Sunday, May 26, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Tina’s Baskets and Woven Art at Whiting Mills; Herblore at The Clark; WordXWord at Dottie’s; Art Omi: Writers’ One World Residency; West Stockbridge Historical Society presents the Koussevitzky Bass; African drumming at Ramsdell Public Library; Wickers Creek Band at Chatham Library; Youth climate art show at Stationery Factory; BHS Narcan training

Each piece is inspired by Tina's imagination and woven with hand-dyed reeds into beautiful dynamic shapes in delightful color combinations that won’t be found anywhere else.

Tina’s Baskets and Woven Art to participate in open studio at Whiting Mills

Winsted, C.T.— On Saturday, April 27th and Sunday, April 28th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in honor of their 20th year as an art co-op, the public is invited to explore more than 50 artist studios including nationally acclaimed artists like Tina Puckett, owner of Tina’s Baskets and Woven Art, whose work is highly collectible and far from ordinary.

Puckett is a nationally awarded weaver of baskets and woven art. She has been weaving since 1981 using hand-dyed reeds, bittersweet, and a variety of objects like beads or seagrass. Her work is showcased at a variety of galleries across the United States as well as at her gallery/studio where you will often find her weaving on weekends.

Tina’s Baskets and Woven Art. Courtesy Whiting Mills.

Visitors will find a treasure trove of hand-woven work that includes baskets, bowls, sculptures, and wall hangings. Each piece is inspired by Tina’s imagination and woven with hand-dyed reeds into beautiful dynamic shapes in delightful color combinations that won’t be found anywhere else. What enhances the character of each piece is the addition of the Bittersweet Vine foraged by Tina in the woods near her home in northwest Connecticut. The natural beauty of bittersweet inspires each custom piece and often dictates the form a basket, bowl, wall hanging, or sculpture will take.

Whether you are a seasoned collector or a first-time buyer, Whiting Mills has something for everyone. There are studios of woven art, baskets, paintings, photography, printmaking, jewelry, fiber arts, candles, soaps, pottery, and handmade garments. Meet with seasoned artists who have been with Whiting Mills for 20 years as well as talented newcomers, guest artists for the weekend, and makers and creators of all kinds. A perk of visiting Whiting Mills during the open studio is the chance to get to meet the artist in person, see their creative process up close, find out what inspires their work, sign up for classes, and buy directly from the source.

The open studio is on Saturday, April 27th and Sunday, April 28th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whiting Mills at 100 Whiting Street in Winsted, C.T. Tina’s Baskets and Woven Art Studio is located in Room 305. More information can be found online. 

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The Clark Art Institute presents Herblore, an ancestral plant storytelling

Williamstown— On Saturday, April 27th at 6 p.m., the Clark Art Institute presents Herblore, an ancestral plant storytelling event.

Practicing herbalists Brooke Bridges (owner, head herbalist, and formulator of Brooke’s Botanicals,) Twink Williams Burns (founder of Ancestor Seeds,) and Rebecca Guanzon (co-owner of Wild Soul River) will share intimate stories about their relationships with the land and their ancestors. Although Bridges, Burns, and Guanzon come from different backgrounds, the ancestral homelands of the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans and the plants that grow in the Berkshires are key to their herbal journeys and healing pathways. 

Courtesy The Clark.

Attendees are invited to gather around a bonfire and sip on tea blends created by the herbalists. Stay after the readings for an intimate conversation with the panelists to hear more about their experiences as practicing herbalists.

The free event is on Saturday, April 27th at 6 p.m. in the Lunder Center at Stone Hill at The Clark Art Institute on South Street in Pittsfield. More information can be found online.

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WordXWord Stories at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge

Pittsfield— On Sunday, April 28th at 7 p.m., WordXWord presents WXW Stories at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. 

Similar to a story slam in spirit – minus the score keeping bit – WXW Stories is a spirited sharing of true, first person stories told, not read, circling loosely around a theme. April’s theme is “planted.” 

‘Planted.’ Courtesy WordXWord.

The free event is on Sunday, April 28th at 7 p.m. at Dottie’s Coffee Lounge on North Street in Pittsfield. Doors open at 6 p.m. Food will be available for purchase. More information can be found online. 

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Art Omi: Writers’ One World Residency

Ghent, N.Y.— From April 27th through May 5th, Art Omi: Writers is hosting One World Residency featuring 21 queer and BIPOC writers. 

Art Omi: Writers will host writers published by One World, an imprint of Random House, which seeks to provide a home for authors—novelists, essayists, memoirists, poets, journalists, thinkers, activists, and creative artists unconstrained by genre—who challenge the status quo, subvert dominant narratives, and give new language to understand the past, present, and future. One World writers represent voices from across the spectrum of humanity telling critical, universally important, and compelling stories about a changing world.

One World writers m. mick powell, Thi Bui, and Donovan X. Ramsey.

Art Omi’s philosophy and mission are deeply aligned with One World. Art Omi’s intention is to inspire innovation, ignite change, foster acceptance, and respect all within an intentional sanctuary of space. With this exciting new partnership, Art Omi and One World aim to give writers space, time, and care in order to create the most transformational work. Gathering together will allow for deeper community, as well as a safe space to share resources, knowledge, and an exchange of ideas.

“One World sees community as the intentional cultivation of a space where people can be safely heard, seen, and celebrated,” says One World Executive Editor Nicole Counts. “Guided by principles of active listening, transparency, and trust—our community prioritizes acknowledging and honoring one another. Communities of practice sharpen each other’s skills and ideas, producing work they could not have created alone.”

The event is April 27th through May 5th at Art Omi at 1405 County Route 22 in Ghent, N.Y. More information can be found online.

