Sunday, June 23, 2024

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BITS & BYTES: Namoli Brennet at The Foundry; Ian Spencer Bell at Chesterwood; Peter D. Gerakaris at Berkshire Botanical Garden; American Mural Project open house; Housatonic Party in the Park; Accessible birding at Pleasant Valley

Trans artist Namoli Brennet’s music has been called, “An uplifting shot of hope that queers the sonic landscape.”

The Foundry presents multi-instrumentalist Namoli Brennet

West Stockbridge— On Saturday, June 8th at 7:30 p.m., The Foundry presents multi-instrumentalist Namoli Brennet.

Trans artist Namoli Brennet has been writing, recording, touring, and releasing albums since the days of dial-up internet. Her music has been called, “An uplifting shot of hope…that queers the sonic landscape.”

Brennet’s decades-long career has seen her morph from more traditional singer-songwriter fare into what one reviewer called a “sonic painter,” creating rich, ambient textures as a backdrop for often profound and poetic lyrics. She has traveled extensively and has performed in most of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Her music has been nominated for the German Music Critics award and has been featured on NPR and in the Emmy-award-winning film “Out In the Silence.”

The performance is on Saturday, June 8th at 7:30 p.m. at The Foundry at 2 Harris Street in West Stockbridge. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. More information can be found online. Visit The Foundry online for parking information. 

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Chesterwood presents Isadora Duncan program with Ian Spencer Bell in the Studio Garden

Stockbridge— On Saturday, June 8th at 5:30 p.m. Chesterwood, the historic home, studio and gardens of sculptor Daniel Chester French, presents a special program with Ian Spencer Bell to kick off the fourth season of their “Arts Alive!” performance series.

Duncan was a pioneer of modern dance and her celebration of classical ideals combined with her natural, athletic movement revolutionized dance and theater. Bell studied Duncan from third-generation Duncan dancers Lori Belilove, founder of Isadora Duncan Dance Company, and Catherine Gallant, founder of Dances by Isadora, in New York City.

Dancer, poet and choreographer Ian Spencer Bell will reconstruct Isadora Duncan’s famous solo “The Many Faces of Love” with live music by classical pianist Lauren Aloia, set in the historic gardens.

Ian Spencer Bell in the Studio at Chesterwood. Photo by Stephanie Zollshan. Courtesy Chesterwood.

Bell began working on the project two years ago a Dancer-in-Residence at Chesterwood, when he learned that the sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) and Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) not only knew each other but also that Duncan had danced for French in his Studio Garden during the summer of 1898.  French’s wife, Mary, wrote in her memoirs “she danced on the upper terrace of the garden, with her long fragile figures, poppies in her hair, her fleeting motions, she seemed like a Greek figure come to life she was most beautiful.”  Bell states that “Like Isadora Duncan, I often dance in silence and make the very personal public.”

The performance is on Saturday, June 8th at 5:30 p.m. at Chesterwood at 4 Williamsville Road in Stockbridge. Tickets are $25, $20 for members, and free for youth under age 18. A talk and reception will follow. Registration and more information can be found online. 

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Berkshire Botanical Garden presents ‘Microcosms,’ works by Peter D. Gerakaris

Stockbridge— From June 7th through August 4th, Berkshire Botanical Garden presents ‘Microcosms,’ works by Peter D. Gerakaris.

A journey of reverence and wonder, “Microcosms” includes dynamically colored icons and mosaics created by means of old-world techniques as rare and endangered as the flora and fauna they depict. Gerakaris also includes several of his botanical/topographical works in tondo (circular paintings,) origami sculptures, and hand-embellished prints and works on paper.

“Each work functions more like its own miniature world, or microcosm, while simultaneously sharing a strong common thread with all the other works,” said Gerakaris, who earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Cornell University and a master’s degree in fine arts from the City University of New York Hunter College. His works over the years, including large-scale public installations, have been exhibited around the world. They are showcased in various permanent institutional and private collections.

Peter D. Gerakaris. Courtesy Berkshire Botanical Garden.

The creator of the “Spotted Owl Mosaic,” an installation that has resided in BBG’s Vista Garden since 2021, Gerakaris sees “Microcosms” as a bit of a homecoming. “BBG and I of course share the philosophy that humanity is not apart from nature but rather a part of nature,” he said. “As soon as that philosophical shift happens on a grander scale, we are less likely to destroy nature, less likely to destroy ourselves.”

The exhibit runs from June 7th through August 4th at Berkshire Botanical Garden at 5 West Stockbridge Road in Stockbridge. There is an opening reception on Saturday, June 8th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. More information can be found online.

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American Mural Project open house 

Winsted, Conn.— On Saturday, June 8th, American Mural Project (AMP) is proud to participate in Connecticut Open House Day, a state-wide celebration of everything Connecticut offers.

Admission to AMP will be free and visitors will enjoy gallery tours, special activities for kids, a drop-in Teen Art Studio program, and a “Family Tour & Explore” of AMP’s summer programs for kids and teens. All activities will be free and open to the public.

During the “Family Tour & Explore,” families can tour the AMP campus, including the outdoor Nature Playground, and learn more about AMP’s summer programs for kids and teens. AMP’s summer enrichment lineup includes STEAM, gardening, art exploration, musical theater, teen music jam camp, and more.

American Mural Project.

The open house is on Saturday, June 8th at American Mural Project at 90 Whiting Street in Winsted, Conn. Pre-registration is required for the “Family Tour & Explore.” Registration and more information can be found online. 

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Housatonic Party in the Park

Housatonic— On Saturday, June 8th from noon to 4 p.m., the Housatonic Improvement Committee presents a free “Party in the Park” at the Housatonic Common. 

Housatonic Party in the Park.

The event will feature a variety of food vendors, live music, face painting, Bowey the Magic Clown, a children’s activity by the Great Barrington Libraries, a book giveaway by the Friends of the GB Libraries, and overall fun for all.

The party is on Saturday, June 8th from noon to 4 p.m. at the Housatonic Common at 207 Pleasant Street in Housatonic. More information can be found online. 

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Accessible birding at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Lenox— On Saturday, June 8th from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is offering accessible birding on its “All Person’s Trail.”

This introductory bird watching program takes place along the newly expanded “All Person’s Trail” at Pleasant Valley. The sanctuary’s beaver ponds, wetlands, woods, and meadows are perfect places to see warblers, tanagers, orioles, and more during spring migration and nesting season.

Accessible birding at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

Binoculars and mindfulness tips are provided as you explore a gentle, accessible trail that extends from the sanctuary entrance through meadows and woods to the shores of Pike’s Pond. Perfect for beginners and birders of all abilities, visitors are welcome to stay for the entire two hours or as long as you like.

The free program is on Saturday, June 8th from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary at 472 West Mountain Road in Lenox. Registration and more information can be found online. 

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