Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Friday, October 28, 2016
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it
Get The New App!

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.

RI on Facebook    RI on Instagram       


Robin Hood Radio

Mahaiwe Tent


One Mercantile

Benchmark Realty



Parties & Openings

Oct. 23 - Ghent
Perfect Ten Lunch

Oct. 22 - Chatham
FilmColumbia Opening Party

Oct. 15 - North Adams
Nick Cave at MASS MoCA

Cocktails With James Ivory At FilmColumbia

Robyn Perry Coe reports from Chatham. FilmColumbia 2016 got underway with a special James Ivory Tribute and Kickoff Celebration on Saturday, Oct. 22, benefitting FilmColumbia and the non-profit Chatham Film Club, which owns and operates the Crandell Theatre and produces the festival. The event began with the screening of a newly restored, 25th-anniversary edition of the classic Merchant-Ivory film “Howards End,” introduced by Mr. Ivory, and followed by a cocktail party and silent auction. An all-star cast served as hosts for the party: Julianna Margulies, Parker Posey, Richard Dreyfuss, Ruth Reichl, Stephen Lang, Patrick Milling Smith, Charles Randolph, Rupert Wyatt, Brian Swardstrom, Samantha Mathis, Lauren Ambrose, Scott Cohen, Anastasia Traina, Peter Riegert, Karen Allen, Courtney Hunt and Gaby Hoffmann. [Above, writer/artist Anastasia Traina, Festival Managing Director Calliope Nicholas and actor Scott Cohen.] All photos by Michael Altobello.

Photographer Jack Shear, James Ivory, actor Stephen Lang and Peter Biskind, FilmColumbia’s executive and artistic director.

Michelle Steckler and Liz Diggs.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 10/25/16 at 09:45 AM • Permalink

The Future Is Female: A Lunch For Perfect Ten At Little Ghent Farm

Amy Krzanik reports from Ghent. I can almost see a lightbulb appear, glowing, above Paula Forman’s head as she recalls how the idea for the Perfect Ten After School program came to her. Six years ago, she overheard some very young girls on a Hudson, N.Y. street in front of her home discuss plans to become pregnant. “I jumped up out of my garden when I heard that,” she said to the small crowd gathered at Little Ghent Farm for Sunday, Oct. 23rd’s Perfect Ten fundraising lunch. Starting small, with 10 girls and a tiny office that shared space with a pile of broken furniture, the five-day-a-week (and sometimes Saturday) year-round organization now operates from the third floor of the new Hudson Area Library. Forty to fifty girls currently benefit from the program, beginning in fourth grade as “sprouts” and continuing through their senior year, with the goal of learning life skills and continuing on to college. Perfect Ten is a literal and figurative safe space where girls can get help with their homework, take a class in sewing or cooking, use the computers or the makerspace, or grab a snack and discuss their day. The goal of Sunday’s casual get-together was to raise money for these snacks. The $3,000 raised at the event goes toward the estimated $8,000 needed to buy food for the girls for an entire year. [Above, Shanatia Bygrave on left, with Perfect Ten girls Berlinda, Abigail, Catalina, Nasiyah and Quianna in the middle, and Peter Rice on right.]

Little Ghent Farm owners Mimi and Richard Beaven supplied a meal of their own tasty sausages, local produce and regional beverages; Perfect Ten mentor Christine Callender and mentee Quianna Brown.

Peggy Gearity, Sara Kahn-Gearity and Santiago Suarez of the new Suarez Family Brewery, who brought three of their beers for sipping; Alex Kristofcak, Daniel Bersohn, Lucy Arias and Peter Feniello.

Just some of the ladies of Perfect Ten After School, including founder and executive director Paula Forman [third from left] and director Laura Miller [second from right].

Peter and Charlene Paden provided the tunes; DeWayne Powell and Maura McEvoy.

