I was in West Stockbridge in the No. Six Depot parking lot when a woman with an engaging smile handed me a flyer about a current art exhibit held under the auspices of the Guild of Berkshires Artists. Her name was Karen Carmean and, as we chatted, she described the mission of the Guild and encouraged me to look into their activities. I told her that I practiced fine art photography and printed my work in old-fashioned archival processes called Platinum/Palladium and Gum Dichromate. This made her smile even more broadly, especially when I said that we would take advantage of her invitation. Although my wife and I are residents of West Stockbridge mainly in the summer, we are always on the lookout for new ways to participate in the community. We attended several Guild art shows and, in a short time, I became one of the 160 members.
Since joining, I have been so impressed by the length and breadth of this organization. Founded in 2014, the Guild is dedicated to educating its members in all forms of art and to contributing to the quality of life in the Berkshires. It is currently helmed by the intrepid Karen Carmean whose spirited approach and hard work move the organization and its myriad activities forward. Members express themselves in a wide range of the arts, including sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, textiles, stained glass, video and mixed media.
The Guild also presents seminars, encourages outdoor art, works with live models (clothed and otherwise), creates films and DVDs, guides studio tours and provides educational opportunities for the community. Periodic demonstrations reveal techniques and styles involved in work with oil, acrylic, gouache, watercolor, sketching, glazing, iPad painting, iPhone photography and the use of Instagram and Facebook for art sales. Lectures by guest artists are featured often, and gallery shows are promoted around the Berkshires. These shows are mounted regularly with the aim of promoting and selling works by local artists.
Of all the Guild activities, the potluck dinners are my personal favorite. There I can enjoy a great meal, comradery and a chance to exchange ideas and appreciate the fine work of my talented mates.
I urge others in the Berkshires to consider joining this opportunity for self-expression and fun. Go ahead. Take a flyer!