Tuesday, May 21, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Joelle Sander at Cornwall Library; Six artists at Spencertown Academy; Sabine von Falken at Vollmer Gallery; Close Encounters With Music concert; Berkshire Bach Society presents Peter Sykes; BRTA bus service announcement

Inspired by painters as diverse as turn-of-the-20th-century Canadian landscapist Tom Thomson and American abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, Sander said, “On my best painting days I paint with freedom and a natural, naïve instinct.”

The Cornwall Library to open ‘Live It Up!,’ work by Joelle Sander

Cornwall, C.T.— From April 13th through May 18th, The Cornwall Library will open “Live It Up!,” a selection of bold, vivid landscape and abstract works by artist Joelle Sander (1942–2023.)

Sander was already an award-winning author in her late 1940’s when she began painting seriously. She pursued painting with characteristic zeal, putting it on equal footing with writing, and attending studio classes at the 92nd Street Y in New York until the week before her passing. Early on, she took to heart a comment by artist Wolf Kahn, who noticed in one of her pastels an unusual color choice. “Ah ha,” he said, “You see, you are a colorist!” 

From “Live It Up!,” work by Joelle Sander. Courtesy The Cornwall Library.

Inspired by painters as diverse as turn-of-the-20th-century Canadian landscapist Tom Thomson and American abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, Sander said, “On my best painting days I paint with freedom and a natural, naïve instinct. In addition to brushes, I use tools that run the gamut from rags, to the edges of cardboard boxes, to subway cards to cotton balls. I used cotton balls last month to create cherry blossoms in full bloom.”

“Live it Up!” will offer for sale 20 paintings from Sander’s career, selected by her son Jason Sander. All sales proceeds will benefit art and poetry programs at The Cornwall Library.

The show runs from April 13th through May 18th at The Cornwall Library on Pine Street in Cornwall, C.T. There is a reception on Saturday, April 13th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registration is requested. Registration and more information can be found online. 

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Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents ‘Perspective: Six Artists’

Spencertown, N.Y.— From April 13th through May 12th, Spencertown Academy Arts Center presents “Perspective: Six Artists,” an exhibition featuring painting, photography, and sculpture by Diahann Addison, Jeffrey All, Amy Cheng, Isabel Cotarelo, Takeyce Walter, and Kenneth Young.

The exhibit is co-curated by Norma Cohen, chair of the Academy’s Curatorial Committee, and Board member David Cudaback. “Curating an art show can be a marvelous, magical adventure, if you let the process percolate slowly. You must take the time to look for art with no specific theme. You must take chances, knowing that individual perspectives are an integral part of creativity. We selected six talented artists whose work, though disparate in degrees and variations of outward appearance, was surprisingly interconnected,” said Cohen. Cudaback added  “The images and various types of media symbolize and depict real and imagined environments that sometimes reflect humor but also perseverance and sensitive issues of life. Each particular setting has been created from an artist’s unique perspective.”

Amy Cheng, ‘Primordial Goo,’ gouache and oil marker on paper, 16” x 20”.

The artists described their work in their own words. Diahann Addison said “I photograph nature in black and white because it’s quiet. It brings attention to structure, light, and detail…[and] allows time for the mind to wander and wonder yet remain grounded and present.” Jeffrey All said “This language can express emotions or provoke the emotional mind. The materials I use are from nature and what man has left behind from the industrial world. Amy Cheng said “My painted drawings on paper are imaginative visual speculations on the mysteries of the universe. They are neither purely abstract, nor strictly representational, but hover somewhere between the two.” Isabel Cotarelo said “Trash, in all its forms, embodies the remnants of our lives. By repurposing and recycling plastic [in my art], I aim to give it a rebirth, infusing it with new meaning and purpose. The organic forms in my work evoke a sense of life, resembling organisms, cells, synapses, or viruses. Through these forms, I tap into primal emotions, explore the unknown, and embrace ambiguity.” Takeyce Walter said “This series is a reminder of the positive effects of time spent recreating in nature.” Kenneth Young said “I see beauty everywhere, even in what some might consider commonplace and ordinary. I find great pleasure in capturing and preserving it with brushes and paint so that I can enjoy it later and draw attention to it for others to know that amidst the suffering and uncertainty there is goodness, peace, and harmony.” 

The exhibit runs from April 13th through May 12th at Spencertown Academy Arts Center on State Route 203 in Spencertown, N.Y. There will be a reception on Saturday, April 13th from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free and the artworks are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Academy. More information can be found online. 

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Lisa Vollmer Photography Studio + Gallery announces spring opening and Sabine von Falken exhibit 

Great Barrington— On Saturday, April 13th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. will hold its spring opening showcasing the work of Sabine von Falken, co-founder of the Lisa Vollmer Photography Gallery.

