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A discussion and film about the life of Renaissance painter Michelangelo will kick off the Housatonic Valley Art League's 'A Sunday Afternoon With Art' series Sunday, Nov. 26, at the Thornewood Inn in Great Barrington. Image courtesy Housatonic Valley Art League

Housatonic Valley Art League: ‘A Sunday Afternoon With Art’

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By Wednesday, Nov 22, 2017 Arts & Entertainment

Gillian Seidl

Great Barrington — For those who have finally put down their forks and are looking for some entertainment, this Sunday, Nov. 26, the Housatonic Valley Art League will kick off a new series of curated art films, “A Sunday Afternoon With Art,” starting at 1 p.m. at the Thornewood Inn.

This spring, the creative community lost one of its shining stars in both the theatrical and plastic arts: Gillian Seidl. A big supporter of the idea that everyone’s life could be enriched through a deeper engagement with the arts on a regular basis, Gillian had just started a monthly program with the Housatonic Valley Art League. Now, the league is again moving to realize this idea.

Image courtesy Housatonic Valley Art League

At the kickoff for “A Sunday Afternoon With Art,” a show of Michelangelo’s drawings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City will fire off some discussion on the artist himself, followed by a screening of the movie about the life of Michelangelo, based on Irving Stone’s book “The Agony and the Ecstasy.” One of the great “spectacle” films of the 1960s – up there with “Cleopatra” and “Lawrence of Arabia,” it is about the painting of the Sistine Chapel, and quite a visual treat.

This will be the first in a series of curated films dealing with the arts and artists from the league’s film library. The next “Sunday Afternoon With Art” will take place Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, at 1 p.m. There will be a choice of topics for discussion: an historic 1936 black-and-white movie about Rembrandt with Charles Laughton, or a comedy about a new museum curator who de-accessions several pieces of art and the consequences. It is expected that either topic will lead to some lively conversation.

The league’s host for “A Sunday Afternoon With Art” is the Thornewood Inn, just north of Great Barrington center. Known for its great music, this partnership reflects the depth of the inn’s interest in crossing into new artistic territory. The warm and relaxed setting of its public rooms lends itself to conversation and camaraderie on what the league hopes will be a growing range of topics from art to film to music and beyond. Complimentary coffee and tea are always offered at league events and there will be a cash bar and snacks for those who find, as many artists have throughout the ages, that a glass of wine helps the creative and conversational juices flow.

“A Sunday Afternoon With Art” starts Sunday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m. at the Thornewood Inn, 453 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington, Mass.

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