February 26, 2014 at 12:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County)
Tags: Art, Dr. Seuss
Hats Off to Dr. Seuss!
The Hats Off to Dr. Seuss! exhibition at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a selection of original hats collected by Dr. Seuss over a period of 60 years. Exhibit up through March 8, 2014. Special Dr. Seuss Birthday celebration on Saturday, March 1st from 6-8pm.
Sam-I-Am, Yertle the Turtle, Marvin K. Mooney, the Cat in the Hat, and other silly Dr. Seuss characters have been well-loved by young readers for decades. Best known for his invented words, imaginary animals, and silly yet thought provoking plots, Dr. Seuss is one of the most well-known children’s authors of all time (and two of his books rank amongst the 20 best-selling children’s books ever).
A native of western Massachusetts, Dr. Seuss drew upon his surroundings in order to create images for his stories. The industrial landscape of his hometown of Springfield is reflected in the zany, unaffected-by-gravity architecture found in many illustrations, and the town of Whoville is rumored to be based upon the city of Easthampton and towering Mt. Tom. He is honored locally by the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, a tribute to the author’s ingenious work. Located at the Springfield Museums, the garden is filled with sculptures pulled straight from the pages – visitors can meet the Grinch, Horton the Elephant, and the Lorax up close and personal.
Many of Seuss’ beloved characters, in addition to creative anatomy and goofy personalities, sport headgear the likes of which have never been seen before – until now. For the first time ever, Dr. Seuss’ personal hat collection will be on view! Northampton’s R. Michelson Galleries (132 Main Street) will host Hats off to Dr. Seuss, a nationally touring exhibition that includes not only Seuss’ collection of head fashions but selected works from a secret art collection – all of which have been adapted from Seuss originals.
The exhibition will be on view at the galleries through March 8th, 2014, and fans of all ages and sizes can enjoy a special event in honor of what would’ve been Dr. Seuss’ 110th birthday (held a day early!) from 6-8pm on Saturday, March 1st… Read the rest of this entry »
February 25, 2014 at 9:00 am (Art, Community Based Education, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families, History)
Tags: American Landscape, Architecture, Art Studies, Community Based Education, Country Place Era, History, Landscape Architecture, Library of American Landscape History, Photography, Sense of Place, Spirit of Place, UMass, University of Massachusetts, W.E.B. Du Bois Library
A Genius for Place: American Landscape of the Country Place Era
A Panel Exhibition from the Library of American Landscape History
The UMass Amherst Libraries are hosting a traveling exhibition called “A Genius For Place,” on view now through May 10th, 2014. Organized by the Library of American Landscape History (LALH), the exhibition illustrates and analyzes the chronological development of North American landscape design throughout the “Country Place Era,” or the period of time (1890 to 1930) between the Gilded Age through the end of the Great Depression. During that time, many wealthy American families, convinced that their hectic, crowded, and unclean city lives required periodic retreats to the fresh air and far-ranging vistas of the countryside for renewal and recovery, erected country “cottages” (some of which were more extravagant than the average mansion today). Of course, these homes were not complete without elegantly sculpted garden paths, man-made reflecting pools, outdoor courtyards, and a spectacular view to top off the experience of nature-filled country life. Landscape architects creating the perfect outdoor environments for their clients employed a wide range of techniques, structures, and both modern and historical iconography in their designs. It was a transitional moment, both for the country as a whole and for the practice of landscape design.
Robin Karson, founding director of LALH, sees the Country Place Era as a significant time in the history of American landscape architecture: balancing on the cusp of the twentieth century, still weighted with the ideas and traditions of bygone years. One such was the notion of the genius loci, or the “spirit of the place.” While in some cultures this spirit takes the form of a protective, guardian-like presence, Western cultures more commonly use the phrase “spirit of the place” to refer to a site’s distinctive energy or aura. In her book A Genius for Place: American Landscapes of the Country Place Era, Karson suggests that landscape architects during this time were guided by the genius loci to preserve the natural beauty and quirks of the original landscape while injecting more modern, experimental architectural elements into their designs… Read the rest of this entry »
February 4, 2014 at 3:30 pm (Art, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Anne Whiston Spirn, Art, Art Exhibit, Photography, Smith College Museum of Art
Landscape Photography Exhibition Encourages Visual Literacy
“The Eye is a Door” by photographer, Anne Whiston Spirn as Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA.
From now through the end of August, the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA will be home to a major exhibition of works by Anne Whiston Spirn. Spirn, a renowned author and photographer, has for decades drawn connections between her photographs and the work she does as both teacher and scholar in the field of landscape architecture.
A graduate of Radcliffe College and the University of Pennsylvania, currently teaching at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ms. Spirn thinks of photography as a way to more deeply understand landscapes (and all associated fields like geology, anthropology, history, etc).
Her work promotes visual literacy – “the ability to read and analyze visual information” – through her thoughtful use of artistic strategies like composition and framing, the juxtaposition of natural and man-made structures, and focused attention to colors and textures. Read the rest of this entry »
January 22, 2014 at 6:00 am (Art, Science)
Tags: Creative Free Play, Handmade Valentines, Making Valentines, STE(A)M, STEM, Valentine Making
Put Some STE(A)M into Your Valentines!
This Valentine’s Day, spread friendship and kindness throughout your community by participating in Hilltown Families’ 6th annual Handmade Valentine Swap! Participation is easy – all you have to do is sign up, make ten handmade valentines and drop them in the mail, and you’ll receive ten handmade cards in return. Not only is the event an opportunity for families to connect with others in their community, participation allows families the opportunity to be creative together – an activity that can lead not only to creative-free play, but can also offer hands-on learning in fields like physics, chemistry, geometry and cultural studies! Read on…
December 31, 2013 at 6:01 am (Art, Hampden County, History, Holyoke)
Tags: History, Holyoke, Industry, paper manufacturers, paper mill, Pioneer Valley, The Paper City, Wistariahurst Museum
Echoes of Industry:
The Death and Rebirth of Holyoke’s Mills
Jan – Feb, 2014
With 25 mills near the end of the 19th century, Holyoke was the largest paper manufacturer. Today these mills are reminders of another age – victims of fire, demolition or a new purpose. What remains offers a silent dignity that demands to be recorded.
