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RI Archives: Parties

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Columbia Land Conservancy

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Classical Tents

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Hudson Opera House

Berkshire Grown

Parties & Openings


April 25 - Lenox
Women of Will Book Release

April 24 - Lenox
Literary Death Match Ep. 2

April 20 - G. Barrington
Michael Caines' Animalia

Literary Death Match Returns To The Mount

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. Edith Wharton’s former stables became the scene of fierce competition on Friday, April 24, as Literary Death Match made its triumphant return to The Mount. The reading series/story slam, created and hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga, gives four authors a chance to read their work — short stories, essays and poetry, both silly and serious, are all featured — in front of a crowd and three discerning judges, who will then grade them on literary merit, performance and intangibles. Author Paul La Farge and comedians Sue Smith and Jenny Zigrino took their places at the judges’ table as the bout began. Round One pitted Arda Collins’ artful poetry against Jedediah Berry’s tale of alien probing (that would be them probing us), with Berry coming out the winner due to high marks in the presentation category. Round Two saw Ron Currie Jr.’s thoroughly-thought-out plan for a line of “hobo jeans” go up against Courtney Maum’s masterful essay about a trip to a Parisian podiatrist. Maum, the winner of that round, then battled Barry in an author spelling bee finale. As the names of the writers got more and more difficult to spell or even to pronounce, Maum called in Paul La Farge to help her tackle “Wisława Szymborska,” but for naught, as super-speller Jedediah Berry took home the coveted Literary Death Match medal. Jedediah Berry, above, read his story from a scroll, which helped him amass points for presentation.


Haley Jo Cutrone, who celebrated her birthday at LDM, and Courtney Maum; MCLA professor Dr. Chris Himes, Emily Pulfer-Terino and filmmaker Diego Ongaro.


Kelsey Mullen, the Mount’s director of public programs and education, with Christian Drake; Lisa Prosienski and Ron Currie Jr.


Jedediah Berry, Jenny Zigrino, Adrian Todd Zuniga and Arda Collins.


Paul La Farge helps Courtney Maum spell Wisława Szymborska; Paul LaFarge, Jenny Zigrino and Sue Smith judge contestants.


Emily Houk and Jedediah Berry; Courtney Maum and Paul La Farge.


Sean Hayes, Nicole Wheeler, Adam Hinds, Jenn Smith, author Snowden Wright, who will be reading at The Mount on May 9, and Adam Orazio.


Courtney Maum and Arda Collins read from their work.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 04/26/15 at 06:09 PM • Permalink

A Woman Of Will — Tina Packer — Launches Her Book At S&Co.

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. Over many years, audiences have gravitated to performances by Shakespeare & Company Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer, and they were just as attracted to the launch and celebration of her much-anticipated book, Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays. On Saturday, April 25, nearly 200 of her fans, S&Co staff members and actors past and present gathered at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, where Packer [photo, left] and Nigel Gore presented selections from the stage work of “Women of Will,” followed by a Q&A, reception and book signing. During the presentation, Packer explained why she was inspired to explore Shakespeare’s changing understanding of women and how his journey is reflected in his writing.  The powerful scenes enacted and Packer’s deep insights into Shakespeare’s development as a person and playwright only increased the audience’s admiration for her contributions to the company. “I feel like I was just witness to something transcendental,” said a woman as she left the event. Indeed.


S&Co Interim Co-Artistic Directors Jonathan Croy and Ariel Bock; Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Communications Director/Artistic Associate and Kevin Coleman, a company founder and the director of education.


Shakespeare & Company educators: Dara Silverman, Douglas Seldin, Maizy Broderick Scarpa and Josh Aaron McCabe.


Tina Packer and Nigel Gore in a scene from “Taming of the Shrew;” Sally Sugarman, theater blogger and host of a radio program devoted to theater on WBTN, and David Joseph, who will appear in this season’s production of “Henry V.”