Betsy Acciani and Joy Bertram; William and Minerva Wong with their daughter, Emilia.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/24/16 at 11:10 AM • Permalink

Ferrin Contemporary Dishes + Dines With The Presidents

Lisa Green reports from North Adams. Leslie Ferrin of Ferrin Contemporary obviously scheduled the “Know Justice” exhibit to coincide with the presidential election season, but who knew the collection of works by Justin and Brooke Rothshank would be imbued with such significance? On Saturday, Oct. 15, a small group of artists, art collectors and gallery supporters gathered at the gallery space located on the MASS MoCA campus to meet artist Justin Rothshank and “Dish + Dine” with each other. Justin Rothshank’s Presidential Table features decal-printed ceramics depicting the 44 US presidents, and Brooke Rothshank’s finely drawn and carved portraits of the nine justices are displayed on Justin’s hand thrown and decorated platters. Guests were encouraged to choose one of the presidential mugs to use when the coffee came out, and it’s not hard to guess which president(s) got snapped up most quickly. The exhibition runs through November 13, allowing time to complete the table with a setting of the winning candidate. [Above, standing in front of the Supreme Court Justices, gallerist Leslie Ferrin is flanked by Pittsfield native Mark Leach, an arts writer and curator, and Laura Park-Leach, who live in North Carolina.]

Artists Kadri Parnamets and Sergei Isupov with Roosi Isupov; Elenor Wilson, editor of The Studio Potter, moderates a discussion with the exhibiting artist, Justin Rothshank. (Photo courtesy Graeme Sloan.)

Chris Rifkin, a collector and artist from Boston with Sandy Mitchell,  a collector who lives in Washington, D.C.

Portions of the collection on the Presidential Table.

Former Berkshire Museum director Stuart Chase, now at the History Miami Museum, with collector Ted Rowland; Place settings in waiting.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 10/17/16 at 04:17 PM • Permalink

Nick Cave’s Immersive Exhibition, “Until,” Opens At MASS MoCA

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. The word “wow” has likely been heard thousands of times inside MASS MoCA’s galleries during the museum’s 17-year lifespan. The football field-sized Building 5 exhibition space can take some of the credit for this, as its vast proportions have allowed for some truly immersive artistic experiences. The most recent of these, Until by the American artist Nick Cave, opened on Saturday, Oct. 15 to much fanfare. To be honest, the fanfare started months earlier, as Cave fans eagerly awaited what the artist, known mostly for his wearable Soundsuits sculptures, would create in the massive space. The answer is an impressive show that turns everyday objects like beads, afghan quilts, ceramic tchotchkes, holiday decorations and more into wonderlands for the senses. For the ears, the museum offered a special performance inside the exhibit with gospel singer Brenda Wimberly, who stunned the crowd with her powerful soprano. Until will be up for a year, and will incorporate appearances by dancers, singer-songwriters, poets and composers, along with panel discussions, community forums and other events during its tenure, so check the MASS MoCA website often for updates. [Shown left, the artist with the exhibit’s curator, Denise Markonish, and Bob Faust, Cave’s studio/special projects director.

Pamela Tatge, director of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, with museum board member Jim Hunter, his daughter Sarah Hunter, Berkshire Museum executive director Van Shields, Cathy Deely and artist Peggy Rivers; Arjun Koshal and Melissa Jun.

Nate Longcope, who worked on the video component of Until, with Emily Longcope and little Beatrice; Sabrina Wirth with artist Frank Jackson and Guy Hedreen.

Guests are greeted with a sea of colorful hanging metallic ornaments upon entrance to the Building 5 exhibition space.

Elissa Larabee and photographer Kate Miller; IS183‘s Carrie Wright, artist Mike King and photographer Bill Wright.

Williams College German professor Chris Kone with Elliot Krasnopoler and Nina Pelaez, an assistant curator at the Williams College Museum of Art; Lisa Havilah of CarriageWorks in Sydney, Australia, where Until will next be exhibited, with gallerist Jack Shainman.

Christine Costello and Anna Farrington; Denise Markonish with Michael Kusek and Stacey Kors of Take Magazine.

Jacqueline Treloar and Clover Powell have a laugh; Lindsey Whittle, one of Nick Cave’s former grad students, with Clint Basinger.

Christina Stott, Sam Davies of Albany Barn and Kate Dorwaldt; Stephanie Chang and Allen Penniman of Providence, Rhode Island.

Phyllis Criddle and Darcie Sosa; a closeup of what viewers will see upon climbing the stairs.

