talk entitled “Past Private Gateposts: Up Winding Drives of Historic Berkshire Houses” at Ventfort Hall Mansion & Gilded Age Museum on Tuesday, June 28, at 4 p.m. A Victorian tea will follow.

Many gates and gatehouses of the once-grand private Berkshire cottages of the late 19th and early 20th centuries survive today. Gilder, co-author of the books “Houses of the Berkshires” and “Hawthorne’s Lenox” and a member of Ventfort Hall’s program committee, will give a virtual tour of those elegant Gilded Age places, touching also on the big houses at the far ends of the driveways and the stories of the families that built them.

Tickets for the Tea & Talk are $24 in advance and $29 on the day of the event. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited. For information or reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or


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Summer shows at Williams College’s planetarium

The Hopkins Observatory.

Williamstown — Williams College’s astronomy department will host free shows for the public at the Hopkins Observatory’s Milham Planetarium on the following Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8 p.m.: June 28, 30; July 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28; and August 2 and 4. Audiences will be treated to shows from the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector. Shows will last approximately 50 minutes. The shows will be hosted by Williams College student Timothy Nagle-McNaughton ’18 and John Nuciforo of the Pittsfield School District. Reservations are recommended. For more information or to make reservations, contact Michele Rech at (413) 597-2188 or Others will be admitted as space permits. Large groups should call for special appointments.



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