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Bits & Bytes: Joan Griswold open studio; ‘Drones: The Sky Isn’t the Limit;’ ‘An Evening of Duos;’ Young Writers’ Contest winners; play analysis series

Over the course of a 90-minute verbal, textual and visual fly-by, Thaddeus Kubis will trace the history of drones, the current state of affairs of drones and attempt to predict the future of both commercial and recreational drones.

Artist Joan Griswold to open studio

'Sunflowers I' by Anne Navasky
‘Sunflowers I’ by Anne Navasky

Great Barrington — On Saturday, July 8, from 3 to 6 p.m., artist Joan Griswold will host an opening reception in her studio in Room 35 on the third floor artists’ warren of the Kimball Block, 292 Main St., for a collection of work by 20 local fellow artists including Geoffrey Young, Morgan Bulkeley, Laura Didyk, Steve Levin and Ann McCallum.

“The Gallery of Small Works” exhibit consists of 50 works no larger than 12 by 14 inches and will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays through the month of July. For more information, call (646) 853-0462.

–E.E.

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‘Drones: The Sky Isn’t the Limit’

Thaddeus Kubis. Photo courtesy Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Thaddeus Kubis. Photo courtesy Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College

Pittsfield — Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College’s Distinguished Speakers Series will present the illustrated talk “Drones: The Sky Isn’t the Limit” by Thaddeus Kubis on Wednesday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at the Berkshire Museum.

Kubis is a drone operator, photographer and videographer as well as a national advisory board member for the U. S. Association of Unmanned Aerial Videographers. Over the course of a 90-minute verbal, textual and visual fly-by, Kubis will trace the history of drones, the current state of affairs of drones and attempt to predict the future of both commercial and recreational drones.

Kubis is a renaissance thinker whose interests encompass photography, new technology, integrated marketing and sailing. He has worked with drone photography for several years. A Berkshires resident, he has served as an adjunct professor, marketing analyst and writer, and is an OLLI photography instructor.

Tickets are $10 for OLLI and Berkshire Museum members, $15 for the general public and free for Berkshire Community College students. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact OLLI at (413) 236-2190.

–E.E.

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‘An Evening of Duos’ at Ventfort Hall

Michael Zaretsky. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall
Michael Zaretsky. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Lenox — Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum will present “An Evening of Duos” with violist Michael Zaretsky and violinist Victor Romanul, both members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, on Sunday, July 9, at 7 p.m. The duo will perform works by 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century composers including Mozart, Stamitz, Rolla, Sibelius and Prokofiev.

Victor Romanul. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall
Victor Romanul. Photo courtesy Ventfort Hall

Zaretsky is a native of the former Soviet Union with a cum laude degree from the Moscow State Conservatory. His early career was as a member of Moscow ensembles and orchestras. A faculty member at Boston University and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Zaretsky regularly performs in Israel, Japan and Mexico and has made three recordings for the Artona label. In addition to the traditional viola repertoire, he performs extensive repertoire of new music.

Romanul, who holds the Bessie Pappas Violin Chair with the BSO, has been performing professionally since he was seven. He has served as the BSO’s assistant concertmaster and as associate concertmaster and second violinist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He has performed frequently as a member of the Boston Artists Ensemble and the Boston Conservatory Chamber Players. Romanul’s ecent career highlights include a three-concert series of the 10 Beethoven violin sonatas and Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin in one recital.

Tickets are $20. For more information or reservations, contact Ventfort Hall at (413) 637-3206 or info@gildedage.org.

–E.E.

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center announces Young Writers’ Contest winners

Hannah Berkel. Photo courtesy Spencertown Academy Arts Center
Hannah Berkel. Photo courtesy Spencertown Academy Arts Center

Spencertown, New York — Spencertown Academy Arts Center has announced the winners of its third annual Young Writers’ Contest. Held in conjunction with the academy’s annual Festival of Books, the contest was open to writers in grades 9 through 12 attending school or homeschooled in Berkshire or Columbia counties. Contest judges included published authors, book editors and other publishing professionals.

The top three winners in each category received cash prizes. The first-place winners are invited to read their stories at the Festival of Books over Labor Day weekend and the first prize-winning pieces are posted online.

Nonfiction Essay/Memoir
First place: Hannah Berkel, Pittsfield High School, “The Bus”
Second place: Mark Barteck, John Dewey Academy, “My Past Life”
Third place: Angelina Clark, McCann Technical School, “Age of Change”

Short Story
First place: Solomon Bergquist, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School, “The Rebbe of Tyeliv”
Second place: Kelly Wallace, Darrow School, “Nights to Remember”
Third place: Hannah McArdle, Berkshire Waldorf High School, “Alice”

This year, the academy gave appreciation gifts to each of the contest winners’ English or writing teachers: either a writing journal or a copy of “The Writer’s Toolbox” by Jamie Cat Callan and donated by the author.

–E.E.

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Play analysis series at Temple Anshe Amunim

Barbara Waldinger. Photo courtesy Berkshire On Stage
Barbara Waldinger. Photo courtesy Berkshire On Stage

Pittsfield — Temple Anshe Amunim will host a four-part play analysis series titled “The Face of Evil” on Tuesday mornings beginning Tuesday, July 11, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Barbara Waldinger, Ph. D., will lead discussion and analysis of two plays: Paddy Chayefsky’s “The Tenth Man,” an American update of Ansky’s “The Dybbuk,” which is a classic of Yiddish theatre; and Lillian Hellman’s “Watch on the Rhine,” which demonstrates how fascism can penetrate hearts and minds.

A director and professor of theatre, Waldinger taught at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York; and Marymount Manhattan College, and Queens College in New York City for 25 years. She received her Ph.D. from the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, and is serving her 17th year as artistic director of HRC Showcase Theatre in Hudson, New York. Waldinger directs for Plays in Progress, teaches for OLLI at Berkshire Community College and reviews plays for Berkshire On Stage.

The cost for the four-session course is $40 for members and $45 for non-members or $15 per session. For more information, contact the Temple Anshe Amunim office at (413) 442-5910 or templeoffice@ansheamunim.org

–E.E.

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