Sabine von Falken is an artist and photographer who has dedicated nearly her entire life to the creation of images. Hailing from Germany, Sabine embarked on her photographic journey by studying and apprenticing under the tutelage of master photographer Kurt Leinen at Handwerkskammer Dortmund. Since settling in the picturesque Berkshires in 1977, Sabine has discovered boundless inspiration in the region’s natural beauty and vibrant community. Her work embodies a profound connection to her surroundings, capturing the essence of the Berkshires with sensitivity and depth.

Sabine von Falken, ‘Hellebore,’ from the Britannica Series, spring 2024, limited edition archival pigment print.

Sabine von Falken has showcased her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, earning recognition and acclaim for her distinctive vision. Her talent and unique perspective have also been featured in various publications, including “Woodland Style” and “Shell Chic” by Storey Books, and “Full of Grace” by PowerHouse Books among others.

The opening reception is on Saturday, April 13th from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Lisa Vollmer Photography Studio + Gallery on Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington. More information can be found online. 

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Close Encounters With Music presents ‘Something Borrowed, Something Blue – Cross-Cultural Synergy!’

Great Barrington— On Sunday, April 14th at 4 p.m., Close Encounters With Music presents “Something Borrowed, Something Blue – Cross-Cultural Synergy!.”

The Romans appropriated the entirety of classical Greek culture, and the Renaissance rediscovered and revitalized it. Then came Rodin and Greek Revival in American architectural style. An Egyptomania craze gripped 19th century Europe and found its way into operas, couture fashion, architectural idioms, decorative arts, music, dance, culinary arts, art, and design were all enriched, stimulated and invigorated by borrowed influences.

Violinist Itamar Zorman. Courtesy Close Encounters With Music.

The afternoon program will feature Gershwin, Max Bruch (German composer uses synagogue “Kol Nidrei” prayer,) Cesar Cui (Russian composer writes “Orientale”,) Ravel’s “Habanera,” Haydn Trio (Gypsy movement) and more. Michael Chertock will be on piano, Itamar Zorman on violin and Yehuda Hanani on cello.

The concert is on Sunday, April 14th at 4 p.m. at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Castle Street in Great Barrington. Tickets start at $28. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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The Berkshire Bach Society presents ‘The Organ Masters-II: Peter Sykes plays the great Roosevelt Organ’

Great Barrington— On Saturday, April 13th at 4 p.m., The Berkshire Bach Society continues its 2023-2024 season with “The Organ Masters-II: Peter Sykes plays the great Roosevelt Organ at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington.” The program includes music by Bach, Bach’s idol, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Bach’s 19th century devotee, Felix Mendelssohn.

“We are delighted to have Peter Sykes perform for us again on the Roosevelt organ, one of the great historic organs in our region, and one that retains much of their original character,” said Terrill McDade, Executive Director of The Berkshire Bach Society.  “The power and beauty of this organ is simply astonishing and when we hear it in the hands of an organ master such as Peter Sykes, it’s a spine-tingling experience. From Bach to Mendelssohn to Franck to Reger—in almost any repertoire—its myriad colors and sonorities provide a rich aural tapestry that inspires and uplifts.  We are in for a real treat!”

Organist Peter Sykes. Courtesy Berkshire Bach Society.

Peter Sykes is familiar to Berkshire Bach audiences from his masterful performances over many years. He is a member of the organ faculty at the University of Michigan and a core faculty member and principal instructor of harpsichord at the Historical Performance Department of the Juilliard School. He teaches organ and harpsichord at Boston University and has been Music Director at First Church in Cambridge since 1985.  He has appeared as a solo and chamber performer for Berkshire Bach since 1999.

There will be a pre-concert screening of a 40-minute documentary made by Peter Sykes and Andover Organ Company for the Organ Media Foundation that reviews the capabilities of the Roosevelt Organ and looks inside to show some of its inner workings. After the recital, attendees have the opportunity to tour the loft to see the organ and four-manual console up close.  At the time of its installation in 1883, the Roosevelt was one of the most important organs in America. It was built by Hilborne L. Roosevelt, the innovative organ maker and cousin to Presidents Teddy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Hilborne Roosevelt died at age 37 in 1886, three years after he completed the Great Barrington organ. Today it remains the largest surviving example of his work.

The concert is on Saturday, April 13th at 4 p.m. at the First Congregational Church on Main Street in Great Barrington. Tickets are $45, $10 for Card To Culture holders, and children under age 18 as well as students with a valid ID are admitted free. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) announces regular bus service for Patriot’s Day

Berkshire— Berkshire Regional Transit Authority (BRTA) announces regular bus service for Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 15th. All Berkshire Regional Transit Authority’s fixed route bus service will operate and follow the regular printed schedule.

The Administrative Offices located at One Columbus Avenue will be closed that day and will reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16th. Specific schedule or route information may be obtained by contacting the operations department at 1-800-292-BRTA extension 1.

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