Everyone’s invited to celebrate the one year anniversary of First Fridays Artswalk in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District this Friday, featuring dozens of artists on display in over 20 locations, including restaurants, shops and galleries. The popular art stroll kicks off at 5pm on Friday, May 3rd, rain or shine. Afterwards from 8pm to 10pm there is a free anniversary party at Spice Dragon at with live music, refreshments and more.
Best of all the Artsbuck returns with a twist. In October 2012, Berkshire Money Management offered a $100 rebate to people who bought original art for $200 or more from an Artswalk venue. This time, they’ll be donating $100 to the local non-profit of your choice when you buy an original work of art for $200 or more. Support your favorite cause and bring home a one-of-a-kind work of art to boot! You can pick up an Artsbuck at one of the 30+ Artswalk venues downtown.
New to Artswalk or looking for interesting company? Artswalk co-founder Mary McGinnis will lead a free guided tour of Artswalk locations. Meet her at Gallery 25, located at 25 Union Street just off North Street at 5pm to join in the fun.
Highlights this month include an open house at the former Notre Dame Church, now transformed into artist studios and maker space. Just in time for spring, check out handmade picnic blankets, dresses, aprons and cotton hoodies made from recycled used clothing by Crispina ffrench; handcarved wood spoons and birds by Overmeade Greenwood, silkscreened Berkshire prints by Judy Bates, and meet the farmers behind Pittsfield’s own Brattle Farm, who will be offering CSA (community supported agriculture) shares for the first time this year.
Down the street at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, the annual Art in our School show is a must see, an exuberant exhibit of artwork by 6th through 12th graders in Pittsfield’s public schools. Organized by the art teachers at Reid and Herberg Middle Schools and Pittsfield and Taconic High Schools, the show features over 300 works in paper, ceramic, mixed media, canvas and more.
A one time only photography show opening in the lobby of 7 North Street is another highlight. Entitled LAND AND MAN: An appreciation of Natural Lines, the show features the work of four photographers who share a studio on North Street: Barbara Schmick, Marc Wrzesinski, Karen Schiltz and Chill Photography. The show features refreshments and live music.
The artists collaborative at NUarts Studios & Gallery is doing some creative spring cleaning with a big visual arts sale during Artswalk and on Saturday, May 4, from 11am-3pm. They are also hosting a group show of self portraits called NU Faces: Self Portraits of the NUartists.
Other highlights from north to south include Michael Mongue’s series of abstracted and reconstructed musical instrument at Berkshire Medical Center; a collaborative exhibit entitled Domestic Amalgams with UMass alums Brent Whitney & Ariel Lavery’s absurdist critique of a consumptive post-industrial society at Y Bar; and photographer Linda Gail Leskovitz at Le Petit Musee.
Enjoy the opening reception for a new exhibit of work byBerkshire artists Abby Dubow, Lorraine Klagsbrun and Judith Koppel entitled Spring Uncorked at Gallery 25; an exhibition of colorful surreal landscape paintings by Sean McCusker called Landscape, Color and Me at Treehouse Children’s Boutique; plus a public reception for Walt Pasko’s en plein air painting art exhibit at Berkshire Community College Intermodal Gallery.
Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men hosts an artist reception for a collection of contemporary oil paintings called Dance Card by Joanie Ciolfi; and Bagels too
The Shops at Crawford Square at 137 North Street are always abuzz with art including work by Richard Thomas Weber, Doreen Gerson, Pat Carchedi and Allison Pierce. Stop in and see photographer Susan Geller’s collection of images of travel, famous people, and flowers in a new exhibit named Retrospective at Kinderhook Real Estate. Enjoy Morris Bennett’s abstract, portrait and landscape expressions at Decades of Health and Holistic Wellness; and Angela M Brett’s graphite and colored drawings at Brenda & Co.
Further down the street don’t miss Michael Cohen’s exploration of Times and Places in a new exhibit at Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., and an opening reception for renowned local photographer Bill Wright’s new exhibit Morning Light at the Marketplace Café.
Ongoing exhibits include the work of Doane Perry, Karen Carmean, Susan Merrill and Mitch Greenwald at Bagels, Too along with new painted floor cloths by Judy Artioli; evocative paintings by Katherine Gundelfinger in the Onota Building storefront; large format photography by David Ricci at Spice Dragon; and prints by Marguerite Bride on display at the Crowne Plaza.
May’s Artswalk offers performing arts as well, with live music beginning at 5pm with Nico Wohl, a 12-year old musician playing guitar inside Crawford Square (137 North St.). You can make an entire evening of Artswalk with dinner out and live music at Mission Bar + Tapas, where the Sister City Jazz Ambassadors play from 5:30pm-8pm followed by Bell Engine from 8:30pm-11pm, with no cover charge. Or head to Baba Louie’s Backroom for a live concert featuring the talents of the Williams College Jazz Group—an ensemble comprising students from around the world—beginning at 7:30pm for no cover charge.
First Fridays Artswalk is the only year round monthly visual arts event in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. The lead sponsors of First Fridays Artwalk are Berkshire Money Management, Gallery 25, the Berkshire Art Association, The Berkshire Eagle and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Other sponsors include Berkshire Bank, Berkshire Medical Center, Downtown Pittsfield Inc., WJ Blueprint, and the City of Pittsfield. For more details about First Fridays Artswalk, including information for artists who would like to participate, visit our website at discoverpittsfield.com/firstfridaysartswalk or call 413-443-5601.