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Bits & Bytes: Art Omi: Architecture exhibitions; crossword puzzles at West Stockbridge Library; Cooler Community Expo discussion; Lee Shaw documentary

For the fourth annual Berkshire Earth Expo, Living the Change Berkshires is taking a cue from the town of Concord and bringing the Cooler Communities challenge to Berkshire County.

Art Omi: Architecture to open two new exhibitions

Ghent, N.Y. — On Saturday, Jan. 12, from 2 to 4 p.m., Art Omi will celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions in its Architecture program: “EXIT Architecture: Speculations for the Hereafter” and “InConstruction: Hariri & Hariri.”

“EXIT Architecture” is a speculative look at designing for the afterlife in all its potential architectural and design forms, as well as new ways of marking an exit, with contributions from AD-WOStudio Ames, ANAHBEAU Architects, Richard Ceccanti Aston, Bade Stageberg Cox, Roderick Cruz, JeongChoi Works, Konyk Architecture, Giann Matias, Aleksandr Mergold, Michaela Metcalfe, Yongwoo Park, Jason Vigneri-Beane and Lebbeus Woods. EXIT Architecture was curated by Warren James, Julia van den Hout and Kyle May. The exhibition will be on view in the Newmark Gallery of the Benenson Center at Art Omi through Sunday, March 3.

‘Folding Pods’ by Hariri & Hariri. Image courtesy Art Omi

“InConstruction: Hariri & Hariri” presents “Folding Pods” (2018–19), a modest, modular, prefabricated pod designed with hinged, folded panels to facilitate shipping and assembly. In its folded-flat configuration, the lightweight pod fits on a flatbed truck so it can be transported to any desired location and then unfolded on site. The basic pod can be a refugee or disaster shelter, a woods or beach cabin, assembled into clusters for large music or sports events, and even made into a single luxury home. “InConstruction” is an intimate exhibition series in the Kantor Lobby of the Benenson Center that focuses on architecture and design projects made by contemporary architects and presented publicly for the first time. Curated by Warren James and Nicole Hayes, “Hariri & Hariri” is the first in this solo exhibition series and will be on view through Sunday, Feb. 10.

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature remarks from the curators and exhibiting architects. For more information, contact Art Omi at (518) 392-4747 or


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Author Michelle Arnot to discuss crossword puzzles

Will Shortz and Michelle Arnot. Photo courtesy Sandisfield Arts Center

West Stockbridge — The Friends of the West Stockbridge Library will present crossword puzzle expert and author of author of “Crossword Puzzles for Dummies” and “Four-Letter Words: Secrets of a Crossword Insider” Michelle Arnot Saturday, Jan. 12, at 10:30 a.m. at the West Stockbridge Town Hall, 21 State Line Road.

A part-time resident of Sandisfield, Arnot has spent a career making, solving and publishing crossword puzzles, as well as serving as an official at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, organized by NPR puzzlemaster Will Shortz.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the West Stockbridge Library at (413) 232-0300 x308.


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Cooler Community Expo to be discussed at Pittsfield Green Drinks

Pittsfield — The upcoming Berkshire Earth Expo and Living the Change Berkshires will be featured at the Pittsfield Green Drinks monthly meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15, starting at 5:15 p.m. at J. Allen’s Clubhouse Grille.

For the fourth annual Berkshire Earth Expo, Living the Change Berkshires is taking a cue from the town of Concord and bringing the Cooler Communities challenge to Berkshire County. Following on the success of the Cooler Concord fair, Living the Change has partnered with the original organizers to use the model. The expo will engage local schools to feature students’ work about energy and climate. Inspired by the students’ work, expo visitors will pledge climate-smart actions, and Living the Change will record and track those pledges and the related carbon savings. The collective results will be publicized for the whole community to utilize.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Elizabeth Orenstein at (413) 717-1255 or


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Spencertown Academy to host documentary, concert about Lee Shaw

Image courtesy

Spencertown, N.Y. — Spencertown Academy Art Center will host a screening of “Lee’s 88 Keys,” a documentary film about the life and music of pianist Lee Shaw, Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Pianist Wayne Hawkins will perform some of Shaw’s music and director/producer Susan Robbins will introduce the film.

Proudly known as Albany’s “Queen of Jazz,” Shaw lived a diverse, accomplished, and charmed life. From the piano bench, she struggled not only with being a woman in a male-dominated field, but with the financial challenges that come with pursuing a dream as well as the conflict of her sharp musical mind’s residence in an ever-aging vessel. Over the years, Shaw studied with Oscar Peterson, taught piano to John Medeski and worked with jazz luminaries including Arnie Lawrence, Pepper Adams, Zoot Simms, Al Cohn, Al Grey, Richard Davis, Slam Stewart and others. Bandleaders such as Lionel Hampton asked her to join their groups, but she turned down the offers in order to focus on her jazz trio. In 1993 she was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. Shaw died in 2015 at the age of 89; the Swingtime Jazz Society honors her memory with a scholarship awarded annually to a high school senior planning to pursue music studies in college.

Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for Spencertown Academy members and $10 for students. For tickets and more information, see theBerkshire Edge calendar or contact Spencertown Academy Arts Center at (518) 392-3693 or



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