This January and February, Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke remembers the city’s past through a display of artwork by Eric Broudy. “Echoes of Industry: The Death and Rebirth of Holyoke’s Mills” contains photographs Broudy took of the old, run-down mills – their exteriors and vast interiors, the “architectural details with rubble and shattered windows” – and a video installation featuring footage of Holyoke mills being given new life, through the development of creative spaces like art galleries, dance and yoga studios, offices, restaurants, even homes, in these once-mighty industrial structures…
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December 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm (Art, Berkshire Museum, Hilltown Families, Museum)
Tags: Art Exhibit, Norman Rockwell Museum, Ruth Sanderson
Norman Rockwell Museum Presents “Dancing Princesses: The Picture Book Art of Ruth Sanderson”
Saturday, December 7, 2013 – Sunday, March 9, 2014
One of the special holiday displays in the Norman Rockwell Museum’s “Distinguished Illustrator Series” this winter will feature over 60 works by noted picture book illustrator Ruth Sanderson. Described as “beautiful” and “jewel-like,” by NRM director, Laurie Norton Moffatt, the works on display include original paintings and drawings by Sanderson, in addition to costumes that the artist commissioned to correspond with her illustrations. The subjects of these works hail from a selection of Sanderson’s beloved books – some classic tales re-told, some original tales, and each one embellished with enchanting imagery – including The Twelve Dancing Princesses; The Sleeping Beauty; Cinderella; The Golden Mare, the Firebird, and the Magic Ring; and several others…
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November 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Art, Eric Carle Museum, Hampshire County)
Tags: Barbara McClintock, Children's Poetry, Childrens Music, Natalie Merchant, Poetry, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Leave Your Sleep
by Natalie Merchant & Barbara McClintock
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
Nov 26, 2013 — May 4, 2014
The album Leave Your Sleep, which Merchant spent five years researching and writing, originated from a collection of poems — from such notable poets as E.E. Cummings, Ogden Nash, and Edward Lear — that come alive through an eclectic blend of styles, from folk to jazz to R&B to Celtic influence.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art welcomes families to a special showcase of the art and collaborative work that resulted in the picture book Leave Your Sleep by Natalie Merchant, illustrated by Barbara McClintock. The book, published in 2012, followed the release of Merchant’s very successful double album of the same name two years prior. She transformed a selection of classic children’s poetry from poets including Ogden Nash, Edward Lear, and E.E. Cummings into a collection of original songs that comprise an eclectic blend of styles from folk to jazz to R&B to Celtic.
Merchant’s collaboration with McClintock is an attempt to make these poems and ideas even more accessible and exciting to kids: beautifully rendered in watercolors, a “parade of witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors” play out the ideas and emotions that the music evokes. “My hope is that this collaborative book of poems, pictures and music will provide many enchanted hours to children eager for beauty and the sort of adventure that happens between the pages of a book and the words of a song,” says Merchant.
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November 5, 2013 at 8:00 am (Art, Berkshire County, Hilltown Families, History, Museum, Suggested Activity, Western MA Events, Western Massachusetts Events)
Tags: History, Illustrator, Norman Rockwell, Norman Rockwell Museum, Picture Books, Wendell Minor
Exhibition Celebrates 25 Years of Work by Historical Picture Book Illustrator Wendell Minor
Saturday, November 9, 2013 – Monday, May 26, 2014
Image credit: Wendell Minor, “Abraham Lincoln Comes Home,” 2008. Cover illustration for “Abraham Lincoln Comes Home” by Robert Burleigh, Henry Holt and Co. Watercolor, gouache and pencil on paper. Norman Rockwell Museum Collections. ©Wendell Minor. All rights reserved.
The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, invites families to “Wendell Minor’s America,” a special exhibition featuring more than 150 original artworks, artifacts, and references from illustrator Wendell Minor’s distinguished portfolio.
The award-winning illustrator drew his way through childhood in Aurora, Illinois, inspired by the richly illustrated magazines that were so much a part of American life during the mid-twentieth century. The exhibition celebrates his many cover illustrations and his 25th anniversary illustrating children’s books, each of which has been inspired by Minor’s love of history, art, science, and the natural world…
October 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Franklin County)
Tags: Art, art program, franklin county, Teens
ARTeens: Free Art Program for Teens at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls
Franklin County teens have a new after school option this school year! The Art Garden, a community-supported art-making studio, is hosting ARTeens, a free after school art program in Shelburne Falls. Co-facilitated by local artists Phyllis Labanowski and Jane Beatrice Wegscheider, ARTeens offers local middle and high school students a space to exercise their creativity, try out new materials, and work on skills in creating a variety of different styles of artwork.
Held on Tuesday afternoons from 3-6pm, the program begins on Tuesday, October 22nd and will run in three different six-week sessions throughout the school year. In order to participate, interested teens must complete an application (a short and simple one!) including basic information about themselves and their artistic interests. Applications must be submitted by Monday, October 7th, and students will be notified about participation by Monday, October 14th. While the series is free for Franklin County teens, those residing in other counties may be able to tuition into the grant-funded program. Students at Mohawk Trail Regional School can utilize bus transportation from the school in order to get to The Art Garden; others will need to arrange their own transportation…
October 1, 2013 at 2:00 pm (Amherst, Art, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families, Video)
Tags: Amherst Cinema, Art History, Art Studies, Dutch Artist, Gallery Exhibition, Johannes Vermeer, London National Gallery, Music History, Musical Instruments, Vermeer, Virginal
Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure
Tour of London’s National Gallery Exhibition
Screens at Amherst Cinema this Fall
The latest in Amherst Cinema’s EXHIBITION screening series, Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure, documents and deeply examines the Johannes Vermeer‘s works on view at the London National Gallery. The film, hosted by British art historian Tim Marlow, tells the story of Vermeer’s life, a Dutch painter from the 1600′s, and gives viewers a chance to experience both the exhibition – which, notably, includes several works by Vermeer that have never before been exhibited together – as well as some stunning close-up footage of the paintings themselves, accompanied by Marlow’s knowledgeable analysis of the works.
