September First Fridays Artswalk
Pittsfield — The First Fridays Artswalk on Friday, Sept. 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. will encompass more than a dozen art shows featuring over a dozen accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District. The event 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 gallery at Hotel on North features “Respect the Cow,” an exhibit of paintings by Susan Merrill, through Wednesday, Sept. 6, with a reception from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For the month of September, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, will present “Illuminated Broadsides: Word & Image,” curated by Julio Granda. A soft opening will take place during the Artswalk and an opening reception will occur Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 pm. In the exhibition, more than 25 poets and artists have collaborated to create works of art incorporating a variety of printing methods to achieve unusual marriages of words and images. Pat Most will offer a one-night solo show at Downtown Pittsfield Inc. The Kinderhook Group Real Estate will feature fine art photographer Lear Levin’s photographs of dancers from the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
New shows from local artists will also be displayed at RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, the Brothership Building window, Berkshire Medical Center, the Marketplace Café, Berkshire Paint and Sip, Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men, the Funky Phoenix, and the Whitney Center for the Arts.
For more information, contact Downtown Pittsfield Inc. at (413) 443-6501.
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Spencertown Academy to hold annual Festival of Books
Spencertown, N.Y. — Spencertown Academy Arts Center will hold its 12th annual Festival of Books Saturday, Sept. 2, through Monday, Sept 4. The festival will feature a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by authors, and a children’s program.
The festival will begin on Saturday, Sept. 2, at 9:30 a.m. with a children’s program featuring a visit from the costumed character the Cat in the Hat from the Dr. Seuss book plus book-related art projects and storybook readings. At 11:30 a.m., prizes will be awarded to the top entries in the Festival of Books Young Writers’ Contest, as judged by authors and publishing professionals. The winning writers will have the opportunity to read their works aloud. Saturday’s events will continue with readings by authors Jonathan Gould, Wesley Brown, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Sulome Anderson and Michael D. Lemonick. Sunday’s events will include readings from Greg Mitchell, Elinor Lipman, and Patricia Park. A giant used book sale will be ongoing throughout the festival. Ticketed early-buying opportunities will be available.
Admission to the Festival of Books is free with the exception of the book sale’s early-buying events. For more information and a detailed schedule of events, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Spencertown Academy Arts Center at (518) 392-3693 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Eclipse Mill gallery to host ‘Figuratively Speaking’ art exhibit
North Adams — The Eclipse Mill gallery will host the exhibit “Figuratively Speaking” Friday, Sept. 1, through Sunday, Sept. 24. An opening recpetion will tak pleace Friday, Sept. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibition explores the aesthetics and meaning of the human form in contemporary art. Transplanted North Adams-based artists William Archer, Joanna Klain, Linda O’Brien, Opie O’Brien and Wilma Rifkin will display a range of works that depict the human figure in varied approaches. Said co-curator Linda O’Brien, “The figure is so often taken for granted or portrayed in a safe, traditional way. We wanted to explode the form.” The exhibit’s offerings will include Klain’s finely detailed prints; Archer’s soft pastels; Rifkin’s drawing, watercolor, and mixed-media combinations; and Linda O’Brien’s charcoals, dolls and assemblages. For more information, contact the Eclipse Mill gallery at email@example.com.
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Cemetery walk to highlight headstone meanings, messages
Stockbridge — On Saturday, Sept. 2, at 4:00 p.m., volunteers from the Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives will explore the meanings of final messages in a cemetery walk titled “Final Words, Lasting Images: Headstone Meanings and Messages.” Participants will learn which words and images were chosen at different times, what they meant in their own time periods, how and why they changed over time, and what those changes represent. There is a $5 suggested donation. The walk will gather at the cemetery gate on Main Street/Route 102 and last approximately one hour. For more information, contact the Stockbridge Library at (413) 298-5501.