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West Stockbridge Historical Society presents the Koussevitzky Bass 

West Stockbridge— On Saturday, April 27th at 5 p.m., West Stockbridge Historical Society presents the Koussevitzky Bass played by Susan Hagen with soprano Sarah Poole, pianist Rebecca Plummer, and bassist David Heyes. 

Since the founding of Tanglewood in 1940 by Serge Koussevitzky, the BSO’s long-time music director and conductor, the Berkshires and Koussevitzky have become synonymous with world-class classical music. 2024 marks the 150th anniversary of Koussevitzky’s birth, and the West Stockbridge Historical Society has an opportunity to participate in the celebration of this occasion and in doing so make some history itself.

Susan Hagen, principal bassist of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and first alternate bassist for both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra has been honored to be loaned the famed Koussevitzky bass for a series of concerts during the spring of 2024 commemorating this anniversary.

Serge Koussevitzky with Koussevitsky Bass.

After Koussevitzky died in 1951, the bass remained in the care of his wife, Olga, until 1962. Olga presented the instrument to Gary Karr after attending his New York debut recital. She said that she saw the ghost of her husband embrace him on stage and took this as a sign to pass the bass on. Karr continued playing the instrument that became his main bass for over 40 years until he donated it in 2004 to the International Society of Bassists, an organization he founded. The bass is renowned for its tonal quality in solo music, but is considered difficult to play.

The concert is on Saturday, April 27th at 5 p.m. at West Stockbridge Congregational Church at 45 Main Street in West Stockbridge. Tickets are $40 and $35 for members. Tickets and more information can be found online.

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African drumming event at Ramsdell Public Library

Housatonic— On Sunday, April 28th at 2 p.m., Great Barrington Libraries present a special musical event with Amadou Diallo.

Diallo is a Master Drummer from Senegal, West Africa, specializing in the Hrin Style of religious drumming and Tabala. He also plays djembe, dun duns, and marimba. In addition to performing his music, Diallo will be bringing authentic drums and shakers for audience members who wish to participate as he teaches an African song.

Diallo has extensive experience dancing and drumming with groups in West Africa. In 2001 he relocated to the Hudson Valley where he continues sharing his culture through performance and teaching. He has performed with Fakoli Dance and Drum, Foret Sacre, The Sarouba Group, The Vanaver Caravan, Foliba, Nego Gato, John Specker, and Shout Loula among others, and he teaches at The Living Seed.

African drumming event at Ramsdell Public Library.

The free event is on Sunday, April 28th at 2 p.m. at the Ramsdell Library at 1087 Main Street in Housatonic. No registration is required, but an RSVP is appreciated. RSVP to Dawn at 413-528-1619 x6501 or djardine@townofgb.org.

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Friends of the Chatham Public Library launches ‘Music in the Library’ concert series with The Wickers Creek Band

Chatham, N.Y.— On Monday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m., the Friends of the Chatham Public Library presents The Wickers Creek Band to launch their new “Music in the Library” concert series. 

The five-person Wickers Creek Band sings in blended harmonies backed up by varying combinations of fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar, and bass. The band’s repertoire includes classic and contemporary bluegrass, country, and Appalachian music, with a dollop of French Canadian, Celtic, and New England dance tunes. Featured are lead singer Peter Paden on banjo and mandolin, Charlene Paden on fiddle, Rob Bradley on guitar, Andy Bing on mandolin and dobro, and Vivian Walsh on upright bass. If you love the high lonesome sound of bluegrass music you’ll love the Wickers Creek Band.

The Wickers Creek Band. Courtesy Friends of the Chatham Public Library.

The free concert is on Monday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Chatham Public Library on 11 Woodbridge Avenue in Chatham, N.Y. More information can be found online. 

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‘How Shall We Live?’ youth climate art show at Stationery Factory

Dalton— From April 29th through May 12th, Living the Change Berkshires and Cooler Communities are presenting “How Shall We Live? Climate Visions of Berkshire Youth Artists III,” a juried exhibition of student art responding to the climate crisis, at the Stationery Factory.

Berkshire County high school artists submitted artwork in one of four subject categories:

  • “What is happening? (positive or negative)”
  • “What is needed?”
  • “What would be lost?”
  • “Vision of the future (positive or negative)”

A record number of over 200 students from Drury, Wahconah, Lee, Mount Everett, Lenox, Mount Greylock, Pittsfield High Schools, and Berkshire School responded to the call for art. A jury consisting of local artists Phyllis Kornfeld, Karen Andrews, Gabrielle Senza, and Anne Legêne has selected 100 works for the show. Images of a selection of art can be viewed online.

‘How Shall We Live?’ youth climate art show.

“As the climate crisis worsens, it is increasingly important to not only give students the scientific and technical knowledge about this issue, but also provide ways in which they can process their emotional experience in individual and creative ways. Art speaks for itself and affects people at a level that information cannot.” says Uli Nagel, Director at Cooler Communities.

A festive opening of the show will be held on Monday April 29th at 5 p.m. at the Stationery Factory at 63 Flansburg Avenue in Dalton featuring youth activities and information on climate solutions. The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Berkshire Health Systems Berkshire Harm Reduction program will conduct a Narcan training class

Dalton— On Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m., Berkshire Health Systems Berkshire Harm Reduction program will conduct a Narcan training class.

The training covers how to identify and respond to an overdose, what Narcan is, how to administer it, overdose prevention, and the Good Samaritan Law. Attendees will be offered a free Narcan kit.

The class is on Wednesday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at Dalton United Methodist Church at 755 Main Street in Dalton. 

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