The exhibition focuses on the popularity of music as a theme in Dutch paintings, and illustrates this connection quite clearly through its inclusion of “Lady Seated at a Virginal,” “Lady Standing At A Virginal,” and “The Guitar Player,” all by Vermeer himself. To highlight the significance of the instruments’ inclusion in the paintings – and the differences between the instruments and their two-dimensional representations – authentic 17th-century virginals (similar to harpsichords), guitars, and lutes are on display along with the artwork…
September 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Amherst, Art, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Community values, Math and Geometry, Mystical Arts of Tibet, Respect for the environment, Tantric Buddhism, Tibet, Visual art concepts of Color theory and Design, World Culture
“Healing the Earth”: Tibetan Sand Mandala on View at UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Stage
The Asian Arts & Culture Program at the UMass Amherst Fine Arts Center opens its 20th Anniversary season with an outstanding event that speaks to transformation and healing of our planet and ourselves. The Fine Arts Center Concert Hall stage hosts Healing the Earth: the Tibetan Sand Mandala, a visual artwork exploding with color and design, created on by eleven Tibetan monks.
Among all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most unique and exquisite. In the Tibetan language this art is called dul-tson-kyil-khor. The literal translation means a “mandala of colored powders.” This week come see eleven Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery at work as they use traditional instruments to lay down the finest grains of colored sand to produce a work of art that explodes with color and detail. This unique event happens at UMass Fine Arts Center in Amherst, MA from Wednesday, September 25th – Friday, September 27th, 2013 and highlights the power of the healing arts to ignite peace and tolerance throughout the world.
Over a period of days, millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place in a circular design – a mandala – drawn on a flat platform. The mandala, using traditionally prescribed symbols, geometric shapes, and images, is used as a tool for re-consecrating the earth and its inhabitants. The experience of viewing this sand mandala will be particularly educational for those interested in, or studying, math and geometry, visual arts and color theory, world cultures, community values and traditions, and respect for the environment.
Sand Mandalas are an ancient Tibetan art form that were used to teach compassion, environmental relations and impermanency. With Tibet being one of the last ancient civilizations, teaching kids the history behind this ancient art form can supplement their global awareness of world civilizations and cultures. Witnessing the making and destruction of one of these amazing sand mandalas joins art and history together into a creative and tactile demonstration.
September 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Hampden County, History, Springfield, Springfield Museum)
Tags: American History, Cultural Studies, Diversity, Exhibit, History, Immigration, Jewish History
“From Shtetl to Suburb: One Hundred Years of Jewish Life in the Valley”
Illustrates Jewish Experience in the Pioneer Valley at the Springfield Museums
Through March 2nd, 2014
“The story of Jewish immigrants and their work to develop a thriving community over the last century is a fascinating tale of courage, hard work, and perseverance,” states Guy McLain, Director of the Wood Museum of Springfield History. “Their story is unique, but also emblematic of the challenges faced by so many immigrant groups throughout America’s history.”
The Lyman and Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History, in conjunction with several noted local organizations and guest curator Dr. Stuart Anfang, invites you to learn about the history of the Jewish community in Western Massachusetts from the late 19th century through the present. By combining artifacts, photos, film, and personal histories, the exhibition offers multidimensional insights into the experiences of Jewish immigrants fleeing the pogroms of Czarist Russia in the late 19th century. The exhibit also illustrates the growth of their community in the North End of Springfield, the eventual decline of such inner-city neighborhoods in the aftermath of World War II, and the 1960’s relocation of Springfield’s Jewish community and synagogues to Longmeadow and other parts of Western MA following a major urban renewal project in the North End…
September 9, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Hampden County, Springfield, Springfield Museum)
Tags: Hispanic History Month, Josie Vargas, Puerto Rico, Springfield Museums
Fiesta: Flora and Fauna from Puerto Rico
New Exhibit at Springfield Museums
September 10th, 2013 – May 11th, 2014
Fiesta represents an exciting combination: a detailed documentation of botanical and ecological phenomena, a reflection of Hispanic culture and perspective, and an example of formal watercolor techniques. Regardless of the prior knowledge and experiences visitors may bring to this exhibition, everyone will be able to connect with Vargas’ work. – Meet artist Josie Vargas at a special reception at the D’Amour Museum on Saturday, September 14th, 2013 between 6-8pm.
Josie Vargas, artist and adjunct professor at Parsons the New School for Design, will exhibit her watercolors at the Springfield Museums’ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts this fall. The exhibit, Fiesta: Flora and Fauna from Puerto Rico, is part of the Springfield Museums’ celebration of Hispanic History Month, and contains works that are inspired by the mood, colorful foliage, and landscapes of Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Bronx Botanical Gardens in New York.
Vargas draws inspiration from the vibrant photographs she takes while traveling, and from the words of Edgar A. Whitney: “You are not artists… you are shape makers.” Her interest in tropical plants stems from her upbringing in New York City, where only a few hardy plants thrived on the city streets, and her visits to Puerto Rico, from whence her family originates and where the colorful plants are equal parts showy and resilient.
Her bold, energetic paintings celebrate the plant and animal life in Puerto Rico, and demonstrate her commitment to the “traditional” style of watercolor painting. However, unlike many watercolor artists, whose images are relayed in ethereal pastel tones, Vargas’ works are “bold, sensual,” and truly saturated in color…
September 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity, Western MA Events, Western Massachusetts Events)
Tags: Art, Culture, Food
Women and Food Photographic Exhibition
September 3rd – September 30th
Easthampton City Arts+ Gallery
Springfield Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud, her daughter, Mahmooda, and son, Dawud.
