Sunday, July 14, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: Norman Lewis and Roy DeCarava art discussed; Stockbridge Festival Chorus concert; Green Team presents Green Expo; Edie Sedgwick tea & talk; ‘Clubbed Feet and Education for girls’ conversation

The 50-voice Stockbridge Festival Chorus is presenting its Spring concert on Sunday, April 23, 3 p.m. at The First Congregational Church.

Clark Art Institute presents a lecture on ‘Darkness at the Limits of the Visible’

Williamstown On Tuesday, April 25, at 5:30 p.m. the Clark Art Institute’s Research and Academic Program hosts a talk by Kobena Mercer (Bard College/Clark Professor 2022–23), who reexamines the role of shadow and luminosity in works by painter Norman Lewis and photographer Roy DeCarava. The free lecture takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the Clark’s auditorium, located in the Manton Research Center.

Until now, Lewis and DeCarava’s black and white palettes have been understood only as referring to racial identities. This lecture argues for an interpretive shift that moves away from a representational inquiry (what does Blackness stand for?) towards a phenomenological one (what does Blackness do?). In the latter case, we begin to understand how these two African American artists mobilized abstraction in order to question the privilege of vision in modernism. While Lewis’ ‘Black paintings’ address the post-Hiroshima realities of atomic light, recurring subway scenes in DeCarava’s photographs point towards spaces of chthonic darkness as sites of fugitive possibility, a strand of Afromodernism that informs contemporary works by Ellen Gallager, Rashid Johnson, and others.

Kobena Mercer is a British art historian and writer whose scholarship cuts across the fields of art history, Black studies, and cultural studies. He comes to Bard from Yale University, where he was professor in History and Art and African American Studies and taught courses that examined African American, Caribbean, and Black British artists with critical methods from cultural studies. His groundbreaking first book, Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies (1994), brought a Black British perspective to cultural forms—ranging from hairstyles and dress to music and photography—that arose from the volatile transformations of the 1980s.

Free; no registration is required. A reception at 5 p.m. in the Manton Research Center reading room precedes the program. For more information, visit

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Spring Concert to feature pieces by local composer Steve Murray

Stockbridge— The 50-voice Stockbridge Festival Chorus is presenting its Spring concert on Sunday, April 23, 3 p.m. at The First Congregational Church of Stockbridge located at 4 Main Street. The main selection is John Rutter’s Requiem, Jordan Rose Lee, soprano soloist, and two additional pieces by local composer Steve Murray. SFC is conducted by Tracy Wilson, and the concert will be accompanied by organ, harp, cello, flute, oboe and percussion. Admission is a donation at the door; $20 for adults, $10 for members of local community choruses and free for individuals 18 and under. The church is fully handicap accessible and a section in the sanctuary will  be reserved for mask-wearing audience members. For more information, call 413-298-3137.

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Salisbury Congregational Church celebrates Earth Day

Salisbury, Conn. — In honor of Earth Day, the Salisbury Congregational Church’s Green Team will have a Green Expo on Sunday, April 23 after its 10 o’clock service in the Parish Hall.  Members of the Green Team will “show and tell” a variety of earth friendly products and how using them can help save the environment. The items are all things that we can use in your own household like laundry soap, paper products, and smart  power strips. Those who come are encouraged to bring their electric bills and you’ll learn how to read your bill and how you might save.

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Tea & Talk – Edie Sedgwick, Muse of Andy Warhol: A Sister’s Reconsideration. Image courtesy of Ventfort Hall.

Learn about Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol’s muse, by his sister Alice Sedgwick Wohl

Lenox— Ventfort Hall will host a Tea & Talk on April 22 at 4 p.m. featuring a talk entitled “Edie Sedgwick, Muse of Andy Warhol: A Sister’s Reconsideration,” by Alice Sedgwick Wohl.

Alice Sedgwick Wohl, longtime resident of Stockbridge and Williamsville, a multi-lingual, art historian, translator, and cataloguer of art periodicals, will speak here at the mansion. Her presentation will be followed by a tea.

Wohl’s much younger sister was the head-line grabbing Pop Art icon, Edie Sedgwick. Two sisters could not have been more different. Late in life, in her compelling new book, “As it Turns Out: Thinking about Edie and Andy,” Alice Wohl turned her art historian lens on Andy Warhol to understand his symbiotic relationship with Edie in the heady days of Warhol’s Factory in the 1960s. She gains new appreciation for the star power of her troubled, magnetic sister.

Wohl is an independent scholar and translator. Her translations include “The Life of Michaelangelo,” by Ascanio Condivi; “The Lives of the Modern Painters, Sculptors and Architects,” by Giovan Pietri Bellori; and “On Antique Painting,” by Francisco de Hollanda.

Tickets are $30 for members and with an advanced reservation; $35 day of. Reservations are required as seats are limited. Walk-ins accommodated as space allows. For reservations book online at Please note that all tickets are nonrefundable and non-exchangeable. The historical mansion is located at 104 Walker Street in Lenox.

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“The Little Mo Effect” by Pier Boutin, M.D. Image courtesy of OLLI at BCC.

“Changing Lives in Morocco: Clubbed Feet and Education for Girls” with Pier Boutin, M.D. and her daughter Soumya Boutin

Pittsfield— OLLI at BCC presents a talk entitled “Changing Lives in Morocco: Clubbed Feet and Education for Girls” on Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. This free talk will be hybrid, both in-person at Berkshire Community College and also via Zoom.

Dr. Pier Boutin responded to the call for orthopaedic surgeons after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Leading the first surgical team to arrive in Port-au-Prince, she witnessed devastating trauma and unimaginable suffering. To distract from the haunting memories, she escaped to Morocco where she came upon a three-year old boy in the Atlas Mountains stumbling around on deformed feet. Dr. Boutin’s compassion and determination overcame all obstacles to bring this child, Little Mo, to the United States to treat his disability. Dr. Boutin and Soumya, Mo’s sister, will tell the story.

Dr. Boutin is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over twenty-five years of experience. She obtained a fellowship in total joint replacement and a specialization in sports medicine at the University of Florida. Her areas of expertise include arthritis, sports injuries, fractures, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. She strives to promote health and vitality, incorporating conventional medicine while offering more progressive options in the treatment of orthopedic conditions. She lives with her family in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. Find out more at

Register for this free event here.


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