Beware of crocodiles at the top of the ladder; blue and silver tinsel undulates in the breeze in the upstairs gallery.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/17/16 at 12:47 PM • Permalink

The Columbia Land Conservancy Is Thrilled To Be Thirty

Amy Krzanik reports from Hudson. The Columbia Land Conservancy was “Over the Moon,” as supporters packed the barn at Churchtown Dairy, a working biodynamic raw milk farm, on Saturday, Oct. 8 to raise money and to help the nonprofit celebrate its 30th anniversary. The event drew a lively sold-out crowd who enjoyed a feast prepared by Simons Catering, with many of the ingredients coming straight from Columbia County farms with conservation easements. A highlight of the evening was the keynote address by bestselling author and New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell [pictured left with Michael Albin of Hudson Wine Merchants and board member Amy Barr], who himself owns a home near Ancram and has placed the majority of his property under CLC easement. To date, the CLC has conserved more than 30,000 acres of farmland, forests and wildlife habitats for agricultural production, scenic beauty and recreation.

Current and founding trustee Michael Polemis with wife Barbara Polemis, who were event co-chairs; musician Jim Wann, Patricia Miller Wann and Ed Strong.

Board member Will Yandik with Jerry Cosgrove and board vice chair Chris Cashen; Jessica Renda, engineer Travis Tucker and mindfulness meditator Anne Renda.

Gary Katz, Suzette Masters, board member Seth Masters and Leslie Katz.

Joan K. Davidson, one of the evening’s honorary co-chairs, with NY State Assemblymember Didi Barrett and Josephine Lea Iselin of the host committee; Andrew Goetz, Paul Cassidy, who is the new board chair at Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, and Vernon Evenson.

Chris Sansbury and host committee member Dawn Fratangelo, both of Old Chatham; Alex Sierck, Elizabeth Adams and Christina Lowery, CEO of Girl Rising.

Conrad and Claudia Vispo of the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program with Renato Valente and trustee emeritus Tony Cashen; a view of the tables from above.

Mary Jo Gibson and U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson with Tom and Nancy Clark of Old Chatham Sheepherding Company.

Hanging from the rafters, a moon balloon provided ambience. As far as we could tell, no cows were seen jumping over it.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/09/16 at 09:14 PM • Permalink

Literacy Network of South Berkshire Turns The Page On 25 Years

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. “They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I would say it’s the same for immigrants,” said Dr. Sukhpaul Mann as he accepted the Literacy Network of South Berkshire’s “Founder of America” award on behalf of everyone who has helped him along the way. Mann, an immigrant from India, and his fellow MD at Berkshire Medical Center, Dr. Tony Makdisi [shown left with his family], a Syrian immigrant, received the awards at LitNet’s 2016 gala on Saturday, Oct. 1 in front of a roomful of family, friends, co-workers and LitNet supporters at Berkshire Country Day School. The non-profit, now celebrating its 25th year, began as a free tutoring service for rural English-speaking non-readers. Over time, changing demographics shifted the need to one of mainly ESOL students, including many of the immigrants LitNet has honored with past “Founder” awards for their “strength of character and commitment to service” that has improved the lives of their neighbors. Additionally, a short film screened at each year’s gala takes a look at some of the organization’s students, past and present, and what important skills they bring to us here in the Berkshires. These include businesspeople; educators; philanthropists; doctors and nurses; chefs; and award-winning writers, musicians and innkeepers.

LitNet tutor Joan Yuri with Kripalu chef Robert Undu and Sylvana Proanio, a former LitNet student who was featured in the evening’s short film; Rosy and Sukhpal Mann.

Matt Vrabel and LitNet’s executive director Jennifer Hermanski with Cihan Karayagiz and Esra Dogan, English majors from Turkey who spent the summer in Great Barrington; Carolyn King, board member and gala co-chair Marianne Ellrodt and Carol Diamond.

Honoree Tony Makdisi and his extended family pose for a photo before dinner, catered by Peter Platt of The Old Inn on the Green.

LitNet students Jorge Aguilar, Milagro Diaz, who was featured in the evening’s film, and Julia Antunez; Rick Carpenter, Jennifer Galvagni, Diane DeGiacomo and photographer Jack Poore.

Isabelle Currie, Kristen Currie and Michael McHugh; Hussam Makdisi, Ram Muthavarapu and Kalpana Chilukuri.