Easthampton City Arts+ Gallery will display local artist and writer Sarah Platanitis’ photographic project, “Women and Food,” this September. Platanitis edits and writes for the blog Sarah in the Kitchen, and developed The Women and Food Project while working on articles for the blog, for which she visited women from many walks of life in their kitchens and food-related spaces.
“During interviews, I would hear such great side stories that I sadly couldn’t include in the pieces. Still, I wrote them down anyway, hoping that one day I could go back and spend time again with these women,” says Platanitis. “I wanted to learn more about why they do what they do when it comes to food.”
When asked how she thought this exhibit would appeal to a younger audience, Platanitis explains, “I think a younger audience would benefit from seeing the exhibit because the women in the Project are great role models. They are successful at their work, they give back to their communities and they love what they do…”
August 6, 2013 at 9:00 am (Art, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Contemporary Art, historic Northampton, samplers, silk needlework
Local Contemporary Artists’ Work On View at
Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center
August 9 – August 30, 2013
The Northampton Center for the Arts, A.P.E. Gallery, and the Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center have teamed up for another exhibition of contemporary art by local western Massachusetts artists. This month’s featured works are by Taiga Ermansons and Kim Carlino. Each artist’s work draws on Northampton and its history for inspiration.
Weather by Taiga Ermansons: Ermansons’ delicate tissue creations – often made on the terrace of her Northampton home – record specific moments in time, either through the intervention of weather elements (such as rain) on the tissue or through the use of embroidery techniques much like the ones Northampton women would have used over one hundred years ago…
July 24, 2013 at 10:00 am (Art, Berkshire County, Cultural Events, Hilltown Families)
Tags: Arab, Arab Countries, Art, Berkshires, Contemporary Islamic Art, Cultural Studies, Eid, Eid-ul-Fitr, Islamic Art, Jorban, Lebanon, Middle Eastern, Middle Eastern Music, Morocco, Pakistani, Palestine, Pittsfield, Ramadan, The Other Half of Tomorrow, Whitney Center for the Arts, Women's Studies
Contemporary Islamic Art & Events in the Berkshires
Art Exhibit, Documentary, Music & Eid Celebration
The art exhibit, Islam Contemporary, is just one of several featured events in August that celebrate Islamic art and culture. Over the course of the month, there will be a community Eid celebration, a documentary screening and discussion with the directors, and a concert of classical Middle Eastern music. Find out more about these events!
The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield are holding a joint art show, Islam Contemporary, for the month of August, opening on Friday, August 2nd in conjunction with the Pittsfield First Friday Artswalk in the Cultural District. The exhibition features twenty-five artists who hail from around the world, some Muslim, some non-Muslim; some emerging artists, some well-established. Included in the exhibition are works by the Berkshires’ own local artist Daisy Rockwell, granddaughter of Norman Rockwell, and Boston-based Pakistani artist Ambreen Butt. The works on display range from reinterpretations of traditional South Asian art, to critiques of the Western media’s portrayal of women, to statements about multidimensional cultural and gender identities, to attempts to use art to connect communities during times of crisis.
This exhibition offers contemporary and varied perspectives on Islamic art, history, and culture. Students of Middle Eastern studies may find this particularly informative, though families are likely to also learn much from the ideas and images on display. Aziz Sohail, the curator of the exhibition, says, “…this exhibit provides a platform for authentic and diverse voices that grapple with an ever-changing heritage. We hope that the show dispels stereotypes and sparks discussion by facilitating a complex and nuanced look at Islamic heritage and culture.” After (or during) your visit, ask your family to think about the works on display and compare the people and lives that they represent to their own lives. What is similar? What is different? What were they surprised by? What new information were they able to absorb/digest over the course of their visit?
July 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Berkshire County, Hilltown Families, Museum)
Tags: African American Art, Berkshires, History, Williams College Museum of Art
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980
Williams College Museum of Art
Opening Day: Saturday, July 20th at 2pm
By the early 1960s the West Coast became highly visible among the
international arts community. African American artists such as Betye Saar made some of their earliest important works at this time. [Image credit: Betye Saar. Black Girl’s Window, 1969.]
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 opens at the Williams College Museum of Art this Saturday, July 20th and will run through December 1, 2013. The exhibition chronicles the vital legacy of the African American arts community in Los Angeles, examining a pioneering group of black artists whose work and connections with other artists of varied ethnic backgrounds helped shape the creative output of Southern California.
Visiting this exhibition will give visitors first-hand exposure to a wide variety of works done by African-American artists who were active during this twenty year time period. Visitors will have a chance to consider how the art being made – and social perspectives about art – in this period underwent rapid change, as artists moved from traditional methods like painting and drawing to techniques like conceptual and performance art. The exhibition illustrates not only a major shift in American art but in American public thought – perfect for students of American history, civil rights movement, pop culture, and, of course, art.
On the opening day of the exhibition, join Kellie Jones at 2pm, exhibition curator and associate professor in Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, for a first look at the show. Hear about the research and curatorial choices that made this exhibition possible, and learn more about the forms of art on display – through which many artists of the era critiqued the social, political, and economic state of the country…
April 30, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Eric Carle Museum, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts, Recycled Art, The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Artists of All Ages are Invited to Participate in Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts Call of Caterpillar Sculptures!