Dennis Karusnick, another founder of the company and director of training; Janet Kalas, “dicoverer of sound” at S&Co., Lezlie Lee, a director in the education department, and Kevin Coleman.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 04/26/15 at 10:39 AM • Permalink

Animalia Attracts At Hillman-Jackson Gallery

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. The Hillman-Jackson Gallery at Bard College at Simon’s Rock is a forward-thinking, eclectic gallery at an equally forward-thinking and eclectic school. The Gallery’s current exhibition, Animalia, featuring the most recent work by painter Michael Caines, opened with an artist’s talk and reception on Monday, April 20. Caines collaborated with designer Sean Naftel to hang the show, which features paintings of dogs, cats — including one with a mustache — and humans which “slyly reference 17th-century portraiture, historical landscapes and minimalist painting.” The “star” of the show is Georgeous – a portrait of a dog with George W. Bush’s eyes and mouth — positioned low to the ground and behind tiny velvet ropes as if it were the Mona Lisa. You can catch the exhibit, downstairs at the Daniel Arts Center, through Thursday, May 14. Above, Ariana Taylor, Michael Caines and Sean Naftel.


Simon’s Rock painting and drawing professor Jacob Fossum with husband Jackson Liscombe, a computer science professor at Simon’s Rock; Hillman-Jackson Gallery curator Margaret Cherin and photographer Gregory Cherin.


Designer John Mahoney and gallerist Ronald Wells; Art students Zoe Hu and Rebecca Cosenza.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 04/21/15 at 10:29 AM • Permalink

IS183’s Gala: Versace, Tchotchkes, Mariachi And A Hibachi

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. To say that IS183 Art School of the Berkshires throws a great gala would be an understatement, as anyone who’s ever been to one can attest. This year’s big blowout, on Saturday, April 11, was no exception, as volunteers turned the Crowne Plaza Hotel into the Versace Tchotchke Expo with Mariachi + Hibachi. Donatella Versaces (yes, more than one) catwalked their way through the ballroom, taking in the larger-than-life mariachi men and hovering lightning clouds, and posing for selfies with giant owls and Matrushkas. Human tchotchkes and hibachi chefs bid on auction items that included tickets to the sold-out July 4th James Taylor concert at Tanglewood, overnight stays at area luxury hotels, private massages, wine tastings, theater tickets and, of course, artwork including handmade jewelry, leather goods, portrait sittings, personalized photography and ceramics classes and other creative offerings you won’t find anywhere else. Funds raised benefit IS183’s Learning Through Arts (LTA) program, which serves more than 1,250 Berkshire County public school students of all ages in more than 15 area schools through after-school and summer art programs. In photo above, Hope Sullivan, IS183’s executive director, and Nancy Fitzpatrick.


Six Depot’s Flavio Lichtenthal and Lisa Landry with Emily Shaw; Peter and Leigh Boyd.


Tom Haskins-Vaughan and Elissa Haskins-Vaughan; David Slick, Robin Seeley, Arthur Cape and Pat Whitehead.


Tom Werman, Jenny Fenig and Steven Fenig; Vicki Bonnington, wearing the amazing tchotchke dress she made, poses with a mariachi man.


Reg Millington, Z Steinhauer, IS183 Associate Program Director Lucie Castaldo, Christina Barbieri and Chas Quimby.


IS183 Marketing Associate Carrie Wright and Bill Wright; Nancy Fitzpatrick, Joseph Wheaton and Seth Nash.


Artist Janine Strong, Josh Needleman of Chocolate Springs Café, Yuki Cohen of Methuselah Bar and Lounge and Adrienne Rynes; Ty Jackson and Brenda Petell.


The evening’s DJ, Dave Leonard, and Maisie Rugen manned the “hibachi.”; Ashley Junod, Rob Weisberger and Jenna Lanphear.


Jess Fitzgerald and Ben Evans, the ceramics studio manager at IS183; Mariachi men partied with the crowd.


