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Participants prepare for the 2016 Great Barrington Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show. The GBKC will hold its 2018 show this weekend at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. Photo courtesy Great Barrington Kennel Club

Bits & Bytes: Great Barrington Kennel Club Dog Show; ‘Visiting Mr. Green’; Berkshire County High School Art Show; Peter Sykes organ concert; ‘Jazzing Up the Garden’

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By Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 Arts & Entertainment

Great Barrington Kennel Club to hold all-breed dog show

West Springfield — The Great Barrington Kennel Club will hold its 101st/102nd All Breed Dog Show Dog Saturday, Feb. 3, and Sunday, Feb. 4 in the Better Living Center at the Eastern States Exposition.

In addition to having the opportunity to see more than 1,000 dogs entered each day in GBKC’s American Kennel Club-sanctioned shows, dog lovers and aficionados will be able to observe GBKC’s first AKC Scent Work trial. Launched by AKC in December 2017, Scent Work is one of the fastest-growing dog sports, appealing because it is accessible to people and dogs of varying abilities, and open to mixed breeds as well as purebred dogs.

There will be 250 runs per day in classes including Interior Search, Exterior Search, Buried Search and Container Search, all of which will involve dogs correctly identifying prescribed scents in various venues within set time periods. In addition, there will be a Handler Discrimination search in which dogs will find scented articles belonging to their handlers. Two “games” are also being offered: “Hides Alive,” in which dogs will try to find between one and 10 scented “hides” within the allotted time; and “Far, Far Away,” in which dogs will search for the “hide” away from their handlers, an exercise designed to demonstrate a dog’s ability to work independently. Spectators are encouraged in all but the Interior Search event, which is limited by the space.

Activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. each day with group judging starting around 2:15 p.m. While the event itself is free, there is a parking fee of $5 per car. For more information, contact the Big E at (413) 737-2443.


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Berkshire Theatre Group to offer ‘Visiting Mr. Green’

Dan Dwyer

Pittsfield — Berkshire Theatre Group’s No Boundaries in Art staged reading series will present “Visiting Mr. Green” by Jeff Baron Saturday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. at the Garage. A talkback with the cast and BTG artistic director/CEO Kate Maguire will follow the performance.

The two-character comedy/drama “Visiting Mr. Green” is about the generational clash of cultural values between elderly widowed Jewish Lower East Side-curmudgeon Mr. Green and Ivy League-educated “nice Jewish boy” from the suburbs Ross. The staged reading reunites director and Edge columnist Dan Dwyer with Berkshire actor Ralph Petillo and newcomer and Berkshire student Evan Silverstein, who impressed audiences last summer with their performances in “Awake and Sing!” with Jane Curtin, also part of No Boundaries in Art. “Visiting Mr. Green” debuted at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in 1996 before enjoying a successful off-Broadway run starring Eli Wallach.

The performance is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved in advance. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the BTG box office at (413) 997-4444.


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Selected works from 32nd Annual Berkshire County High School Art Show. Images courtesy Norman Rockwell Museum

Norman Rockwell Museum to host Berkshire County High School Art Show

Stockbridge — In celebration of the 124th anniversary of the birth of Norman Rockwell’s birthday as well as the creativity of youth, the Norman Rockwell Museum will present the 32nd annual Berkshire County High School Art Show Saturday, Feb. 3, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Born Feb. 3, 1894, Rockwell always wanted to be an artist. At age 14, he enrolled in art classes at the New York School of Art. He painted his first commission of four Christmas cards before his 16th birthday and began studying art full-time at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. While still in his teens, he was hired as art director of the official Boy Scouts of America publication Boys’ Life, and began a successful freelance career illustrating publications for young people.

The event will celebrate the creative talent on display by students from Berkshire County high schools. The public will be able to meet the artists, and original works in media such as painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, 3-D assemblage and digital art will be on view. At 2 p.m., award-winning illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi, whose work is currently on view at NRM, will discuss the power of imagination and the development of his own artistic talent and career since his student years.

The exhibit will be on view through Sunday, March 4. For more information, contact NRM at (413) 298-4100.


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Berkshire Bach Society to present organist Peter Sykes

Peter Sykes

Housatonic — The Berkshire Bach Society will present a concert with organist Peter Sykes Saturday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire. The program will showcase the church’s 1893 Johnson organ that is a hidden gem of the Berkshires and will feature works by J.S. Bach, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Niels Gade.

Sykes serves as associate professor of music and chair of the historical performance department at Boston University where he teaches organ, harpsichord, clavichord, performance practice and continuo realization. He is also music director of First Church Cambridge and principal instructor of harpsichord at the Juilliard School in New York City. He also performs and records with Boston Baroque and Aston Magna Music Festival.

Of the organ he will be playing, Sykes said: “For many, listening to organ music can be a bewildering experience – confronted by a ‘wall of sound’ without much to differentiate voices or notes, comprehension can be difficult. The Johnson organ in the UU Meeting House in Housatonic stands as a rebuttal to all that. Its voice is gentle, but clear; polyphony as found in Bach’s organ music stands out clearly, and it’s easy to follow the progress of a fugue since all the voices can be distinctly heard. At the same time, its color stops (string, flute and reed) are pretty, lyrical, and serve to support the musical lines without force or shrillness. And the Pedal division, with only one independent stop, gently yet firmly supports both a single stop and full organ with equal measure. This is an organ that is a musical instrument – not a synthesizer or sound machine, but a conveyor of a musical message.”

Tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 for Berkshire Bach Society members. For tickets and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar or contact the Berkshire Bach Society at (413) 528-9555.


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Karen Bussolini to speak on ‘Jazzing Up the Garden’

Karen Bussolini

Salisbury, Conn. — On Saturday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m., the Scoville Memorial Library will present “Jazzing Up the Garden With Color, Contrast and Movement” by garden photographer Karen Bussolini.

A photographic presentation showing simple, intuitive ways to make exciting plant combinations, the talk will describe dozens of exciting plant combinations photographed in gardens across the country. Starting with simple combinations, and an explanation of how the gardener used color or texture, gesture, light-reflecting qualities, repetition, color echoes and other qualities, the talk will progress to more complex schemes.

Bussolini is a trained painter, nationally known garden photographer, writer, speaker and eco-friendly garden coach. Her slide talks combine original images, personal observations, hands-on experience and a touch of humor. She gardens on a deer-infested mountainside in South Kent.

For more information, contact the Scoville Memorial Library at (860) 435-2838 or scovlibn@biblio.org.


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