Visual Art in Western MA:
July Openings, Closings & Calls for Art
Explore Western MA through the lens of visual art! Featured here are July art openings, closings & call for art at galleries, museums and public meeting places across the region, including: The Clark Museum, Schantz Galleries, Wistariahurst Museum, and Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum.
Sensing Place: Reflecting on Stone Hill
The Clark Museum
July 4, 2016 through October 10, 2016
Mark C. Taylor, the co-curator of this exhibition, states that “In today’s high-speed world, place disappears in screens where reality becomes virtual. Sensing Place creates the opportunity to slow down and re-discover who you are by reflecting on where you are.” Multiple media are used in the exhibition including a sonogram and recording of a bird song, video representing the melting of glaciers and creation of Lake Bascom, and historic maps, photographs, and ephemera that illustrate the rich history of Stone Hill. The objects presented in the exhibition are varied and include historic artifacts. Each of fourteen participants chose a single object to reflect upon and interpret in a short text. Author Jim Shepard tells the story of John Barney Wright by showing the mid-nineteenth-century sharp-shooter’s rifle that Wright modified to hunt bear. Another author, Elizabeth Kolbert, uses soil monoliths to illustrate how Stone Hill has evolved, and continues to evolve, throughout the centuries. Soil monoliths detail natural intervention, such as climate change, and human intervention, such as a plow, in the evolution of place. Stone artist Dan Snow reflects on a recreated field wall that would have been common on Stone Hill in the eighteenth century. The wall intersects interior and exterior spaces as a reminder of Stone Hill’s agrarian past. Artist Stephen Hannock reflects on the passage of time by presenting a root ball of a fallen cluster of buckthorn trees that was found on Stone Hill Road. For Hannock, the growth rings of the tree show how time has passed and been recorded. Sensing Place: Reflecting on Stone Hill at The Clark Museum immerses visitors in the rich natural and cultural history of Stone Hill from its geological formation to the present. It examines the broader concepts of place through objects linked to Stone Hill, as interpreted by those familiar with the richness of this special place. The exhibit will be on view from July 4, 2016 through October 10, 2016 at The Clark Museum. 413-458-2303. 225 South Street, Williamstown, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)
The Art of Dale Chihuly
July 8, 2016 through August 28, 2016
The Art of Dale Chihuly at Schantz Galleries features work by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly. With a background in interior design and architecture, Chihuly has always been interested in space and light.Working within the architecture of the gallery, he presents several of his well-known series along with a few large-scale installations. The centerpiece of the gallery is Sunrise Topaz Chandelier, a two-tiered chandelier consisting of approximately 430 amber, gold, and clear elements. An American sculptor, Chihuly has mastered the alluring, translucent, and transparent qualities of glass, ice, water, and neon, to create works of art that transform the viewer experience. He is globally renowned for his ambitious, site-specific architectural installations in public spaces and for his work in more than 250 museum collections. In addition to the blown-glass sculptures, Chihuly has included sixteen of his works on paper. As Nathan Kernan has stated in an essay, “Drawing into Space: Chihuly Drawing Revisited”, “Chihuly’s drawings over the past thirty-five years constitute a parallel visual world as compelling and original as that of his amazing sculptures.” The artist has always used drawing as a form of conveying his concepts and ideas for his sculptures, and one can certainly experience his expressive energy and love of color. Chihuly notes, “You can more directly sense my energy in my drawings than in any other way, perhaps.” Chihuly is famous for his ambitious architectural installations in notable cities, museums, and gardens around the world. This display provides visitors with a more intimate setting in which to enjoy the pieces, bringing the work of a world-renowned artist directly into our local community. The exhibit will be on view from July 8, 2016 through August 28, 2016 at the Schantz Galleries. 413-298-3044. 3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE)
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Closing this Month
Amor Fati: Paintings and Drawings by Christopher Willingham
Through July 30, 2016
Artist Christopher Willingham is an adjunct professor of visual arts at Holyoke Community College. Amor Fati: Paintings and Drawings by Christopher Willingham at the Wistariahurst Museum will feature Willingham’s work, charged with mark and color, that evoke themes from classical mythology. These powerful images reveal emergent forms and compositions in a language of exploratory abstraction. Grounded in vivid materiality, they record and search not for specific objects but for an emotional exactitude – a specificity of feeling in light, landscape, weather, and organic form. Naming this creative engagement amor fati, “love of fate,” the artist offers his work as a Stoic meditation on life as an eternal, transformative process and on the aesthetic as life itself. Viewers will have the opportunity to not only appreciate the visual aspects of this exhibit, but also the more complex elements that elicit them. The exhibit will be on view from June 4, 2016 through July 30, 2016 at the Wistariahurst Museum. 413-322-5660. 238 Cabot Street, Holyoke, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)
Kathy Greenwood: A Stitch in Time
Through July 31, 2016
Kathy Greenwood: A Stitch in Time at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum is an exhibition of collage and textiles works that cross familiar materials and patterns with contemporary sensibilities. The objects and images that populate this work allude to stories, relationships and observations of daily living. The ephemera of home – heirlooms, implements and cast-offs – can invoke personal memories as well as conjecture about the lives of others. In her collage series, Greenwood imposes patterns upon familiar surfaces whose associations infuse their subjects. For example, what first appear to be quilt blocks, on closer inspection are actually salvaged family relics – check stubs that span three decades, or vintage recipe cards stitched together with paint and staples. Traditional braided rag rugs were made out of discarded clothing and household textiles. The artist draws on this practice in the works seen here, composed of her own family’s garments – the ones too worn out or ugly to give away. Like people or memories, these shreds are twined and stitched together to form vivid patterns that transcend the sorry state of the raw material. These unique pieces merge old and new to create one-of-a-kind art that reflects both creativity and nostalgia. The exhibit will be on view from June 1, 2016 through July 31, 2016 at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum. 413-584-4699. 130 River Drive (Rte. 47), Hadley, MA. (<$)
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CALL FOR ART