Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows

The Great Meadow: Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows
Historic Northampton
May 13, 2016 through June 5, 2016

Once the heart of agricultural settlement in Northampton, today the Meadows is a wild space of parties and encampments, a wasteland where the bomb squad detonates suspicious packages, a nature preserve where birds migrate and birdsong predominates, and a vast farmland where corn is cultivated as it has been for hundreds of years.

The Great Meadow: Natural and Cultural Histories of Northampton’s Meadows at Historic Northampton features the work of three local artists as they represent their unique artistic perspective on the Meadows and its many facets.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read the rest of this entry »

Museum Adventures: University Museum of Contemporary Art

Turning 40, the University Museum of Contemporary Art Continues to Shine

September is a hectic but exciting time of the year. As summer winds down and new routines set in, we invite you to explore what the University Museum of Contemporary Art (UMCA) has to offer!

Now in our fortieth year as a teaching museum at UMass Amherst, we continue to serve the community as a powerful resource. Through our outstanding exhibitions, visiting artists program, growing permanent collection, and varied educational programming, the museum is an amazing place to explore.  Read the rest of this entry »

Local Contemporary Artists’ Work On View at Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center

Local Contemporary Artists’ Work On View at
Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center
August 9 – August 30, 2013

Stop by Historic Northampton Museum & Education Center between 5-8pm on Friday, August 9, 2013 for the exhibition’s opening reception in conjunction with Northampton’s monthly Arts’ Night Out festivities!

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…

Read the rest of this entry »

10×10 Upstreet: A Weeklong Winter Contemporary Arts Festival in the Berkshires

Winter Arts Festival in the Berkshires
10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival
February 14th-24th, 2013

The 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival features over 70 events during Pittsfield’s second annual contemporary winter arts festival February 14-24, 2013. The 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival features dozens of artists, actors, musicians, writers, comedians and more. New this year are a variety of family friendly daytime activities, perfect for a week when many schools are on vacation. They include daily arts projects at Bisque, Beads & Beyond, daily adventure play at the Berkshire Museum, a teen art show at Pittsfield City Hall, a program of ten Shaker dances and songs at Treehouse Children’s Boutique, and a concert at Berkshire Music School.

The month of February brings a host of cultural events to downtown Pittsfield as the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival returns! Formerly called 10×10 North, the festival takes place from February 14th-24th, 2013 and  fills the city’s newly designated cultural district (the first west of Boston) with performances of theater and music, art shows featuring work in a variety of media, original comedy and film, and a wide variety of other arts-related events, exhibits, and shows.  The festival draws exclusively from local talent in order to provide the community with such a large amount of new and exciting work, and offers families numerous opportunities to see exciting performances featuring talented actors and musicians, view unique and fascinating artwork, and to learn about all of the creativity and innovation that exists right here in the region.

Highlights of 10×10 Upstreet for families include:

  • WeeMuse: 10 Days of Play: A Pop-Up Adventure Play – The Berkshire Museum will fill its Crane Room with materials for creative free play (including paper and cardboard boxes), offering families a chance to transform the space into anything from the surface of the moon to the Sahara desert.  The collaborative nature of the project offers kids a chance to work together and practice cooperation, while still exercising their creativity! Takes place Thursday through Saturday, February 14th-23rd.
  • 10 Decades of Jazz Composers – The Armen Donelian Trio will perform work from ten jazz composers whose work defined the first century of jazz.  Young jazz musicians and students interested in music history can learn about the history of jazz composition and performance by attending the concert, which will take place at Baba Louie’s on Friday, February 15.
  • 10×10 Shaker FacesTreehouse will host an exhibition of historic photographs of Shaker life in villages from Maine to Kentucky.  Their way of life was practiced by shakers living at Pittsfield’s Hancock Shaker Village until 1960, and families can learn about their culture and history through the photographs included in the exhibition.  Shakers of all ages are portrayed in images that help visitors learn about the aesthetics, beliefs, and traditions of Shaker culture.  Families can learn much about the Shakers by visiting the exhibit, and can use knowledge of American history to help put what they learn into historic and cultural context. On February 22nd from 10-11am, stop by for an interactive hour of Shaker songs that will get your hands and feet moving.

A full schedule of events and exhibits will be available soon from Cultural Pittsfield, as well as information for community members interested in sharing their work during the festival.×10

Family Fall Adventures at MASS MoCA

Family Programming at MASS MoCA: Fall 2012

Kidspace visitors can delve into a world of dinosaurs, superheroes, dragons, cowboys, and monsters at the newest exhibition, Curiosity.

