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Sunday, November 23, 2014
 
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RI Archives: Parties

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Berkshire Grown

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Benchmark Real Estate

Hudson Opera House

Parties & Openings


November 18 - Norfolk
CultureMAX! Awards

November 15 - Stockbridge
Mort Künstler's NRM Opening

November 14 - Pittsfield
Festival Of Trees 2014

Northwest CT Arts Council Maxes Out Infinity Hall

Rachel Louchen reports from Norfolk. A concert venue that usually features the roaring sounds of rock legends and soulful crooners instead welcomed artists, writers, photographers, lawyers, bankers and others from varied careers. They were there to honor members of the community (as well as business and organizations) that have made huge strides in raising awareness about the arts and culture in Northwest Connecticut. The first-ever Northwest Connecticut Arts Council CultureMAX! Awards on Tuesday, November 18 was a huge success, with a turnout of more than 160 guests packing Infinity Music Hall & Bistro. The awardees were Sharon Dante, Founder of The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts; Catherine Fields, Executive Director of the Litchfield Historical Society; Five Points Gallery; The North End Store in Barkhamsted; and Janet Rathbun of Colebrook who all received a one-of-a-kind sculpture award designed by Torrington artist Dennis Bialeck. The great turnout proves promising for the inaugural event, but it also spoke volumes about the tight-knit community in Northwest Connecticut. “To see how many people showed up just goes to show how people are looking for something like this: they want to honor contributing members of the community,” said the council’s Manager of Membership and Outreach, Debbie Freund (above right, with Alyson Thompson).


Dennis Bialeck, Mary Bialeck, Amy Wynn, executive director of the council and honoree Judith McElhone.


Sue Anne Marolda and Larita Steffee; Arts Council board member Carie Hodel and Margaret Smith.


Ray Furse, Mary Ellen Furse and Jack Sheedy; Arts Council board members Vanessa Giannasi and Michael Quadland.


Arts Council board member Pamela Baker and Carolyn Ferrara; Judith Romaniello and Gail Kruppa.


Lisa Lopez, Dave Webber and Arts Council board member Kerry Noble.


Honoree Sharon Dante with The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts Artistic Director Victoria Mazzarelli; Gay Schempp and Jordan Hutton, gallery assistant at The White Gallery.


John Lavieri and Corky Lavieri flank one of the evening’s honorees, Brenda Pelletier; Gayle Moraski and Laura Lemieux.


Owner of Infinity Music Hall & Bistro and Arts Council board member Dan Hincks with realtor Juliet Moore; Fiona de Merell with Ed Cannata.


Jay Fields, honoree Catherine Fields and Rod Oneglia.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/18/14 at 08:34 PM • Permalink

Berkshire Museum Goes On Safari With 2014 Festival of Trees

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. This year’s Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum opened with, well, not a bang, exactly… more of an extremely loud kookaburra soliciting attention from the guests. That’s because this year’s preview party doubled as an opening reception for the Museum’s Lions & Tigers & Bears exhibit, and many live animals were on hand to help celebrate. The Creature Teachers from Littleton, Mass. brought some furry, scaly and feathered friends, including the attention-loving kookaburra, a banana-scarfing kinkajou, a preening umbrella cockatoo and other well-behaved beasts. Museum supporters wore their animal-print best to coincide with the “On Safari” theme of the 2014 Festival as they wandered through the twinkling upstairs galleries enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres. The Festival of Trees and Lions & Tigers & Bears: Through the Lens with National Geographic exhibits will be on display through January 4, 2015. Above, Pam Knisley, Berkshire Museum Curatorial Assistant Kendra Knisley and Kyle Wilson pose in front of a Kodiak bear.


Tim Kiely of The Pittsfield Co-op Bank and Vicky May of Greylock Federal Credit Union; Michele Hotchkin of Berkshire Shenanigans, with Melisa Krzysztof-Davis and Joe Pickett.


Daryl Corbett of Mad Macs with Joe and Anne Apkin; Berkshire United Way‘s Jonah Sykes and Colin Sykes who works for the City of Pittsfield.


Peter Garlington, John Krenicki, Berkshire Museum’s Board Vice President Donna Krenicki, the Museum’s Executive Director Van Shields and Peggy Rivers.


Sally Evans, Mike Chefetz and Museum board member Nancy Edman Feldman; Gwen Davis and Mark Ouillette, who were enjoying their 18th Festival of Trees.


Michael Vincent Bushy and Berkshire Creative‘s Julia Dixon; Molari co-workers Bernadette Webb, Nicole Lewis, Raya Brower and Liz Goclowski pose in front of their tree.


Tim Burdick and Berkshire United Way Board Chair Brenda Burdick with Berkshire United Way President & CEO Kris Hazzard and Larry Hazzard.


Jesse Tague, a Berkshire Music School student, performed for the crowd; Berkshire Magazines Anastasia Stanmeyer and Peggy Rivers.


County Ambulance paramedic Robert van Bramer and Erin Roark; Tiffany Roberts and her daughter, Ariana, make a pretty picture.


Pittsfield High School‘s trees are going on safari and trying to blend in with the animals.


Andrew Boino of Dana Bixby Architects and Maureen White of Barnbrook Realty; Barbara and Tom Patton flank BCC professor Colleen Quinn.


Lisa Ostellino and daughters Kate and Julia, pose in the Guardian Life sponsored safari jeep; Gail Shaw and Jodi Briggs pose with a baby bear.


The Creature Teachers brought Walter the American alligator and a six-banded armadillo named Doug, among other critters, to meet the crowd.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/17/14 at 12:05 PM • Permalink

Mort Künstler’s Adventurous Art Comes to Norman Rockwell Museum

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. Much like Norman Rockwell, Mort Künstler gained his fame as an artist who has painted America’s story. So the exhibition “Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure” couldn’t be more welcomed than at the Norman Rockwell Museum. An opening reception on Saturday, November 15 honored the artist, who is known for his highly researched historical paintings and extremely detailed images. Advertisements, book jackets and magazine covers, as well as paintings of figures from the Civil War, large-scale animals and posters from iconic movies such as The Poseidon Adventure highlighted just how versatile the artist’s 60-year career has been. The turnout included proud family members, friends and longtime fans who were thrilled to meet the gregarious artist. The exhibition, which includes more than 80-pieces of work, will be on exhibit until March 15, with an artist conversation to be held February 21. Above, Mort Künstler with deputy director/chief curator Stephanie Plunkett.


NRM’s Director Laurie Norton Moffatt; president of the museum’s board of trustees Robert Horvath and his wife, Lynne Horvath with webmaster and interactive media designer Dan Heck.


The honoree’s grandson Tom Künstler with his grandmother, Deborah Künstler; the museum’s external relations coordinator Lisa Lewis, with chief operating officer Jill Gellert and Bill Gellert.


Martin Mahoney, NRM’s director of collections and exhibitions and Jane Künstler , daughter of the artist.


Künstler’s niece Debra Malone came out to support her Uncle Mort, here with longtime friend, Stockbridge resident Gretchen Wehrle- Scott; Pittsfield residents Merrill Roberts and June Waldman with Mary Jo Engels of East Otis.


Zack Murdock and Barbara Murdock drove up from Long Island to attend the exhibit of their favorite artist; Aaron Stein and Kerry Morris.


Laurie Moffatt with her daughter, Leigh, stands in front of her favorite piece in the exhibition, a painting depicting George Washington crossing the Delaware River.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/16/14 at 06:30 PM • Permalink

Williamstown Film Festival Talks Suspense With Director Tony Gilroy

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. As part of its creative 2014 programming, the Williamstown Film Festival held a benefit dinner on Friday, November 7 at Gramercy Bistro, followed by a discussion with writer/director Tony Gilroy on “The Art of Suspense.” The Festival’s Executive Director, Steve Lawson, and board member Stephen Hannock moderated the discussion, which was held in MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center. Gilroy is most famous for writing the scripts of the Bourne movies starring Matt Damon, and received an Academy Award nomination for writing and directing Michael Clayton starring George Clooney—the film received seven nominations in all. Clips of Gilroy’s films, including the recently released Nightcrawler which he produced, and other thrillers were interspersed to give the audience examples of how filmmakers keep moviegoers on the edges of their seats. Lickety Split hosted an after-party in the lobby, and guests were treated to hors d’oeuvres and dessert, including pistol-shaped sugar cookies in a “blood-spattered” bowl. Above: Tony Gilroy and his wife, Susan Gilroy, flank Stephen Hannock.


WFF Consultant Sandra Thomas, WFF Board Vice President Roger Clark, projectionist Anna Moriarty Lev and Ned Thorne; WFF board member Diane Pearlman and WFF Board President Joe Finnegan.


Bonnie and John Raines, subjects of the documentary 1971, with Peter Thompson; WFF board member Sue Killam with Cody Ball and Peyton Young.


Linda Conway, Ellen Bernstein, Emily Eakin, WFF board member and Williamstown Selectman Jane Patton and Gintare Everett.


Annie Kennedy of pop-up shop School For Style, with Wit McKay, and Molly Kerns of Tsubo Massage; Tony Gilroy and WFF Executive Director Steve Lawson.


Chris Finnegan and Kate Scully; Janet Stratton and Randy Stratton with Joe Finnegan.


Gilroy, Lawson and Hannock on stage.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/09/14 at 10:43 PM • Permalink

The JLBC’s Signature Fundraiser Gathers A Crowd

Rachel Louchen reports from Pittsfield. Core values of The Junior League of Berkshire County (JLBC) are volunteerism, leadership, collaboration, diversity, mentoring and respect. On Thursday, November 6, the organization focused all those values on its annual fall fundraiser, the 7th annual Taste of the Berkshires. Held at Pittsfield’s Crowne Plaza hotel, over 25 restaurants from across Berkshire County attended and, much like the selection of restaurants in our region, the menu was diverse. There was Malaysian cuisine provided by Flavours Of Malaysia; sushi from 7 Grille, with some comfort food favorites mixed in like pasta from Mazzeo’s Ristorante and barbeque from MadJacks. Sweets were plentiful too: tables were piled high with cakes and pastries, and even Pittsfield (relative) newcomer Ayelada offered up its frozen yogurt. All proceeds from the event will go to community-based programs such as Curl Up With a Good Book, a literacy-focused evening, and Kids in the Kitchen, which helps prevent childhood obesity by teaching children about smart food choices. Above, President Jessica Shandor with fundraising chair Mia Albano.


State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, former JLBC member Amy Novisky and David Novisky.


Hinsdale residents Roberta Francis and Burton Francis; former JLBC member Mary Kay Farley and teacher Mary Beth Eldridge.


Madeleine’s Patisserie & Cafe proprietor Ashely Summers with staffer Nicole Wheeler; Kristine Warfield with her daughter, JLBC member Nora Tassone.


City of Pittsfield Director of Cultural Development (and member) Jen Glockner, Tim Kiely and Lori Gazzillo, director of Berkshire Bank Foundation.


Lisa LoBou and Todd Walton, husband of a JLBC member; Sarah Truden and James Truden.


Former president Karen Rogers with sustainer Heather McDermott; Williamstown’s Hops And Vines was represented by the husband and wife team of Megan Beuth and Robert Beuth.


Monterey residents Carol Edelman and James Edelman.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/06/14 at 07:32 PM • Permalink

Berkshire Theatre Group & The Mount Throw Masquerade Balls

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield and Lenox. November 1, the day after the spookiest day of the year, was still pretty frightening in the Berkshires, as both the Berkshire Theatre Group and The Mount held masquerade balls to celebrate the Halloween holiday. BTG’s annual fall fundraising gala was held on the stage of the Colonial Theatre and featured a drama-themed silent auction, a staged reading of The Raven by cast members of POE, and dancing. Masked guests enjoyed a generous buffet from Mazzeo’s Meat and Seafood, which featured delicious meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables, hot dishes and more. No ghoul or goblin went home hungry. Above, Tara K. Young, BTG’s Director of Special Events and Donor Relations, with Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.


Pam Malumphy, Joan DiMartino, Lisa Tully and Melissa Mazzeo; Tony Gibson and John Culver of the Purple Plume in Lenox.


Lynne and Mike Mazzeo; The stars of BTG’s POE, Brian Plouffe, David Adkins and Corinna May, with BTG Board President Ruth Blodgett.


BTG board member Linda Cooper with Sue Mooney and Heather Wells Heim; Rhiannon Hagen, Jody Fairweather and Gina Foley.


Mike Fazio and Cori Salvini; Michael and Denise Richardello flank George Haddad.


Casey Meade, Johanna Wise, Katherine Davis and George Manley.

Later in the night, Edith Wharton’s former mansion served up a supernatural scene as the lights were turned low, no… lower… lower… that’s good, for a Victorian Boudoir party hosted by Berkshire Shenanigans. Nineteenth century lords and ladies mingled with superheroes, a come-to-life sculpture, two David Bowies, Waldo from the Where’s Waldo? books (we found him, er… her) and many other beastly and beautiful partygoers. DJ BFG spun tunes for the sold-out crowd inside and How We Roll served up hot eggrolls to hungry guests outside. In the running for party of the year? We think so.


Rachel Parzick as a happy little tree and Michael Boroniec as painter Bob Ross won the Couples Costume award; Antoinette Simms and Seth Levy.


Virgil Kerr, assistant winemaker at Balderdash Cellars, with Jen Frederick and Chris Mollomo; Nancy Fitzpatrick, Nathan Hanford and Rebecca Weinman.


Jon and Carrie Hornbeck; John Ryall and Lori Flynn.


Emily Moraes, Gillian Gorman and Karden Rabin of Radiance Yoga, with Amy Huebner.


Rob Levardi and Lisa Sears; Scott Cole of the Monterey General Store with artist Tom Taylor.


Jennifer Peloquin and Ryan Picard; Darryl Lipinski, Victoria Spelling and Josh Chittenden.


The spooky view of Edith Wharton’s mansion upon arrival.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 11/03/14 at 12:27 PM • Permalink

WAM’s “Army” Supports Opening Night Of ‘In Darfur’

Rachel Louchen reports from Lenox. A packed crowd of cast members, crew and friends turned out to celebrate the opening night of WAM Theatre’s newest production, In Darfur, on Saturday, November 1 at Haven in Lenox. Founder, Artistic Director and play director Kristin van Ginhoven addressed the guests with a champagne toast and talked about the intense process of producing the play, which tells the story of three lives that intersect in a camp for internally displaced persons. Van Ginhoven acknowledged the “In Darfur Army” of individuals who have been invaluable along the way. A crucial member of the army has been the playwright, Winter Miller (left, with van Ginhovan far left), who has “been quick to respond to many late night emails and made herself always accessible,” which often necessitated trips to the Berkshires. The show, with two additional matinee performances added due to ticket demand, runs through November 16.


Hosts David Schecker and Vicki Bonnington (wearing a dress custom made from African textiles) with David Librizzi.


Cast members marcus d. harvey and Warren Jackson; Director of Communications at Shakespeare & Company Elizabeth Aspenlieder with Thomas W. Barrett.


Ben Merrihew with Assistant Director Molly Clancy; WAM supporters Kristin and James Hatt flank Nick Webb, husband of van Ginhoven and board secretary.


Cast member Christina Gordon, WAM Board President Ashley Berridge and her husband, Brad Berridge, who wears many hats for WAM: sound, projection design and composer.


Stage manager Laura Gomez with her husband, Joe Suerchek; Corky Miller, mother of the playwright with Jessica Provenz, coordinating producer.


Cast member Sipiwe Moyo with the costume designer Govane Lohbaur and Douglas Seldin, who directed the fight scene in the play; Assistant Stage Manager Melissa Rao and Cory Colasessano.


Susie Weekes, here with cast member Tricia Alexandro, serves as the connection to the Housemothers of Mother of Peace Orphanage in Illovo, South Africa, which will receive profits from In Darfur.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 11/02/14 at 07:21 PM • Permalink

The Annual LitNet Gala Helps Support Literacy In The Community

Rachel Louchen reports from Stockbridge. The annual fundraising gala for The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet) always brings out a big crowd, fantastic silent auction prizes and a worthy honoree whose contributions to education go hand-in-hand with the community-based organization. Held at Berkshire Country Day School on Saturday, October 25, this year’s event honored Eleanore Velez, admissions counselor and coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College. Prior to the sit-down dinner, guests enjoyed the cocktail hour underneath a large white tent set on the lawn of the school and had a chance to bid on the aforementioned silent auction, which offers increasingly wonderful prizes each year. This year’s offerings included week-long getaways to Mexico and Colorado with Berkshire-centric gift certificate to local shops and restaurants. Proceeds from the event help provide funding to LitNet’s one-on-one tutoring program, which is available to any Southern Berkshire resident over the age of 16 not currently enrolled in school. Above, Tutor Coordinator Mary Spina and Executive Assistant Shelley Wojtkowski.


Melissa Bissell, John Bissell, executive vice president of Greylock Federal Credit Union, Betty Prashker and her daughter, LitNet Board President Lucy Prashker.


Carmen Dockery Perkins, associate head of school at Berkshire Country Day with Elise Abrams; Cori Salvini and Mike Fazio .


Project Lit team leader Allison Curtain with Jim Hoffman; Larry Hazzard and Dennis Pollack, who donated his home repair services to the auction.


Carol Diamond and Herb Diamond with LitNet board member Lois Lenett.


Marty Gottron Felton and board member John Felton; Board member Cris Raymond and Jane Iredale.


LitNet board member and auction chair Sue Weintraub with Adrienne Miesmer; Liz Goodman, pastor of the Monterey Church, with Stephanie Iverson.


Bobbie Hallig, Sue Dunlaevy and LitNet treasurer Bill Dunlaevy.

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Posted by Rachel Louchen on 10/26/14 at 06:46 PM • Permalink