Joseph Wheaton’s projections made a stunning backdrop to the dance party.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 04/12/15 at 12:58 PM • Permalink

Waste Not, Want Not With Project Native

Rachel Louchen reports from Great Barrington. The fifth annual Project Native Film Festival presented a full day of environmentally-themed cinema, and its opening night event both entertained and educated guests. On Saturday, April 11, attendees gathered on the stage of The Mahaiwe to enjoy a feast of culled food before a screening of Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story. The documentary dives into the subject of food waste and the culling process, which sorts food and then classifies whether it is usable in supermarkets. Food is often disposed of due to blemishes or being too ripe, resulting in 40 percent of products raised or grown in the US not being eaten. Local farms donated culled food for the evening — food in which Chef Michael Ballon of Castle Street Cafe had been challenged with sorting through to craft the menu. Guests enjoyed recycled vegetable pizza, stuffed red cabbage, crostini of raclette and other items, which demonstrated just how delicious the so-called “undesirable food” can be. Above, Project Native Education and Outreach Coordinator (and sole organizer of the film festival) Karen Lyness LeBlanc and Dana Wagner, manager of Hawthorne Valley Farm.


Chairman of Project Native’s board Erik Bruun with board member (and one of the evening’s speakers) Barry Shapiro; Andrew Grimaldi and Laura Carboneau drove from Winchester, New Hampshire to attend the event.


Filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer; Laura Wolff and Karen Preuss of Hawthorne Valley Farm, which donated cheese, baguettes, vegetables and yogurt.


Co-owners of Native Habitat Restoration (and one of the evening’s sponsors) Jess Toro and Sari Hoy with Becky Ferguson


Richard Grausman, Susan Grausman, Marjorie Shapiro and Barry Shapiro; Martin Ping and Janene Ping from Hawthorne Valley Farm.


Christine Heaton and Danny O’Dell of Big Elm Brewery donated the beer; mother of the filmmaker Edie Restemeyer with Sally Harris and Fred Harris, owners of Saint James Place.


Lynne Kaplan of Great Barrington, volunteers Diane Saunders and Bob Rosen, and board member David Kaplan.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 04/11/15 at 10:52 PM • Permalink

Jim Shaw’s ‘Entertaining Doubts’ Opens at MASS MoCA

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. Wigs, a lamp in the shape of a nose, glowing sculpture under black lights, Dan Quayle (remember him?), Superman’s head on the body of a chicken — all of these items and more are featured in MASS MoCA’s newest exhibition, Jim Shaw: Entertaining Doubts. On Saturday, March 28, the Museum held an opening reception for the artist, who was celebrating his largest U.S. exhibition to date, one that includes a new work made especially for the show. The large-scale banner work, Not Since Superman Died, features the superhero as a mere mortal, possibly unable to escape calamity. The event doubled as a belated reception for Bibliothecaphilia, which opened at the Museum this past January. Shown above, the show’s curator, Denise Markonish, with the artist.


Larry Rosenthal with Lisa Rosenthal and Pamela Rosenthal; Henry and Solé, who is featured in Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature in the Museum’s Bibliothecaphilia exhibit.


Photographer Karl Mattson and artist Marisa LaGuardia; Artist Jena Priebe, whose The Secret Lives of Books is part of the Bibliothecaphilia exhibit, with Winston Rylee and Hannah Pivo, a visual arts intern at the Museum.


Beyang Shi, Brady Myers, artist Beth Beckman, writer Chris Robinson and Emily Fuhrman. all visiting from Brooklyn.


Ashley Lyon and Anne Currier; Manuela Mozo, Olaf Breuning and Makiko Aoki.


Sculptors Tim Walker and Samantha Pasapane and artist Matthew Wilson; Lauren Young, an art history graduate student at Williams College, and Allie Foradas, who curated Bibliothecaphilia.


Artist Jason Middlebrook, curator Denise Markonish, artist Mary Lum and the Museum’s director, Joseph Thompson.


The artist (far right), with his cousin, Craig Shaw Gardner and his wife Barbara Gardner; Four of the above-mentioned wigs.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 03/29/15 at 03:04 PM • Permalink

In Wine We Trust At Morrison Gallery

Rachel Louchen reports from Kent. In just five years, the Annual Spring Wine Tasting for Kent Land Trust has turned into “a new Kent tradition,” mused Kent Wine and Spirits owner Ira Smith. Close to 400 guests attended the fundraiser — the largest wine tasting in Litchfield County — on Saturday, March 28. More than 70 wineries from 25 regions of the country took part in the event, with some vendors driving from as far as two states over to represent their brands. The event was held in the beautiful Morrison Gallery, renowned for its contemporary art and sculpture, and guests mingled comfortably thanks to the modern structure with its soaring ceiling. All proceeds from the event benefit the Land Trust’s mission to preserve conservation properties, which, as the turnout indicated, is important to the town of Kent, as well as the surrounding areas. Above, Kent Land Trust Executive Director Connie Manes, board member and event chair Steve Vaughn and board member Laurie Voss.


Kent Land Trust Office Manager Gwynne Seufert and Ken Seufert; Donna Campbell and Bob Campbell of Woodbury.


Kent residents Jonathan Edelman and Stacey Haefele; Stephanie Weaver of Warren with Dale Horn of Goshen.


Peter and Erin Donohoe of Cornwall Bridge with Kent Wine & Spirits owner Ira Smith; Lynda Weber and Aline Marie, visiting from Sandy Hook.


Casey Cogut and Ellen Cogut with Bill Arnold, President of the Kent Land Trust Board of Directors.


Alina Hernandez and Rose Anne Thorn; Artists Tracy Collamore and Jessica Bartlet with John Bartlet.


New Kent residents Tom Knotek and Paul Hilepo; Sue and Pete Beerman.


Sarah Weitz and Sam Wunderl were visiting Kent for the weekend from NYC; Burt Visotzky and Ken Cooper of South Kent.


South Kent native Mark Owens, Melissa Cherniske, board member Darrell Cherniske and Bruce Whipple.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 03/29/15 at 11:29 AM • Permalink

Chapter 1: Hudson Children’s Book Festival Fundraiser

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. Authors, teachers and literacy lovers generated an enthusiastic buzz at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival fundraising cocktail party on Saturday, March 28 at Stair Galleries. With more than 70 percent of the students in the Hudson Community School District living below the poverty line, one of the goals of the Children’s Book Festival Scholarship Fund, founded by Chris Jones and Susan Simon, is to provide hundreds of Hudson students the money to buy a book at the Festival. The fund also awards several high school seniors scholarship money to buy books at college. Students passed hors d’oeuvres and read passages from a book whose National Book Award-winning author will be attending the festival. Torrey Maldonado, a “Top 10 Latino Author” and author of the acclaimed novel “Secret Saturdays,” described what sets the Hudson Children’s Book Festival (the largest children’s book festival in New York State) apart from others. “You see love there, ” he said. “Kids are allowed to express their love for books. Your donation is about voice and choice.” Above, Torrey Maldonado and Jennifer Clark, Festival co-director. This year’s Festival will be May 2.

Janet Schnitzer, past president of the Hudson Area Association Library and Vicki Kosovac, president of the Friends of the Hudson Area Library; Emily Gripple, visiting from Chicago and Paige Darrah, a freelance writer for Main Street Magazine.


Susan Simon, cookbook author and scholarship fund co-founder, Carolyn West and Lisa Dolan, Festival co-director.


Barbara Mojica and Victor Mojica, both children’s book authors from Craryville; Katrina Wilber, who teaches physical education for the Hype Park Central High School, and Andy Millar, a third grade teacher in the Hudson School District.

Atia Begh, Ramisa Tasnim and Brittany Varriale, students from Hudson High, read passages aloud from “Brown Girl Dreaming,” whose award-winning author, Jacqueline Woodson, will appear at the Festival.


Ian MacCormack, associate principal at Hudson’s intermediate school, Don MacCormack of the Bank of Greene County, and writer Jonathan Lerner; Ellen Huemmer, a teacher, and Diane Kreig, a retired reading teacher.


Owen Davidson, Chris Jones, scholarship fund co-founder, and Mark Prezorski, landscape curator at The Olana Partnership.


A trio of teachers: Jennifer Merwin-Domkoski, Tani Quinion and Amie Malin; Jennifer Clark, Mark Brenneman, Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School principal, Maria Suttmeier, superintendant of the Hudson City School District, Liz Novine, guidance counselor, and Ian MacCormack.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 03/29/15 at 10:05 AM • Permalink