Artist Elizabeth Knowles in her studio, one of many featured in SculptureNow's new video series of artist studio tours. Photo courtesy SculptureNow

Bits & Bytes: SculptureNow video tours; ‘Old Country Barns’; ‘The Founding Fortunes’; National Moth Week workshop

Two large, lit screens will be set up in different locations and participants will collect data to document and identify as many species of moths as they can.

SculptureNow launches virtual studio visit series

Becket — For the past 22 years in the Berkshires and for the past seven years at the Mount in Lenox, SculptureNow has presented annual sculpture exhibitions and educational programs to the general public, students and visitors of all ages and abilities. In light of the fact that this summer’s exhibition and educational programs have been postponed till 2021 due to the COVID-19 crisis, SculptureNow has launched an artist video series that takes visitors on a tour of sculptors’ studios and offers a glimpse into the making of large-scale sculpture.

The selected artists were asked to film themselves in their studios with their sculptures in process, allowing the public to see the creation of their artworks. In one video, Allen Spivak discusses his life story and how he found sculpture as a sanctuary later in life. In another, Elizabeth Knowles talks about how the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced and changed her piece for the SculptureNow exhibition. In Bill Tobin’s video, he shows his process, from concept to creation, for his large-scale geometric steel sculptures.

SculptureNow’s exhibition will be presented next year with the selected sculptures that were planned for this year. SculptureNow is hoping to offer hands-on outdoor sculpture workshops for families in the near future.

–E.E.

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Great Barrington Historical Society to open ‘Old Country Barns’ exhibit

Doug Logan in his studio. Photo courtesy Great Barrington Historical Society

Great Barrington — The Great Barrington Historical Society will open the exhibit exhibit entitled “Old Country Barns: Models of the American Barn by Doug Logan” Saturday, July 18, at 10 a.m. The exhibit features 36 different barns along with detailed drawings and descriptions of barn construction techniques used in America since the 1600s. Barn models will include those found in New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, the South and the Midwest. Also included in the exhibit are barn quilts created by master quilter Doreen Atwood of Great Barrington, and photographs of barns taken by author and photographer Stephen Donaldson.

Modeler Doug Logan lives in Great Barrington with his wife, Connie, who is also a master quilter. He always had an appreciation for barns and farmers’ outbuildings that, although vanishing, still dot the countryside. Inspired by the book “An Age of Barns” by Eric Sloane, Logan decided to make model barns using the book as his reference. Spending upwards of 50 hours in his basement workshop on each model, Logan uses mixed media including wood, plaster, cement, stones and paint. His models have been exhibited at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, the Eric Sloane Museum in Kent, Connecticut, and the Covered Bridge Museum in Bennington, Vermont.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Visitors are asked to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer upon arrival and practice social distancing guidelines. A maximum of five people per tour group will be enforced. For more information, contact the Great Barrington Historical Society at (413) 591-8702 or info@gbhistory.org.

–E.E.

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Bidwell House Museum to present history talk on ‘The Founding Fortunes’

Tom Shachtman. Photo: Anne Day

Monterey — On Saturday, July 18, at 10 a.m., the Bidwell House Museum will present the online history talk “The Founding Fortunes: How the Wealthy Paid for and Profited from America’s Revolution” with author Tom Shachtman.

In this talk, Shachtman makes the case that affluence played a greater role in the American Revolution than has been acknowledged, exploring this theme through the activities of wealthy individuals such as Robert Morris, John Hancock, Elias Hasket Derby and dozens of international traders, plantation owners and pioneering businessmen, as well as financial strategists Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin. He will also discuss how the disparity between social classes affected the revolution, and the ways in which capitalism’s growth spurt in the new United States of America helped more of its people climb the economic ladder.

Shachtman is the author of “How the French Saved America” and many other histories as well as documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and BBC. He has taught at New York University and lectured at Harvard, Stanford, Georgia Tech, the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. He is a former chairman of the Writers Room in Manhattan, and an occasional columnist for the Lakeville Journal.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and free for museum members. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Bidwell House Museum at 413-528-6888 or bidwellhouse@gmail.com.

–E.E.

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Tamarack Hollow to celebrate National Moth Week with workshop on pollinators

A polyphemous moth found by Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center students during a summer 2017 nature program. Photo courtesy Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center

Windsor — Tamarack Hollow Nature and Cultural Center will host a family-friendly workshop celebrating National Moth Week and nighttime pollinators Tuesday, July 21, from 8 to 9:30 p.m. with moth specialist Betsy Higgins, insect enthusiast Jason Crockwell and Tamarack Hollow staff. Two large, lit screens will be set up in different locations and participants will collect data to document and identify as many species as they can. There will also be a campfire with marshmallows, and moth stories to share. Registration is requested due to limited space. Masks will be required. For registration and fee information, contact aimee@gaiaroots.com.

–E.E.