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Daniel’s Art Party at Simon’s Rock: ‘Moving portraits’ at Great Barrington Town Hall

By Wednesday, Apr 17, 2019 Arts & Entertainment

I live on the campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock. It’s a beautiful, park-like oasis where students stroll to class and neighbors walk their dogs. There’s maple syrup being harvested in the surrounding woods, and bees are making honey at the campus farm that is being tended by students and professors alike.

Across the road from the farm is the Kilpatrick Athletic Center, an impressive facility with all manner of fitness stations—racquetball courts, a spacious aerobics studio, a vast basketball gym, a climbing wall for the future rock climbers of the world, and that gorgeous swimming pool.

The Kilpatrick Athletic Center, on the campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington.

Of course, as an artist who’s addicted to seeing the world through theater-colored glasses, I keep imagining the possibilities of making unique and totally awesome musical productions all over the center. When Daniel’s Art Party starts to swing from the chandeliers, financially, we’ll make this a reality.

Enabling these somewhat offbeat impulses, and keeping the door wide open to “what if… how about…” brainstorming sessions, is brand-new director of the Kilpatrick Bill Meier. Though a longtime employee at the center, Bill is now facility director. Under his leadership, the place is definitely “under new management” and is already reflecting Bill’s infectious vitality. New employees are being hired and existing programs are in focus, anew.

It’s this great, pervasive energy that encourages me to ask colleagues to the Kilpatrick’s atrium-like lobby for business meetings and to schedule video shoots there for our upcoming “Moving Portraits” exhibit, which I’m now thrilled to mention will be presented in Great Barrington’s Town Hall, right there on Main Street!

This is Ziv Barancik, playing Pillow Boy in a ‘Moving Portraits’ video.

Allow me to digress. It was alternately exhilarating and pretty nerve-wracking to stand at the selectboard podium when they called my name, picking my own brain for the best way to brazenly suggest that the city allow me to take over their government building for two evenings—with lots of video projectors and monitors in tow, no less—in order to make a slow-motion video art exhibit. The town demonstrated its dedication to local arts, and to an enriched relationship with Simon’s Rock, by allowing this creative use of their space. I’m immensely grateful.

Similarly, I’m grateful to Coach Meier for allowing the mild disruption to his Pace Makers Master’s Swim Team in order for our camera team to capture some underwater shots of senior swimmer Bruce Bernstein, who was more than ready for his close-up. You’re a pro, Bruce!

Bruce Bernstein in the pool at Bard College at Simon’s Rock’s Kilpatrick Athletic Center.

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