Sunday, May 26, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: City of Pittsfield’s First Fridays; Hancock Shaker Village anniversary exhibits; ‘Madama Butterfly’ at The Mahaiwe and The Clark; Berkshire Opera family concert; Owls with Hop Brook Club; Pittsfield UNICO diaper drive

The City of Pittsfield presents First Fridays at Five and First Fridays Artswalk in downtown Pittsfield.

City of Pittsfield’s First Fridays at Five and First Fridays Artswalk

Pittsfield— On Friday, May 3rd from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the City of Pittsfield presents First Fridays at Five and First Fridays Artswalk in downtown Pittsfield.

The First Fridays Artswalk participating venues include Berkshire Art Center (Stephanie VanBramer and Ma’leek Adams-Powell,) Clock Tower Artists, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge/Dorothy’s Estaminet (Katunemo, Ernie Kirk, Kathy Glenn,) Hotel on North (Marguerite Bride,) Lichtenstein Center for the Arts (Pittsfield High School,) Marketplace Cafe (Mollie Kellogg,) Roots and Dreams and Mustard Seeds (Marco and Maria Ortiz, Peppa and Drake, Sandra Bonilla, and Matthew Brinton), Living in Recovery (Shane Ott and Jeff Malderez,) Soda Chef (Nicole March,) and TKG Real Estate (Denise Michaud Lucas.) There will also be “Art in the Park” with Mike Carty at Sottile Park and “Pottery in Palace Park” with Jim Horsford.

Ilene Richard, ‘Industrial Chic.’

The Clock Tower Artists at 75 South Church Street will host an open studios event in their beautiful, light-filled space. Witness the artists’ artistic processes firsthand and be captivated by an eclectic blend of masterpieces that will enchant and inspire you. Participating artists include Deborah H. Carter, Marion Grant, Caroline Kelley, Bruce Laird, Mark Mellinger, Linda Petrocine, Shany Porras, Sally Tiska Rice, Ilene Richard, Audrey Shachnow, and Stefanie Weber. During the event, there will be a shuttle from City Hall on Allen Street to the Clock Tower Artist Studios  every 15 minutes.

Stephanie VanBramer, ‘Bloom.’

The Berkshire Art Center (BAC) at 141 North Street, will offer free drop in art-making until 7:30 p.m., BAC will also feature two window displays “Same Difference” by Stephanie VanBramer and “Street Manifesto: Expressions in Spray” by Ma’leek Adams-Powell.

Every hour at 30 minutes past the hour, Living in Recovery at 75 North Street welcomes all for free coffee, canvas art workshops, and kids art projects. Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. and First Fridays Artswalk will host a Free Kids’ Paint & Sip and Family Fun Zone with Balloon Ben at Dunham Mall at 100 North Street. There will also be live performances by the nine-piece brass band Soul Magnets on the City Stage and by Opal Raven Cirque at Persip Park.

Check out all of the May 3rd First Fridays at Five events online. Download the Downtown Pittsfield app in the App Store or on Google Play to follow a virtual walking tour of art on your cell phone. More information can be found online.


Hancock Shaker Village presents ‘The Year of the Woman: A Celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Mother Ann Lee’s Arrival in America’

Hancock— To honor the 250th anniversary of the Shakers’ arrival in America, Hancock Shaker Village celebrates the many contributions of founding leader Ann Lee and her followers with exhibits featuring works from women artists installed throughout the Village.

Influenced by Shaker aesthetic, 18 unique and prominent women artists are featured in installations throughout Hancock Shaker Village. These women artists have contemporary visions of Shaker ideals through gift drawings, gardens, weaving, textiles, sculpture, and utilitarian design. 

The 1878 Brick Poultry House holds the exhibit Inspired with works by Phoebe Rotter, Kathy Greenwood, Julia Whitney Barnes, Elana Herzog, Wendy Jensen, Becca Van K, Caitlin MacBride, and Kate Hamilton. In the Laundry and Machine Shop, Maggie Pate, who has been inspired by the Shaker Sisters herb industry, shows eco prints. Further, into the season, Pate will exhibit “Seasonal Saturation in the Garden Tool Shed,” featuring eco paints created from materials found locally. Melissa Thorne will exhibit in the Round Stone Barn starting in August. In the Chace Gallery in September will be “Sisters Harvest,” an exhibit devoted to the Sisters herb industry.

Additionally, each month from May to November, along with the full season exhibits, woman artists from the Berkshires including Jaye Moscariello, Olwen Dowling, Marita Glodt, Shany Porras, Joanie Ciolfi, and Avery Ball are highlighted in “Artists from Home” exhibited at the Visitors Center, just outside Chace Gallery. 

Jaye Alison Moscariello, ‘Patagonia.’