Board member and tutor Leslie Murray, Lenox Chamber of Commerce president Rob Murray, tutor Sharon Schafler and Eric Schafler; Dan Stanyon, Ty Allan Jackson and Nichole Calautti.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/04/16 at 12:26 PM • Permalink

Garden Conservancy Open Day Digs Deeper In Dutchess County

Lisa Green reports from Millbrook. On Saturday, Sept. 24, cars were criss-crossing Dutchess County country roads en route to some magnificent private gardens, courtesy of The Garden Conservancy’s Dutchess County Open Day. After a full day of garden immersion, some of those cars headed to a special Digging Deeper event, “A House in the Country - The Garden of Katie Ridder & Peter Pennoyer.” He is a renowned architect and she a sought-after interior designer, and they hosted a brief reception where they talked about the conception, design, decoration and landscaping of their new country house in Millbrook, New York. The one-of-a-kind Greek Revival home with lush woodland, flower and cutting gardens has been chronicled in a new book, “A House in the Country,” which was for sale in the minimalist pergola, with the couple standing by to autograph copies. [Above, Katie Ridder and Peter Pennoyer answer questions about their house and garden.]

Millbrook’s David Sloan, whose garden has been on the Open Days tour in the past, with Laura Palmer, vice president of the Open Days program; Katie Kerin, director of recruitment for Open Days with jewelry artist Simone Soernsen and Ken Selody of Atlock Farm.

The lush flower garden, a celebration of large-scale flowers and saturated color, as described by Katie Ridder.

Alison Meyer, former owner of Merritt Bookstore, and Kira Wizner, the current owner, selling the book penned by the hosts; Joseph Singer, architect Jim Joseph and composer Scott Frankel.

Design and upholstery professionals Jennifer Morvan and David Henderson.

Three Tozers (William, Katie and Jim) with Lois Mander; Jewelry designer Mish Tworkowski and Katie Kerin.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/29/16 at 10:02 PM • Permalink

Straight From The Heart: Fairview Hospital’s 2016 Gala

Amy Krzanik reports from Great Barrington. The theme of the Saturday, Sept. 24 Fairview Hospital Gala, “You Gotta Have Heart,” was a nod to the Great Barrington hospital’s top-notch cardiology unit as well as a tribute to its president – and the evening’s honorary chair – Eugene “Gene” Dellea. A short film by Ben Hillman detailed recent advancements made to the cardiac care wing and spotlighted two local patients who benefited from them. Because Dellea declined to be honored, friends and co-workers orchestrated a few surprise guests to appear unbeknownst to him: Massachusetts Congressmen Richard Neal and Joseph Kennedy, III and Mrs. Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. They took the Mahaiwe stage with Dellea and Massachusetts State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli to share stories of Dellea’s long friendships with Ted and Robert Kennedy, to attest to his tireless efforts to help those in need and to congratulate him on his role in making Fairview a “Top Rural Hospital” for the past four years and garnering it a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. A pre-show reception catered by Marketplace and a performance by comedian and sitcom star Paul Reiser rounded out the evening. Gene Dellea, Maggie Merelle of Rouge Restaurant & Bistro, and Diane Pearlman and Jeff Diamond of Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.

Mark DeCelle, Sabrina Ruggiero and Tina Chase; Peter Dillon and Diane Dillon.

Gala and Ad Journal committee members Dee Harnish and Fran Pemerlani; Alex Glover, Peter Puciloski and Susan and Jeff Menkes.

Congressman Richard Neal, Congressman Joseph Kennedy, III, Mrs. Vicki Kennedy and Gene Dellea.

Michelle Derr, acupuncturist Marion Bergan Irwin and physician Thomas Irwin; retired judge Rudy Sacco with cardiologist Teresa Menendez, who was featured in the evening’s short film.

David Lazan, Bob Rodowicz, Gene Dellea, Darlene Rodowicz and Laurie and Pete Lamarre; Cindy Duryea, Lia Spiliotes, CEO of Community Health Programs (CHP), and Jodi Rathbun-Briggs, board president of CHP.

Sy Glaser, Bill Perlow and Steve Bernstein; Amy Butterworth of the Berkshire Botanical Garden, with Excelsior’s David Crane and Brian Butterworth of Main Street Hospitality Group.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/26/16 at 02:07 PM • Permalink