Celebrate the beloved and iconic caterpillar – as well at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art’s 10th anniversary – by building your very own caterpillar sculpture out of recycle and/or found materials. (Photo credit: Eric Carle Museum)
Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a family favorite all around the world – over 33 million copies have been sold since it was first published, and it has been translated into over 50 languages! The little green caterpillar has munched its way through the pages of the books and into the hearts of multiple generations. The story provides Eric Carle’s signature illustrations and a silly story, plus it gives young children an age-appropriate first taste of nature education. It is rare to find a developmentally appropriate nature-related book for young children, but Carle’s classic tale beautifully weaves fantasy and reality together, teaching young children about the life cycle of a caterpillar while still managing to include bright illustrations and fun details.
Celebrate the beloved and iconic caterpillar – as well at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art’s 10th anniversary – by building your very own caterpillar sculpture! The Carle has put out an open Call for Caterpillars of all kinds to be submitted for use in the museum’s Children’s Book Festival on June 8, 2013 (and for the chance to receive an original doodle by Eric Carle!).
Photos of the submitted pieces will be shown during the festival, and three random entries will be shown in their three-dimensional original form in the museum’s galleries. Museum staff ask that caterpillars be created using recycled and/or found materials, such as plastic bottles, wood, metal bottle caps, and packing materials.
Pieces should be submitted in photo form, and can be created by caterpillar-enthusiasts of all ages! Visit the museum’s website for more information on submissions and the festival itself (www.carlemuseum.org). All submissions are due by May 31st. Happy upcycling!
March 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Art, Eric Carle Museum, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Folk Art, Folktales
Latino Folk Tales:
Cuentos Populares Art by Latino Artists
March 26 through June 9, 2013
Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Arts in Amherst
Folk tale literature throughout the world encompasses both magic and symbolism, comprised in stories of saints, gods, myths, and legends. The motifs, characters and plots are often ancient in origin and initially passed by word of mouth. These repeated and recorded stories transcend various national and cultural boundaries. Multiple influences that reach back through the centuries can be discovered in the stories and art in this exhibition, which will open March 26 and run through June 9, 2013.
Even though the world is filled with hundreds of cultures, each sharing unique traditions and language, folk tales remain a constant around the globe. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA is showing an exhibit filled with illustrations from Latino folktales published for children. Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares Art by Latino Artists by Latino Artists contains over 60 works of art from twelve different Latino artists and illustrators, showcasing a variety of artistic styles and folktales whose roots can be traced from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other Spanish-speaking parts of the world to ancient day Persia, India, and China (the oldest version of Cinderella, for example, has been traced back to as long ago as 850 AD!).
The exhibit, which opens on March 26th, 2013, presents an opportunity for families to view and learn about the showcased artwork and to find the story thread that weaves not only in these images but also in folk stories found in other cultures too. When visiting the exhibit, discuss how each piece conveys an important part of the story it illustrates. Students can learn about the art of illustration by pairing the images to familiar stories – think about the clues given in each piece that help you to link it to a common folktale!
Cuentos Populares will be shown through June 9th, 2013. The Carle is open Tuesday-Friday from 10am-4pm, Saturday from 10am-5pm, and Sunday from 12noon-5pm. For more information, call the museum at 413-658-1105. www.carlemuseum.org
Related Upcoming Programing at The Carle:
CactusHead Puppets presents: The Tale of Juan Bobo
Wednesday, April 17 – Saturday, April 20 (11am & 2pm)
Meet Juan Bobo! He always tries to do the right thing, but often makes mistakes. For Juan even the smallest task can lead to the silliest of results. But can Juan Bobo’s seemingly foolish actions end up saving the day? Join CactusHead Puppets as they bring this classic Puerto Rican folktale to life and decide for yourself. (>$)
Five-College Musicians at The Carle
Saturday, April 20 (1pm)
Celebrate the Museum’s exhibition, Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares, with a reading with musical accompaniment of Munro Leaf’s The Story of Ferdinand followed by a musical medley of Latin American songs. ($)
February 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art)
Tags: Art Contest, marine biology, Massachusetts Marine Educators, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Marine Art Contest for K-12 Students
Kids whose favorite artistic subjects are sharks and octopi can put their drawing and identification skills to good use in the Massachusetts Marine Educators’ Marine Art Contest! Open to students in grades K-12, the contest is open to art related to or inspired by the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Located between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, the area is home to marine life from plankton to humpback whales! The area is rich in artistic inspiration, and students can learn to identify coastal plant and animal life while working on artistic representations of the area.
We are far enough from the coast here in Western Massachusetts that the ocean is not often on the minds of our students. The Atlantic is, however, fascinating and presents lots of unique opportunities for learning. But when you can’t make it to the beach for a day of exploring, the next best substitute is a study of the area at home! To prepare for the contest, search field guides to learn about plant and animal species, look over maps, track tide patterns, and understand the chemistry of salt water.
Submissions to the contest will be divided into five categories, and can be created in any 2D medium. Due on April 25th, 2013, entries can be submitted online. Winning pieces will be displayed on the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary website and used in the Massachusetts Marine Educators’ outreach programs. Download more info here: 2013 Marine Art Contest for K-12 Students.
[Photo credit: (ccl) Mark Peters]
January 22, 2013 at 3:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families, Homeschooling, Interview, Resources, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Asia, Asian, Asian Studies, China, Curriculum, hampshire county, Homeschool, Japan, Pioneer Valley, Smith College, Smith College Museum of Art, teacher resources, UMass, UMass Fine Arts Center, western massachusetts
Asian Studies Supplemented in the Pioneer Valley
Exhibit, Educator Workshop, Guided Tours, Performance Art & Free Family Day
Image credit: Yue Minjun. Chinese, born 1962. The Grassland Series Woodcut 1 (Diving Figure), 2008 Woodcut on medium weight lightly textured cream wove paper. Gift of Pace Editions Incorporated and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts courtesy of Ann and Richard Solomon (Ann Weinbaum, class of 1959) and Ethan Cohen Photograph by Petegorsky/Gipe.