Fall is the perfect season for children and families to explore MASS MoCA in North Adams together. Educational programming at the museum abounds, with the exhibition Curiosity and art-making at Kidspace, curriculum-based performances through Art Assembly, a Halloween-themed gallery quest, and the Muppet Music Extravaganza concert (All this within the restored campus of 19th-century factory buildings, making MASS MoCA the largest center for contemporary art in the country!).


Kidspace at MASS MoCA, a child-centered art gallery and hands-on studio, collaborates with professional artists to present exhibitions and educational experiences for children and families. Right now, Kidspace visitors can delve into a world of dinosaurs, superheroes, dragons, cowboys, and monsters at the newest exhibition, Curiosity. Chock-full of unexpected, outlandish, fantastic objects-turned-artworks that kids likely already have questions about, this exhibition instills a sense of wonder in visitors of all ages. Curiosity features nine internationally acclaimed artists, each of whom inspires viewers to indulge the urge to investigate.

Colin Boyd of Troy, New York, weaves elements of folklore, natural history, and the future into his large-scale sculptures of a mastodon and an elephant bird in the exhibit, Curiosity.

For starters, Colin Boyd of Troy, NY, weaves elements of folklore, natural history, and the future into his large-scale sculptures of a mastodon and an elephant bird. Former comic-strip artist Dave DeVries renders children’s artworks into images with a striking realism.  Ephraim & Sadie Hatfield of Adams, MA, re-imagine Renaissance cabinets of curiosity (which originally contained natural and human-made wonders collected by kings and queens). Kids can open drawers and doors of the cabinets to uncover mysterious specimens!

Curiosity also includes several LEGO sculptures by Nathan Sawaya (including the frozen Hans Solo from Star Wars), Muir Vidler’s photograph of grandparents with wild tattoos, Yoram Wolberger’s lifesize sculpture of a blue cowboy, and other treasures. In addition to viewing art, kids and families can also create their own at the Art Cabaret, Curiosity’s hands-on studio, which serves up inspiring art-making challenges for tactile learners. Kidspace is open from 11am-5pm every day except Tuesdays; art-making takes place Fridays through Sundays and during school holidays.


You can also download an Educators’ Guide for the Sol LeWitt Retrospective and plan your own tour and activities!

School groups are invited to attend Art Assembly performances throughout the academic year. These live events are educational, entertaining, and designed to adhere to the Massachusetts Learning Standards. Before the performance, teachers receive a curriculum guide chock full of pre- and post-performance activities to prepare their students for the experience. Activities might include writing exercise, movement games, instrument-making, readings on history, or group brainstorming projects. For more information about upcoming Art Assembly programming, or to reserve space at an upcoming performance, contact Courtney Parker, Assistant to the Manager of Performing Arts, at 413-664-4481 x8109.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rethink! American Indian Art at Berkshire Museum

Berkshire Museum presents
Rethink! American Indian Art
Striking Contemporary Art & Significant Historic Objects

The innovative exhibition, Rethink! American Indian Art at Berkshire Museum, features both striking contemporary art and important historic art objects, on view from July 7, 2012 to January 6, 2013. An opening reception will be held Thursday, July 12, from 5 to 7 p.m. and a Family Day of programs and activities will take place on Saturday, July 14. (Courtesy Photo)

The Berkshire Museum presents, “Rethink! American Indian Art,” an exhibit featuring art, artifacts, and educational materials expressing the rich skills and crafting traditions of Native American nations, from July 7, 2012 – January 6, 2013 in Pittsfield, MA.

The exhibit features not only a history of Native American artistry, but also includes contemporary pieces showing the evolution of skills and traditions and how modern culture has influenced changes in techniques and uses of skills (One piece, for example, features beautiful embroidery – done on a “canvas” of Converse high-top sneakers!).  Pieces featured in the exhibit include blown glass, basketry, video installations, beadwork, sculpture, and more, representing tribal nations from across the country.

Frequently, lessons taught in school about Native Americans focus on the early days of American History, but might not look closely at how native culture has endured and evolved.  Kids of all ages can learn significant lessons about modern Native American culture by exploring the exhibit.  Students can familiarize themselves with many different traditional skills, and begin thinking about how and why such skills continue to be passed on, forming their own questions about Native American culture and history, while gaining insight on modern Native American art.


To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, the Berkshire Museum is hosting a special family day on Saturday, July 14th from 10am-4pm.  There will be special events throughout the day, including a performance of Native American dance and song, demonstrations of basketry and wigwam building, and a storywalk!

For more information, visit www, or contact the Berkshire Museum at 413-443-7171.

%d bloggers like this: