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Feb. 11 - Tivoli
TAG's Annual Erotica Show

Feb. 2 - North Adams
100 Hours In The Woodshed

Jan. 28 - Spencertown
Spencertown Revels

TAG’s Annual Erotica Show Titillates In Tivoli

Amy Krzanik reports from Tivoli. Mid-February in the Northeast can be gray, both in spirit and surroundings, but that makes it all the more fitting a time to celebrate love, laughter and lingerie (and the lack thereof). Which is why the Tivoli Artists Gallery (TAG) plans its popular Annual Erotica Show for this time of year and celebrates with an opening reception full of sexy, light-hearted fun. This year’s event was held on Saturday, Feb. 11 and the exhibit featured more than 30 artists working in many formats. Not only paintings and photographs, but works of sculpture, collage and mixed media were shown next to cut-paper night-lights, decorated tiles and sparklingly suggestive art boxes. Cait Johnson and friends created a cabaret performance for the occasion, with live music from Joe Tobin of Acoustic Medicine Show and an appearance by belly-dancer Donna Barrett. Members created and sold erotic edibles – a selection of cookies, chocolates, eclairs and cupcakes in the shape of hearts and other human anatomy. Proceeds from the event benefit the non-for-profit gallery. Above: “Nude No. 3 (Blue Stockings),” one of three exhibited pieces by Oleg Menin.


Ania Aldrich, whose work is featured in the show, with Nikita Minin; Marcia Slatkin and Dan Maciejak stand near Slatkin’s collage, “CEOs Offer Full Disclosure.”


Kathleen Mandeville with a Medusa headpiece and Fre Atlast with an erotic edible; Oleg Minin, whose painting is featured above, and Denise Minin.


Cecilia Hapeman and Anne Blum of Tivoli attended the opening to support Patrick Lazarus, here with fellow artist Paul Sandiford, both of whom have work in the show.


Belly-dancer Donna Barrett mesmerized the crowd.


Mindy Nowik and Niio Vuori; Jason Doino with Mark Bernard.


TAG member Peggy Farrington and TAG treasurer Marie Cole helped serve snacks and refreshments; Cait Johnson penned the evening’s live show and Rebecca Singer performed.


J.P. Ward and Veronica Stork; cut-paper night-lights by Ella Davidson and Mary Untalan.


“Pink and Yellow Nudes” by Karl J. Volk; “Look Inside,” a mixed media piece by Ginger Long.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/13/17 at 01:51 PM • Permalink

A Race In The Makers’ Space At ‘100 Hours In The Woodshed’

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. 100 Hours in the Woodshed, a collage marathon and exhibition co-founded by local artist Danny O, celebrated its fifth year when it kicked off with a reception on Thursday, Jan. 26. The marathon itself followed, beginning at 6 p.m. and lasting 100 hours (hence the name) until Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 10 p.m. During that time, the artists shown below (along with fellow creators Suzi Banks Baum, Gwendolyn Bird, Kathline Carr, Valerie Carrigan, Misa Chappell, Peter Dudek, EkkaLyra, Lilianna Espanola, Laurie Goddard, Victoria Jefferies, David Lachman, Michael McKinley, Mark Mulherrin, Jim Peters, Rich Remsberg, Anne Roecklein and Ann Scott) worked their cut-and-paste magic downtown at The Makers’ Mill and at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, where the opening reception was held on Thursday, Feb. 2. During the marathon, those interested in art could stop by either venue and watch the different ways artists went about the process of creating. See the finished products for yourself at the Eclipse Mill Gallery from now until Feb. 26.


Eclipse Mill Gallery manager Julia Dixon with Woodshed co-founder, artist Danny O; artists Debi Pendell and Zan Klain in front of two of Klain’s collages.


William Archer, an artist in the show, with Silas Sima, an artist from Belfast, Maine; Melanie Mowinski, whose work is seen below, with fellow Woodshed contributor Michelle Daly and her mother, Peg Daly.


Lucie Castaldo‘s 3D Woodshed creation.


Sharon and Ed Carson, who call the Eclipse Mill home, stopped by to support their fellow artists; Bill and Francie Riley, artists and owners of the Real Eyes Gallery on Park Street in Adams, Mass., pose with artist Arthur De Bow.


Open up and take a peek inside Melanie Mowinski’s 3D collage; Lynn Gall poses in front of her collages created for the exhibit.


Collage from Woodshed co-founder Danny O.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/06/17 at 01:27 PM • Permalink

Spencertown Academy Makes Plans For Its Future

Amy Krzanik reports from Spencertown. “This building has been a treasured fixture of this community for 170 years, and it’s hard to imagine Spencertown without it,” said Nick Van Alstine, board president of the Spencertown Academy Arts Center, at the group’s 28th annual Revels fundraiser on Saturday evening, Jan. 28. The Academy has been around since 1972, but the building in which it is housed has been standing since 1847, and the Greek Revival structure, a former schoolhouse, has seen better days. After guests mingled over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, but before they dispersed to attend a handful of intimate dinners at local homes, Van Alstine addressed the crowd. He listed some urgent repairs needed to keep the building standing, and introduced phase one which focuses on repairing the roof, cornice and bell tower. While discussing the repairs, Van Alstine was upbeat, noting that major donors had already come forward with funds for the initial phase. The Center hosts free and low-cost community events throughout the year, including art exhibitions and its popular Garden Market on the Green in the summertime and Festival of Books each Labor Day weekend. It also supports art in the public schools, and serves as a meeting and performance space for other area nonprofits. [Above, Bill and Sandi Suk flank Michele Chase.]


Major Academy supporters John and Denise Dunne flank dinner hosts Christian Dewailly and Liz Garger; former board member Betsy Howard and current board member David Highfill.


Board member Jill Kalotay poses with Academy supporter Lee Magadini, a teacher at the Berkshire Waldorf High School; dinner hosts Chris Ferrone and Hilary Dunne Ferrone with Rupert Fennell.


Norma Cohen, a curator on the Gallery Committee, with actress Linda Lavin, Steve Bakunas and Allen Cohen.


Artist and dinner host Linda Horn with Revels committee member Cindy Atkins, board member and Revels co-chair Judith Choate and the Academy’s Eve Zatt; George Jahn and Sally Norvell.


Dinner hosts Debby Roth and Alan Kaufman with Revels co-chair Anita Fiorillo; Harry Petchesky with Rae Gilson.


Dr. Tim Chase, Rich Bilotti, Bill Collins and Bill Suk; Jeffrey Rosenthal, president of All American Contracting, and Helaine Ciporen.


Board members Jill Kalotay, Judith Choate, Nick Van Alstine, Madaline Sparks, Jo-Anne Bilotti and David Highfill.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 01/30/17 at 10:45 AM • Permalink

Culture Rules At 1Berkshire’s Creative Resources Conference

Lisa Green reports from North Adams. The new administration in D.C. may threaten to shut down the NEA, but artists, creative entrepreneurs, arts administrators and non-profit cultural organizations in the Berkshires will always have 1Berkshire. The organization, which focuses on economic development, hosted its second Creative Resources Conference on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at MASS MoCA. Nearly 100 participants braved a slushy, sleety mess to attend panels and workshops geared to artists and creative entrepreneurs, which featured a keynote address by Cathy Edwards, executive director of New England Foundation for the Arts. Since one of the main goals of 1Berkshire is to provide opportunities for Berkshire creatives to network, the full day’s program ended with a reception next door at Bright Ideas Brewing. [Above, Bill Bean, one of the day’s presenters, with Suzy Helme, director of events for the city of North Adams.]


Walter McTeigue of McTeigue & McClelland, David Curtis of 1Berkshire and Seth Nash of Blue Q; Gallerist Natalie Tyler with Jonathan Butler, 1Berkshire’s executive director.


Michael Cohen of catchinteract, Brendan Burns, director of Stepstone Art Resources, and Jamie Odegaard, a freelance business operator.


Jonathan Swartz, Daniel Parkins, who is currently working with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, and jewelry designer Robin Sills; 1Berkshire’s Laura Wolf Brennan and Milton Ferguson.


Jacob’s Pillow staffers Thasia Giles and Abby Wood flank Randal Fippinger, producing director of the ‘62 Center at Williams College.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 01/24/17 at 07:31 PM • Permalink

The Four Freedoms Ring Loud And Strong In Pittsfield, Mass.

Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield. Those of us who live in or visit the land of Norman Rockwell are intimately familiar with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech through the Rockwell paintings depicting freedom from fear, freedom from want, freedom of speech and freedom of religion (on view at the Norman Rockwell Museum). On a cold Saturday, Jan. 7 — the 76th anniversary of FDR’s famous speech — more than 1,500 people walked the talk in Pittsfield, Mass. at the Four Freedoms March and Rally. The event was spearheaded by the Four Freedoms Coalition, a new, non-partisan, diverse coalition of over 150 community groups, nonprofit organizations, businesses and elected officials. To an over-capacity crowd at First Church of Christ, speeches by U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, U.S. Congressman Richard Neal, Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, James Roosevelt (grandson of FDR), Dennis Powell, president of the Berkshire County Branch of the NAACP, and others emphasized the coalition’s mission: to uphold the American values as stated in the Four Freedoms, reject all forms of bigotry, hate and prejudice, and defend and reclaim the Four Freedoms for all people. Markey urged the diverse audience to remain true to their revolutionary roots by fighting for the values they believe in. “We are not just any state,” he said. “We are the state that begins these revolutions.” Responses to the speeches — and interactions among the participants — were overwhelmingly positive. “This isn’t a rally against anything,” Timothy Mahon, a professor at Williams College, told The Berkshire Eagle. “This is in support of the ideals of the United States.” [Above, inveterate organizer Megan Whilden with Sen. Ed Markey.]


At St. Joseph’s Church, the gathering place for the march, participants were encouraged to create their own signs; Tobi Lanciano and Ellen Lanciano, owners of Tobi’s Limo, flank Jeanet Ingalls and social media consultant Eugenie Sills as they all wait for the march to start.


Pam Rich of Paul Rich and Sons and Sarah Frenkel prepare to march.


Nan Bookless of BookMarc Creative shows off her 4 Freedoms sign; Tina Maffuccio and Joe Maffuccio, a para professional and teacher, respectively, at Reid Middle School, join the crowd.


Marchers head indoors for the rally. Photo: Nan Bookless.


Jason Verschot and Joseph Farnes, both of Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition, flank Peter Marchetti, Pittsfield City Council president (and a speaker at the rally) and Mass. State Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier; The packed church. Photo: Nan Bookless.


Coalition partners to set up “action tables” at the church following the rally to encourage community members to “commit to one concrete action;” Rosemary Rahns and Chris Tucci of Railroad Street Youth Project at their action table.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 01/08/17 at 01:37 PM • Permalink

Memorable Parties of 2016

There’s nothing we at RI love more than covering the region’s galas; it’s the perfect opportunity to visit with wonderful old friends, meet interesting new ones, and taste the delicious food and drink produced right here at home. That’s why picking only a handful of parties for our year-end wrap-up is always so difficult. We’d like to thank the residents of this region for being so generous with their time, talent and funding of organizations that improve the quality of life in our area and make residing here a joy. Below is a sampling of the galas, gallery openings, fetes and festivals that make our jobs so fun. (Click here to relive all of 2016’s parties.)

Celebrating a Century Huge congratulations were in order this summer as The Columbia County Historical Society blew out the candles on its 100th birthday cake. The centennial celebration made this year’s First Columbians gala that much more significant.

Go BIFF or Go Home The Berkshire International Film Festival knows how to throw a big-time bash to open its annual film festival, and this year’s was another high-style affair in Great Barrington that included special guest Yo-Yo Ma and a 20-foot pagoda. 

HVA All Day A rare daytime event (because who doesn’t love a late brunch?), The Housatonic Valley Association’s annual fundraiser raised an impressive amount of money thanks to auction items that included tickets to Late Night with Seth Meyers and a meet-and-greet with the host himself, a private studio visit with Diane von Furstenberg, and a five-night stay in Tuscany.

Down on the Farm From cocktails in the Field House and tours of the Learning Garden to dinner in the fields, supporters had free reign of Katchkie Farm in Kinderhook at the 9th annual Farm-to-Table Dinner.

We’re Wild About Wilderstein Even a gray day couldn’t dampen the spirits (or the stellar views of the Hudson River) at Wilderstein’s Summer Celebration. The Rhinebeck historic site’s main annual fundraiser saw a large turnout and lots of festive party hats.

Naumkeag Cuts the Ribbon Naumkeag’s Chinese Temple Garden received a facelift for its 60th birthday and a garden party for 300+ friends thrown by The Trustees of Reservations. Guests enjoyed Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres and traditional Chinese performances while reveling in one of the best views in the Berkshires.

The Thrill of the Grill Judging by the successful turnout at the inaugural Grillsdale in Hillsdale, the tasting event will be making a comeback in 2017. When it does, we suggest snagging tickets early to this most delicious of competitions.

Chef Meet Farmer Jaw-dropping views of rolling hills, ponds and mountains? Check. A breakfast spread courtesy of 10 of the finest local restaurants, farms and food vendors? Check. The satisfaction of knowing you helped a great cause? Check. It’s no wonder tickets to this year’s NECC’s Chef & Farmer Brunch sold out.

Welcome to the Jungle Guns ‘n’ Roses would’ve approved of The Wassaic Project’s 2016 summer exhibition, Appetite for Destruction, as it shared the name of the group’s 1987 debut album. We thought pretty highly of it, too, and of the venue’s super fun opening event.

The Curtain Comes Up We love being privy to a good sneak preview of upcoming events, and Powerhouse Theater provided one when it kicked off its 32nd season with an opening party at Canvas in Poughkeepsie.

Famous Faces in Beautiful Places Blythe Danner, Parker Posey, Mary Stuart Masterson, Ally Sheedy, Rocco DiSpirito and many other famous faces showed up at the Fisher Center’s SummerScape Gala at Montgomery Place. And it’s no wonder they did, as guests were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor performance by ballet star Sergei Polunin. 

A New Home for the Hudson Library Seven years of hard work finally paid off when a joyous crowd got to officially enter and explore its new Hudson Area Library.

The Spirit of 1966 Around 300 people ventured out in the rain to help Olana State Historic Site celebrate its 50th birthday with ‘60s-inspired nibbles, tunes and decorations. Only a late-breaking thunder and lightning storm could break up this swinging soiree.

Everyone Knows Nancy In addition to its annual bash, IS183 Art School of the Berkshires threw its first-ever honoree event, the Fitzpatrick Fandango, this year to celebrate its 25th birthday and to thank philanthropist and IS183 co-founder Nancy Fitzpatrick.

The Spotlight Shines on The Sharon Playhouse The Sharon Playhouse Spotlight Gala paid tribute to the late composer Marvin Hamlisch and awarded his friend Glenn Close an inaugural “Excellence in Musical Theater” honor named after him. 

Black Leather and Feathers Berkshire Museum’s Raven’s Ball was adrift in ebony evening dresses, brocade vests, black leather pants, ascots and sable plumage… until the dinosaur showed up.

No Good Deed Goes Unpartied Berkshire United Way’s annual “Day of Caring” culminated in 50 book houses for children installed throughout the county, and, to celebrate, volunteers and sponsors let loose at Hancock Shaker Village.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 12/12/16 at 01:25 PM • Permalink

NEPR Jazz Holiday Party Swings With Frank And Ella

Lisa Green reports from Hadley. Whether it was the opportunity to dress up (vintage style), dance to a traditional big band or meet the faces behind the mics, New England Public Radio listeners showed their support at the radio station’s second annual “Jazz Holiday Party” on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Hadley Farms Meeting House. Hovering over the party were the spirits of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, who came to life through singers Rob Zappulla and Dawning Holmes, as they covered the tunes of the two jazz legends backed by the 18-piece Jeff Holmes Big Band. All proceeds from the evening will go directly to supporting the programs and services of NEPR. [Above, the station’s CEO and General Manager Martin Miller and Pete Sokolowski, substitute jazz host.]


Meg Reney and Tom Reney, host of the program “Jazz a la Mode”; The Jeff Holmes Big Band.


NEPR listeners apparently love to dance as much as they love jazz; Pam Malumphy, executive director of development and major gifts, with Rosie Caine, an NEPR board member, in their finest vintage attire.


Vanessa Cerillo, executive director of marketing and communications, with her sister, Lauren Cerillo.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 12/11/16 at 09:52 AM • Permalink

Even In Its 20th Year, Hudson Winter Walk Never Gets Old

Lisa Green reports from Hudson. Is Hudson’s Winter Walk as delightful as billed? For this newbie, the answer would have to be yes, yes it is. On Saturday, December 3, parking was, as expected, a challenge, but once past that, the stroll on Warren Street (closed off to traffic) was a convivial mix of shopping, snacking, dining and greeting. Many of the shops sponsored festive activities — live music, dancing, art projects for the kids, not to mention food and drink; there was a petting zoo and an appearance by Santa’s reindeer (sporting some rather alarming antlers). This year’s event, presented by the Hudson Opera House on Saturday, Dec. 3, may have been additionally lively in honor of its 20th anniversary. “We love how creative Winter Walk is, and what it means for Hudson and the surrounding communities,” said Xrystya Szyjka (above, left) of Chatham, who attends every year with her sister, Olya Szyjka (right), from Amsterdam, New York. “Be sure to put in how inclusive it is,” she added. “That’s so important right now.”


Three generations of a family at Hudson Wine Merchants: Laurie Kaplan, Judy Kaplan and Rebeccah Bortz, hailing from Westchester, New Mexico and Manhattan, with a place in Taghkanic; Katie Kappes, Molly Darher and Isabel Newlin (wo)man the bar at Hudson Wine Merchants.


Lilly Becker and Samuel David check out the oils and vinegars at Savor the Taste.


The ladies of Lili and Lou: Proprietor Melinda Slover with Betty Lou Towart, Christina Saxton and Fetayo Cobbins; Jeremy Brunaccioni, Tim Grader and Gordon Alexander, all Massachusetts residents, at Talbott & Arding Cheese and Provisions.


Leslie Hughes and Brian Hughes, who have a home in Chatham, visit Casa Urbana.


The Etsy building and exterior emit an arts and craftsy glow; FINCH Hudson owners Michael Hofemann and Andrew Arrick.


Like many of the shops, 2 Note Botanical Perfumery offered live music among the merriment.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 12/05/16 at 10:48 AM • Permalink