Educational opportunities are numerous over the next few months for those interested in teaching and learning about Asian art! The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA will be opening a new exhibit on Asian art beginning February 1st through May 26th, 2013. Titled, Collecting Art of Asia, the exhibit celebrates the 100th anniversary of the museum’s first acquisition of Asian art and includes work from the museum’s permanent collection, as well as promised gifts to the museum. Work included in the two-floor exhibit comes from China, Japan, Korea, and much of south and southeastern Asia, and highlights significant movements and people in the history of Asian art, as well as significant and historic gifts to the museum’s collection.
Educators can attend a workshop hosted by the museum that will share suggestions for teaching about the interdisciplinary connections found between Asian and Western art objects. Open to K-12 teachers, the workshop will also include an overview of “Collecting Art of Asia,” and resources for teaching shared by Five College Center for East Asian Studies director Anne Prescott. The workshop takes place on February 6th from 10am-3pm ($). Registration required – call 413-585-2781 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
The Smith College Museum of Art welcomes groups of students to visit, and offers guided tours of the museum. Classes, homeschool groups, and other groups of learners from PreK-12th grade can visit the museum to supplement their studies of Asian art, culture, and history. Tours can be designed to fit specific needs, or groups can participate in the general tour designed to accompany the exhibit. Educators can use a visit to the museum to supplement explorations into the history of Asian art, as well as studies of Asian culture and history.
On Saturday, March 2nd from 10am-3pm, Smith College Museum of Art will host a free family day. Billed as “Art of Asia,” families can participate in hands-on projects that were inspired by fishermen, flowers and fireworks, all on view in the Collecting Art of Asia exhibition. Projects are perfect for families with PreK-12th youth and their guardians.
Finally, at the UMass Fine Arts Center in Amherst will host Chinese Theater Works performing Toy Theater Peony Pavilion as part of the Global Arts: Performances for Schools series. The performance, open to grades 3-8, will take place at 10am on March 7th, 2013. The show combines the 16th century Chinese Kun Opera with modern Western styles of puppetry to create a unique and beautiful story, following a young maiden through her dreams.
Studies of Asian art and performance can provide a window through which to examine Asian history and culture, and can help provide students with a critical understanding of the evolution of Asian cultures. A look at Asian traditions can also help older students put relations between the United States and east Asian countries such as China and Japan into cultural context. For more information on either the exhibit or the performance, contact the Smith College museum of Arts at 413-585-2781 or the UMass FAC at 413-545-2511.
January 9, 2013 at 10:15 am (Animals, Art, Homeschooling)
Tags: arts curriculum, Conservation, duck stamp program, ducks, Ecology, Environment, Federal Fish and Wildlife Services, habitat conservation, Junior Duck Stamp Program, Nature, nature science, Ornithology, place-based education, Research, Science, Science Curriculum, STEM, western massachusetts
Supplement Habitat Studies with the Junior Duck Stamp Program
The Junior Duck Stamp Program offers an educational arts and science curriculum which educators can use for incorporating science, art, math and technology into habitat conservation studies. (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)
Western Massachusetts is home to a wide variety of duck species. These beautiful birds make their homes in wetland areas, a habitat in need of conservation. Students can learn about duck species and help to promote wetland conservation by participating in the Federal Fish and Wildlife Services’ Junior Duck Stamp Program! This contest calls for students to create their own stamps, featuring a specific duck species portrayed in its habitat. Students should learn about their species of choice, so as to make the best and most accurate depiction possible! Their design should reflect the group’s goal in creating the stamp – to share the beauty and importance of the species of the duck depicted.
Students should learn to understand the relationship between the duck and its specific environment, and should understand why the duck has such specific habitat requirements. Students can also study other stamp designs to learn what makes a good stamp!
Entries in the contest will be judged in four different age groups, and the winning entry will be made into a stamp and released in June. The contest is an opportunity for students to learn about local biodiversity, and to work on their understanding of the interrelatedness of species and their habitat. Students can also work on their art skills, working carefully to clearly portray their duck. The contest deadline is March 15th. For more information visit www.fws.gov/juniorduck.
Online resources for educators:
January 9, 2013 at 9:00 am (Art, Berkshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: American Art, Art, Art Studies, Berkshire County, Criminal Justice, Cultural Studies, Massachusetts, outsider art, Prison Art, Prison Culture, Stockbridge Library, western massachusetts
Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America
Art & Cultural Studies at the Stockbridge Library
Friday, January 25th
“For students of art and culture, psychology and philosophy, and human consciousness, the question emerges-how is it that this depth and beauty came from, or through, these particular folks-often times uneducated, unworldly, and untrained,” writes the Stockbridge Library. “Kornfeld points to a new direction… whereby incarcerated people are given the opportunity to reach out to people in need on the outside…” (Find about the Inside/Outside Envelope Project) – Join the Stockbridge Library for this free lecture on Friday, January 25th at 6pm
The Stockbridge Library is offering the community a unique opportunity to learn about a topic not often discussed – the artwork of prison inmates. Art teacher Phyllis Kornfeld, author of Cellblock Visions: Prison Art in America, will share a slideshow presentation of artwork created by inmates. This presentation will be paired with a discussion of their work, common types of art produced, and its place amongst mainstream American artwork.
Inmates’ work ranges from soap carvings inspired by traditional American folk art, to tattoo-style ink drawings. Their art challenges the stereotypes of inmates, serving as a window into the culture and mindset of prisoners, conveying the thoughts, questions, and emotions had by these outsider artists. Their artwork speaks of human qualities that are shared by all, regardless of circumstances.
This lecture will take place at the library on Friday, January 25th, 2013 at 6pm in Stockbridge, MA. Older students can attend the event to learn about prison culture, the universality of human artistic expression, art in America, and other topics related to art, psychology, and criminal justice. For more information, call the library at 413-298-5501. The Stockbridge Library is located at 46 Main Street in Stockbridge, MA.
November 14, 2012 at 6:00 am (Art, Berkshire County, MASS MoCA, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Art Assemblies, arts, Berkshires, Mass MoCA, North Adams, School Assemblies, western massachusetts
Art Assemblies for Students
at MASS MoCA in North Adams
MASS MoCA will host three art assembly performances with two performances of each: Roy Nathanson on Thursday, Dec 13, 2012, LAVA on Friday, Feb 15, 2013, and Radio Jarocho on Thursday, Jun 6, 2013. Performances are at 9:30am and 12:30pm.
Mass MoCA in North Adams, home to galleries full of unique and interesting contemporary artwork, is offering a series of Art Assemblies for students! The performances, which will take place once each between December and June, feature a wide variety of music, dance, and storytelling and are meant to expose students to new forms of artistic expression.
Performances include: Radio Jarocho’s Mexican folk music; a jazz and spoken word hybrid by Roy Nathanson and his band Sotto Voce; and Lava, a troupe combining dance, theater, and acrobatics to present social commentary and and explore relationships. Download the Art Assemblies brochure for days, times and costs.
Shows are open to school and home-school groups, or individuals, and are designed for a pre-K through 3rd grade audience. Pre-registration is suggested, as space is limited and the performances tend to be popular! Attending one (or all!) of the events can help teach young students about the may different forms of artistic expression that exist. For more information, call the museum at 413-662-2111 or visit www.massmoca.org.
September 12, 2012 at 10:30 am (Art, Berkshire County, Hilltown Families, Museum, Suggested Activity, Video)
Tags: Art, arts, Berkshries, Film Series, The Clark
Old Masters in New Frames
Film Series Explores the Lives of Artists at
The Clark in Williamstown this Fall
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is offering a free film series featuring well-regarded feature films about seven famous artists. Older students interested in art, art history, and film can learn about artists from varying time periods and artistic styles, and each screening will include an introduction and post-film discussion with museum curators and art educators.
Topics presented in the films include artist Andrei Tarkovsky and the history of medieval Russia, Italian Baroque painting and portraiture, and the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh (used to illustrate a film adaptation of Irving Stone’s novel Lust for Life).
While the focus of each screening is on a particular artist, their passionate lives and the history of their form of expression and/or the context within which their life and work took place, the film series offers a unique opportunity for older students to learn about periods of history not often included in traditional school history curricula. The films themselves are also a valuable way to learn – learners who best absorb information when visuals are presented will enjoy the creative and aesthetically pleasing and dramatic ways in which information is conveyed.
Screenings will take place on Thursday evenings beginning September 20th at 7pm, and admission is free. The Clark Institute is located at 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. For more information, call 413-458-2303. www.clarkart.edu
- September 20 Thursday 7:00 pm: Andrei Rublev. (1966, 205 min, Russian with subtitles) Andrei Tarkovsky’s masterful epic explores not just the life and work of the famous icon painter, but the whole cosmos of late medieval Russia, in a cinematic classic of art, faith, and history. Steve Satullo, film programmer for the Clark, will introduce the series and the film. For the convenience of viewers, this film will be repeated on Friday 9/21, with Part One at 1:00 pm and Part Two at 3:00 pm.
- October 4 Thursday 7:00 pm: The Mill & the Cross. (2011, 95 min.) Lech Majewski offers a unique portal — through special effects and dramatization — for entering the world of a Pieter Bruegel painting, with the artist himself (played by Rutger Hauer) as guide. Keith Moxey, Chair of Art History at Barnard College and former Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor at Williams College, will provide context and commentary on the film.
- October 18 Thursday 7:00 pm: Caravaggio. (1986, 90 min.) Derek Jarman’s bold experiment in portraiture tells the story of the scandalous Italian Baroque painter, played by Nigel Terry, with his muse and model played by Tilda Swinton. Michael Cassin, director of the Clark‘s Center for Education in the Visual Arts, will tell tales about the painter and his world.
- November 1 Thursday 7:00 pm: Edvard Munch. (1974, 172 min.). Peter Watkins’ brilliant docudrama follows the early life and career of the grim Norwegian painter, showing what led to The Scream. Jay Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs for the Clark and author of Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth, will introduce and assess the film.
- November 15 Thursday 7:00 pm: Lust for Life. (1956, 122 min.) Vincente Minnelli’s adaptation of the Irving Stone novel is an unusually serious Hollywood biopic, imbued with the colors of Vincent Van Gogh’s art and life. Kirk Douglas gives an impassioned performance as Van Gogh, with Anthony Quinn as Paul Gauguin. Perspective will be provided by Richard Kendall, Curator at Large for the Clark and author of Van Gogh’s Van Goghs.
July 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm (Art, Hampshire County, Hilltown Families, Northampton)
Tags: city of northampton, Community Art, Northampton Center for the Arts, Northampton Community Television, Northampton Draws, Pioneer Valley
Northampton Draws: Encouraging Community Creativity
This past Thursday, July 28th, in the old Dynamite Space at Thornes Marketplace and at the Northampton Center for the Arts, a free interactive drawing festival took place called Northampton Draws. This family-friendly event invited the community to come and get creative together.
Northampton Community Television was at both of these locations getting video footage of the afternoon events. Here’s their footage of the “Make Your Own Drawing Tool Workshop” lead by Carolyn Clayton in the old Dynamite Space in Thornes Market:
Then they headed over to the Northampton Center for the Arts where fiber artist Deborah Jane Slavitt lead a workshop where families could “draw” using fiber:
Northampton Draws was sponsored by the United Bank Foundation and the Northampton BID, and produced by the Northampton Center for the Arts in cooperation with the City of Northampton and Thornes Marketplace. Other artists who participated in Northampton Draws included Robert Markey, David Shapleigh, and Michael Townsend.
