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Works by Carolyn Newberger and Marjorie Kaye showing at Future Labs Gallery in North Adams through July 27

"This gallery has buzz. It's edgy, and there are some fabulous artists. These are imaginative people. It is a cooperative gallery on a funky, arty street a block from Mass MoCA in North Adams."

North Adams — There is no shortage of art galleries in the Berkshires, especially not in North Adams. But a minority of them are community based and run by artists. Future Labs Gallery provides exhibition space and support for works created mainly by artists based in the northern Berkshires. The gallery will be showing works by Carolyn Newberger and Marjorie Kaye through July 27, with an opening reception having taken place on the 5th from 6 to 8 p.m.

Early in 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine in the largest attack of a European country since World War II, Carolyn Newberger envisioned her Ukrainian ancestors dancing in defiance, and it set her on a journey of presenting her ancestors’ histories through the lens of dance, expressed on paper through pen, paint, and collage. Hence the title of her show, “Dancing with the Ancestors.” The joining together of visual and movement art makes perfect sense for Carolyn: In addition to a child psychologist with three decades of experience working at Children’s Hospital in Boston, she is also a painter, writer, and illustrator of music and dance reviews for The Berkshire Edge, on which she collaborates with her husband, Eli Newberger.

In 2022, Carolyn wrote an essay for The Berkshire Edge about her grandparents in Ukraine and how the war had triggered something in her, “because it felt personal. It’s the land where my grandparents on one side came from,” she told me this week. “But also, they were in the Jewish pogroms. A lot of people say the Ukrainians were antisemitic, but my grandfather’s siblings were sheltered by their Ukrainian Christian neighbors during that time.”

Carolyn spoke to me of her grandparents’ immigration to the United States at the turn of the century and how their story provided the inspiration for her “Dancing with the Ancestors” exhibit.

She also had quite a bit to say about the host of her exhibit, Future Labs Gallery:

This gallery has buzz. It’s edgy, and there are some fabulous artists. These are imaginative people. It is a cooperative gallery on a funky, arty street a block from Mass MoCA in North Adams. And every month there’s a new show, and that show either is around a theme in which everyone participates, or in which people are juried in to participate. Or, there will be … Every artist in the gallery has one solo show a year, and the gallery accommodates two solo shows. So for my solo show I’m joined by Marjorie Kaye. She’s a Boston-based artist who has now moved to North Adams, where there is an exciting, very avant-garde art scene. And this gallery is at the forefront of that scene. So we had, for example, a group show in February which was a Day-Glo show in the darkness of winter … The whole gallery was aglow…

Did you use black lights?

Yes, we used black lights. And we are now beginning to talk about a show of erotica, for example. So in this gallery, we are willing to go outside the envelope, stretch the edges of art in terms of media, in terms of subject, all at a very high level of artistry. It’s extremely exciting, and, for me, as an older artist, I absolutely love the energy of this amazing group of creative, brave, courageous people. This is a gallery to keep your eye on. People are getting grants from Mass Cultural Council … It’s a very exciting enterprise.

How many pieces in the show?

About 17. And they are all in one or another way connected to ‘Dancing with the Ancestors.’

See works by Carolyn Newberger and Marjorie Kaye at Future Labs Gallery in North Adams through July 27.

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