A nature mandala at the 2018 Berkshire Earth Expo. This year's event will be held Saturday, April6, at the Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires in Pittsfield. Photo courtesy Living the Change Berkshires

Bits & Bytes: Berkshire Earth Expo; Katherine Bernhardt at Art Omi; volunteer singers sought

Berkshire Earth Expo to feature Cooler Communities Challenge

Pittsfield — Living the Change Berkshires is collaborating with local schools, community groups and businesses for the fourth annual Berkshire Earth Expo Saturday, April 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires.

Each year, the Expo has grown in size and impact, with a total of over 1,200 people attending. For the upcoming Expo, the group is integrating a school-based program called the Cooler Communities Challenge, which is based on the successful Cooler Concord model. The goal of the Cooler Communities Challenge is to reduce a community’s carbon footprint and improve its resilience by showcasing students’ research and activities on climate, energy and environment to inspire people to take action. Students’ work will be presented in interactive exhibits at the Expo, and the students will challenge community members to take pledges or actions related to the subject of the presentations.

Students display their work at the 2017 Cooler Concord event. Photo courtesy Living the Change Berkshires

Planned exhibits include the Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School Green Team’s work on composting at the school; Bard Academy at Simon’s Rock students’ work on public transportation in the Berkshires as well as the science of climate change; Bard College at Simon’s Rock students’ work on pollinators and the Simon’s Rock Pollinator Garden; Darrow School environmental science students’ research on solutions for feeding a growing population without squandering the Earth’s resources; Miss Hall’s School students’ campus efforts to reduce and ultimately eliminate single-use plastic bags, plus an explanation of the Green New Deal; Taconic High School students’ science fair exhibits related to climate and energy; Waconah Regional High School students’ experiences and methods in researching and implementing a school-wide cafeteria composting operation; Flying Cloud Institute’s Makers Make a Difference: Using Wind Energy to Get Work Done; and  Bennington College’s Beyond Plastics project.

The Expo will also include vendors and organizations with information about sustainable living; arts and crafts and other activities for all ages; nature crafts for children with Flying Deer Nature Center; a spoken-word competition for youth from WordXWord; healthy food; an electric vehicle showcase; and a variety of presentations. The Berkshire Earth Expo is a no-plastics, no-waste event. Lee Greener Gateway Committee, Berkshire Compost, and RecyclingWorks will handle compostable and recyclable materials from the event.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact livingthechangeberkshires@gmail.com.


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Katherine Bernhardt, ‘Pink panther + scotch tape + green plantains,’ 2019. Image courtesy Art Omi

Katherine Bernhardt’s ‘GOLD’ on view at Art Omi

Ghent, N.Y. — “GOLD,” an exhibition of new paintings by Katherine Bernhardt, is on view in the Newmark Gallery at Art Omi March through Sunday, May 19. An opening reception will be held Saturday, April 6, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The solo exhibition is comprised of seven large paintings of the enigmatic yet illustrious Pink Panther. Though Bernhardt’s early work focused on supermodels such as Gisele Bündchen and Kate Moss, over the past decade, Bernhardt’s subjects have expanded to include pop culture icons as well as more everyday objects. In “GOLD,” Bernhardt utilizes the Pink Panther as a vehicle to explore the vast spectrum of pinks made available through modern-day pigments.

Bernhardt holds a bachelor’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a master’s degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Bernhardt has exhibited extensively in New York and abroad at venues and institutions such as the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis in Missouri; Xavier Hufkens in Brussels, Belgium; andCarl Freedman Gallery in Margate, UK. In 2016, Bernhardt was included in Manifesta 11: The European Biennial of Contemporary Art in Zurich, Switzerland.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Art Omi at (518) 392-4747 or info@artomi.org.


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Ancram Opera house seeks volunteer singers for original song cycle

Heather Christian. Photo: Maria Baranova

Ancram, N.Y. — Ancram Opera House invites regional residents to join open rehearsals for a performance of original songs created by the songwriters of “Drive-in: American Fugue,” a workshop conceived by Obie Award-winning composer/performer Heather Christian, AOH’s 2019 spring artist in residence.

The “Drive-in: American Fugue” project started with a cohort of local residents collaborating on a song cycle about life in the Roeliff Jansen region, and will culminate in a free public concert Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m. with a reception to follow. The workshop and performance are part of Christian’s larger work focusing on small American towns and the incredible people who live in them.

The songs created during the workshop will be rehearsed over five days the week of Tuesday, April 9. No prior singing experience is necessary and rehearsals, which are open to all, will take place at AOH Tuesday, April 9, through Friday, April 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 5 p.m. A new song will be learned at each session, but volunteers do not need to attend all rehearsals. It is hoped, though not required, that those joining rehearsals will perform at the April 13 showing.

Interested individuals are free to drop-in on any rehearsal, though it is requested that singers RSVP. For more information or to register, contact the Ancram Opera House at (518) 329-0114.