Artist Jaye Alison Moscariello, a Sandisfield resident, was pleased and honored to be invited by curator Kathleen Lynch, to be a featured artist for “Artists from Home.” Moscariello, a pacifist, resonates with the Shakers’ philosophy and will be showing works from her current abstract series entitled “Abstracted Memories.” Painting on canvas with acrylics and natural pigments, her art has been described as resonating with joy and upliftment, transforming personal and worldly complexities into visual harmony.

A reception will be held on Saturday, May 18th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to welcome all the artists to the Village and give members and visitors an opportunity to hear more about how they were influenced and inspired by the Shakers. Tickets are $45 and $40 for members. Tickets and more information can be found online.


Met Opera Live in HD: Puccini’s ‘Madama Butterfly’ at The Mahaiwe and The Clark

Great Barrington/Williamstown— On Saturday, May 11th at 1 p.m., The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and The Clark Art Institute present Met Opera Live in HD: Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.”

Three extraordinary sopranos—Aleksandra Kurzak, Eleonora Buratto, and Asmik Grigorian (in her highly anticipated Met debut)—tackle the demanding role of Cio-Cio-San, the loyal geisha at the heart of Puccini’s devastating tragedy. Tenors Matthew Polenzani and Jonathan Tetelman co-star as the callous American naval officer Pinkerton, whose betrayal destroys her. Mezzo-sopranos Elizabeth DeShong and Eve Gigliotti share the role of the steadfast maid Suzuki, and baritone Davide Luciano and Lucas Meachem are the American consul Sharpless. Acclaimed maestro Xian Zhang makes her Met debut conducting Anthony Minghella’s vivid production.

A dancer in the opening scene from Act I of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly.” Image: Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera.

The simulcasts are on Saturday, May 11th at 1 p.m. at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Castle Street in Great Barrington and The Clark Art Institute on South Street in Williamstown. Tickets to The Mahaiwe are $25 and $10 for ages 21 and under; Card To Culture accepted. Tickets and more information can be found online. Tickets to The Clark at $25, $22 members, $18 students, and $5 for children 15 and under. Tickets and more information can be found online.


Berkshire Opera Festival to present a free family concert

Lenox— On Saturday, May 18th at 11 a.m., as part of ArtWeek Berkshires, Berkshire Opera Festival (BOF) will present Giuseppe Grandini and the Search for the World’s Greatest Opera Character,” a free family concert at Shakespeare and Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse.

‘Giuseppe Grandini and the Search for the World’s Greatest Opera Character.’ Courtesy BOF.

The great Italian opera impresario “Giuseppe Grandini” needs your help in his search to find the greatest opera character of all time. Discover opera’s most colorful characters, from the good to the downright nasty. With five stellar guest artists and Giuseppe as your guide, explore what makes these characters so entertaining through the music of Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, and more.

Led by BOF’s Artistic and Education Coordinator Geoffrey Larson, featured artists include soprano Erin Casey, mezzo-soprano Abbegael Greene (who will appear this August in BOF’s mainstage production of “Faust”), tenor Maximillian Jansen, baritone Joshua Jeremiah, and pianist Curtis Serafin. 

The free event is on Saturday, May 18th at 11 a.m. at Shakespeare and Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox. It is recommended for ages 8 to 14 with accompanying family members of all ages. Registration is encouraged. Registration and more information can be found online. 


The Hop Brook Club of Tyringham presents ‘Kestrels, Owls and Migratory Birds in the Berkshires’

Tyringham— On Saturday, May 11th at 5 p.m., The Hop Brook Club of Tyringham presents “Kestrels, Owls and Migratory Birds in the Berkshires.”

Adult male Kestrel owl. Courtesy Hop Brook Club.

Join Ben Nickley, Executive Director of Berkshire Bird Observatory (BBO) as he discusses BBO’s bird conservation and monitoring activities in south county.

The event is on Saturday, May 11th at 5 p.m. at Tyringham Town Hall at 116 Main Road in Tyringham. Admission is free. Donations to the Hop Brook Community Scholarship Fund are welcome. 


Pittsfield UNICO is holding a Mother’s Day community diaper drive

Pittsfield— Pittsfield UNICO is holding a Mother’s Day community diaper drive to benefit the Elizabeth Freeman Center and the Christian Center. 

Diapers, especially larger sizes, and baby wipes are needed. 

Drop off times and locations:

  • Now through May 10th at Ready Set Learn on Wendell Avenue and Dalton Avenue.
  • Now through May 10th at Berkshire Fitness and Wellness Center in Crawford Square.
  • Saturday, May 11th from 9 a.m. to noon at the Christian Center on Robbins Avenue.
  • Saturday, May 11th from noon to 4 p.m. at Balderdash Cellars on State Road in Richmond.

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A Pride pageant, a film festival, the lost work of Rahel Szalit, the WAM Teen Ensemble, a memory painting workshop, a celebrity chef pizza party, musical brunch, adult LEGO building, dinosaur eggs, and children’s shows.

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Watch as renowned potter Rick Hamelin delves into the rich pottery legacy in New England and shares the captivating stories of the brave redware potters who fought valiantly during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.