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Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will bring the Bach Project's Day of Action to Pittsfield's First Street Common Saturday, Aug. 10. Image courtesy Sony Classical

Bits & Bytes: Yo-Yo Ma’s Day of Action; ‘Green Inspiration’ art exhibit; ‘Bouquet of Baroque Concertos’; Laurel Hill Day; ‘A Movable Feast’ art tour

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By Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019 Life In the Berkshires

Bach Project’s Day of Action to be held at First Street Common

Pittsfield — Yo-Yo Ma’s Bach Project, in partnership with Hancock Shaker Village, will present a Day of Action with the world-famous cellist Saturday, Aug, 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Street Common. The event will feature a giant table-building project by 35 community groups as well as mural painting, an ice cream social, live music, a tree-planting ceremony, discussions and idea sharing. Tables will all be donated to community groups afterwards.

Ma, who has a home in the Berkshires, selected the region as one of 36 locations around the world on his tour, where he performs Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello—a journey motivated not only by his relationship with the music, but also by Bach’s ability to speak to common humanity and forge connection. Alongside each concert, Ma leads a Day of Action, a series of conversations and collaborations to explore how culture can help imagine and build a better future.

Choosing Pittsfield for the Day of Action before Ma’s Sunday performance at Tanglewood was natural, with its deep culture of making—from the Shakers who settled in West Pittsfield in 1783 and built furniture that became world-renowned to artists and artisans today who have taken over storefronts, churches and factories to create everything from textiles to magnets to hard cider. Ma defines culture holistically, and the Berkshires are a perfect stop halfway through his tour. Each of the tables, which are being made with wood harvested regionally, will be inscribed with phrases solicited by hundreds of members of the community, responding to the prompt “The Berkshires make . . . ”

Organizers hope to bring together many facets of the community for a day of fun but also for an opportunity to discuss community issues. During breaks throughout the day of making, panel discussions about building a new kind of resilience in the Berkshires will be held with Roots Rising, the Berkshire Eagle, author Ty Allan Jackson, architect Tessa Kelly and Ma.

The event is free and open to the public. For a list of participating organizations, see the Berkshire Edge calendar. For more information, contact Hancock Shaker Village at (413) 443-0188 or info@hancockshakervillage.org.

–E.E.

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‘The Red Chair’ by Stella Elliston. Image courtesy Davis Gregory Art

‘Green Inspiration’ to celebrate local farms, food and the green economy

‘Goddess’ by Philip Knoll. Image courtesy Davis Gregory Art

Great Barrington — Davis Gregory Art will hold an opening reception for the art exhibit “Green Inspiration” Sunday, Aug. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Mason Library.

Works by the 19 artists included in “Green Inspiration” represent themes, media and visual expressions ranging from traditional representation to abstraction. Along with landscapes and still lifes, the show will include art loosely inspired by the environment or simply by the color green. Botanical studies will hang alongside impressionist, abstract and conceptual art, providing a broad spectrum of interest and beauty offered at a variety of price points. Participating artists include Stephanie Anderson, Scott Brodie, Morgan Bulkeley, Susan Crofut, Stella Elliston, Margot Glass, Joan Griswold, Pat Hogan, Philip Knoll, KK Kozik, Hideyo Okamura, Elizabeth Orenstein, Susan Pettee, Alexander Ross, Gabrielle Senza, Dee Shapiro, Julie Shapiro, Linda Stillman and Geoffrey Young.

Net proceeds of sales will benefit the Great Barrington Libraries and Berkshire Grown. The show will run through Tuesday, Oct. 15. For more information, contact Davis Gregory Art at (413) 528-4493 or DavisGregoryArt@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Violinist Edson Scheid in a prior performance with Aston Magna. Photo courtesy Aston Magna Music Festival

Aston Magna to conclude season with ‘Bouquet of Baroque Concertos’

Great Barrington — Aston Magna Music Festival will conclude its 2019 season Thursday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m. with “Bouquet of Baroque Concertos” at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. A pre-concert talk will take place at 5 p.m. and the performance will be followed by a reception with the artists.

The program will include J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins, Zelenka’s “Hipochondrie” and Van Wassenaer’s Concerto Armonico. Presented on period instruments, the concert will be performed by the Aston Magna Chamber Orchestra musicians with Aston Magna artistic director Daniel Stepner, Edson Scheid, Julie Leven, Jane Starkman, Lena Wong and Asako Takeuchi on Baroque violins; Anne Black, Laura Jeppesen and Marcus Thompson on Baroque violas; Andrew Arceci on violone; Sarah Freiberg on cello; Todd Williams and John Manganaro on natural horns; Stephen Hammer, Priscilla Herreid and Fiona Last on Baroque oboes; Andrew Schwartz on Baroque bassoon; and Michael Sponseller on harpsichord.

Tickets are $25–$50. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Mahaiwe box office at (413) 528-0100.

–E.E.

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Mass Audubon, Cantilena Chamber Choir to highlight Laurel Hill Day

Becky Cushing

Stockbridge — The Laurel Hill Association will hold its 166th annual Laurel Hill Day Saturday, Aug. 10, at 2 p.m. at the rostrum on Laurel Hill Park, behind the Stockbridge town offices at 50 Main St.

The featured speaker will be Becky Cushing, director of Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Wildlife Sanctuaries. She will present “Musings on Animals & Madrigals,” an exploration of the intersection of nature and culture, and how the environment has inspired artists and thinkers in the Berkshires. Cantilena Chamber Choir director Andrea Goodman and choir members will weave music into the presentation. Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox, will also speak, addressing topics relevant to regional and statewide environmental issues.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. The rain location is the Stockbridge Library. For more information, contact the Laurel Hill Association at (413) 298-2888 or info@laurelhillassociation.org.

–E.E.

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Lauren Clark Fine Art to hold ‘A Movable Feast’ art tour

‘Boats’ (detail) by Shawn Fields. Image courtesy Lauren Clark Fine Art

Berkshire County — Art curators Lauren Clark and Mary Childs will take their “A Movable Feast” artists’ studio tour to New Marlborough, Becket and Lee Wednesday, Aug. 14. The small coach tour will run from approximately 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and include coffee time, lunch and a sunset cocktail sunset wrap up.

‘Wild and Domestic’ by Ann Getsinger. Image courtesy Lauren Clark Fine Art

The tour will begin in Southfield at the Whip Shop painting studio of abstract artist Andrew Zdziarski, where he will offer up his latest works and some breakfast treats from the Southfield Store. The tour will continue on to New Marlborough to visit painters Ann Getsinger and Shawn Fields, who both tend toward realism, each with a distinct style. Next is the Becket home of sculptor Joe Wheaton for lunch and a tour of the grounds full of his lyrical sculptures. The tour will conclude in Lee with a visit to the lakeside summer studio of Jim Youngerman and a late-afternoon lakeside cocktail or mocktail at Laurel Lake.

The fee is $250 per person. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by Friday, Aug. 9, to (413) 528-0432 or lauren@laurenclarkfineart.com.

–E.E.


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