July 30, 2012 at 2:00 pm (Art, Berkshire County, Berkshire Family Fun, Video)
Tags: Art, arts, Berkshire County, Howard Pyle, illustration, Massachusetts, New England, Norman Rockwell Museum, western massachusetts
World of Adventure with Howard Pyle
Family Festival Day at Norman Rockwell Museum
Saturday, August 4th, 2012
Howard Pyle (1853-1911) was one of America’s most popular illustrators and storytellers during a period of explosive growth in the publishing industry. A celebrity in his lifetime, Pyle’s widely circulated images of pirates, knights, and historical figures were featured in dozens of publications and were admired by such artists and authors as Mark Twain and Norman Rockwell.
Explore history, as depicted in artist Howard Pyle’s illustrations, at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA! The museum’s newest exhibit features nearly 80 of Pyle’s works, created between 1876 and 1910, the subjects of which include Arthurian England, heroes of the American Revolution, and the fate of Scottish so-called pirate Captain Kidd.
On Saturday, August 4th the museum will present World of Adventure: Arthurian Legends and Gold Dubloons, a family festival day, from 12noon-4pm. Along with opportunities to explore the museum’s galleries and view Pyle’s work, there will be scavenger hunts, performances, art making, and more! The 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry will be sharing a replica of a Civil War encampment, where families can meet soldiers and learn about wartime camp life. The band Ampersand will perform music from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and kids can meet all sorts of soldiers, pirates, and knights!
For older kids (and parents), the museum will be screening, “Howard Pyle and the Illustrated Story,” a documentary film that follows Pyle’s work through generations of media. Check out the trailer which gives a glimpse of Howard Pyle’s talents as illustrator, author, and mentor:
World of Adventure: Arthurian Legends and Gold Dubloons, presented in conjunction with the Museum’s current exhibition, “Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered,” takes place from 12noon-4pm on Saturday, August 4th – visit to learn about the art of illustration, American history, and legends of knights, dragons, and pirates! Find out more about the Norman Rockwell Museum at www.nrm.org.
[Image credit: We Started to Run back to the Raft for Our Lives, 1902 Howard Pyle (1853-1911) Oil on canvas, 24 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches Delaware Art Museum, Museum Purchase, 1912]
June 20, 2012 at 6:00 am (Art, Hampshire County, History, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Art, Children's Literature, civil rights, Eric Carle Museum, Exhibit, Ezra Jack Keats, Massachusetts, New England, western massachusetts
50th Anniversary of The Snowy Day
The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats pays tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983), whose children’s book,The Snowy Day,was the first modern full-color picture book to feature an African-American protagonist, published in 1962 at the height of the civil rights movement in America. The exhibition marks the 50th Anniversary of The Snowy Day which paved the way for multiracial representation in American children’s literature.
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presents a new exhibit – The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats. Opening on June 26th, 2012 the exhibit is made up of over 80 of Keats’ works, including sketches, collages, and drawings, photographs of the author, and some of his less well-known Asian art and haiku, and will run through October 14, 2012.
Keats’ work is significant not only in that his children’s books (The Snowy Day, Whistle For Willie, and Peter’s Chair) have been read to and loved by many families, but is important also in that it features African-American protagonists in run-down urban settings. In fact, The Snowy Day was the first full color children’s book to feature an African-American protagonist. The settings depicted in Keats’ work reflect the environment in which he grew up, and the stories portray African-American characters in environments representative of urban life during the 1960’s.
By visiting the exhibit, families can begin a group dialogue about civil rights, urban life, and racial politics. These themes are best for older students, who are beginning to learn about or have some background knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement, but Keats’ illustrations can be appreciated by kids of all ages! Older students can also use the exhibit as a means of learning and thinking about how art is used to convey big ideas – not only does Keats provide effective illustrations for his stories, he offers a truthful portrayal of urban African-American life. For more information visit www.carlemuseum.org.
Illustration Credit: Ezra Jack Keats, “Peter, Archie and Willie crept out of the hideout.” Final illustration for Goggles!, 1969. Paint and collage on board. Ezra Jack Keats papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
May 16, 2012 at 6:00 am (Art, Suggested Activity, Teen)
Tags: poster design, summer reading program
Own the Night
Teens are invited to showcase their art and design skills in the Palmer Library’s poster contest! This year’s summer reading program theme is, “Own the Night,” and the library invites local high school students to create a poster expressing the theme – all entries will be shown at the library, and three winners will be chosen!
Artists can use essentially any medium (or media) that they like, and are asked to keep their work free of copyrighted characters and/or clip art - make it all original - should also be between 8.5×11 inches and 34×44 inches. Entries should not only be inspired by the program theme, but should convey what it is through text and images.
The contest is an opportunity for teen designers and illustrators to practice their skills, and to have their work viewed by the community while celebrating the summer reading program! Entries must be submitted by June 29th, 2012 – pick up an entry form at the Palmer Library or at Palmer High School.
For more information, call Krista Navin at 413-283-3330 ex. 106.
April 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm (Amherst, Art, Hampshire County, Suggested Activity)
Tags: Amherst, Amherst College, Mead Art Museum, western massachusetts
Mead Art Museum at Amherst College Presents
Dance Into Art
Pioneer Valley Community Celebration!
On Saturday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College will host a family-friendly event exploring the art of dance and costume in Amherst’s art collection. The fun-filled afternoon of activities for children and adults of all ages is free and open to the public.
Dance into art at the Mead Art Museum in Amherst! The museum, which houses Amherst College’s art collection, is currently hosting a special exhibition featuring work from artists Robert Henri and Nick Cave, whose work explores the human form through examination of dance and movement as a form of cultural expression.
The museum will host a family-friendly event on April 21st, from 11am-3pm, where families can see music and dance demonstrations, tour the museum and learn about current exhibits, and take part in hands-on art activities.
Kids can make their own hand puppets and masks inspired by the works shown from Henri and Cave, and can use the performances taking place throughout the day as inspiration as well.
The event offers an opportunity for families to view great art, as well as a chance for kids to learn about ways of using sources of inspiration. For more information, call the museum at 413-542-2000, or visit www.amherst.edu.
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