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Parties & Openings


April 7 - Stockbridge
BCD Campaign Reception

April 1 - Hudson
Children's Book Fest Fundraiser

March 25 - Lenox
Flying Deer Dance Party

Berkshire Country Day School Fulfills Its Promise

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. We could all learn a thing or two from Berkshire Country Day School. Such as: how to complete a capital campaign in which you surpass your goal and upgrade facilities without taking on any additional debt. The SRO crowd at the cocktail reception in the school’s new multi-level learning hub on Saturday, April 7 came also to celebrate the life of Kevin Hirt, a former BCD student who died of a rare pediatric cancer at age 10, and who requested that his college fund money be donated to help build a new library. But there’s more: next door to the Kevin Hirt Library and Learning Commons is the Kim and James Taylor Music/Performance Room, a space designed to foster musical creativity and experimentation. Money raised for the project totaled $3,240,202 and not only supported the new building but strengthens the school’s faculty endowment. Speaking to the guests, Kevin’s parents, Paul Hirt and Lynn Campana, talked about Kevin’s legacy, and Head of School Paul Lindenmaier thanked the many supporters. BCD is a 71-year-old independent school in Stockbridge, Mass. for students from preschool through grade 9. [Above, Despite the sadness of Kevin’s death, Lynn Campana and Paul Hirt tells stories about their son that make the teary-eyed crowd laugh.]



Head of School Paul Lindenmaier with Joseph Lewis of Allegrone Construction, the facility’s builder; Paige Orloff and Claire Naylor Pollart, both previous board chairs, flank Robin Slick, whose child attends BCD.


Charlie O’Brien, president of Adams Community Bank, a contributor to the music room (site of the Adams Community Bank Stage) and Lisa O’Brien; Attending the reception were aunts, uncle and grandfather of Kevin: Alberta Hirt, Randy Hirt, Pam Calvert-Hirt and Robert Hirt.


Paul Lindenmaier; sciente teacher Tim Gore, Hilary Dunne Ferrone, campaign committee co-chair; Cara Vermeulen, board president; Lynn Campana and Paul Hirt.


Christopher Ferrone, campaign co-chair and treasurer of the board of directors; Cara Vermeulen and Lance Vermeulen of Lance Vermeulen Real Estate; Claire Naylor Pollart, Alendandra Heddinger, director of admissions, and Jessica Provenz, campaign associate.


Faculty members Katherine Allentuck and Andrea Patel flank Tina Petricca, a BCD alum; Trustee Stephanie Buchanan with David Silver and Marine Penvern, a BCD mom.


Snowflakes were swirling, but it was warm inside Furey Hall, originally built in 1895 as a cow barn. The art studios on the second story have also been renovated.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 04/09/17 at 02:05 PM • Permalink

Hudson Children’s Book Fest Literacy Fundraiser

Amy Krzanik reports from Hudson. A great cause deserves a great turnout, so it’s always a pleasure to see a large crowd of supporters congregate at the annual cocktail party fundraiser for the Hudson Children’s Book Festival Literacy Fund. Held at Stair Galleries on Warren Street for the past three years, the party is a way to assure that each Hudson City School District student is able to attend and to purchase a book of his or her choice at the summertime Festival. As the Fund’s co-founders, Chris Jones and Susan Simon, reminded the audience at the April 1 event, 73 percent of Hudson’s children live in poverty. The Fund, which became a certified 501(c)3 this year, has so far given away more than 2,000 books in its quest to instill the love of reading in area students. Along with last year’s creation of the Thumb’s Up book review program, the project has added a Young Writers Program, and the crowd was treated to readings by two of its participants — high school students Karrie-Ann Silvernail and Ingrid Kildiss. In addition to these ventures, the Fund works to bring a diverse array of authors to speak in classrooms, add new books to and replace much-loved classics in the city’s school libraries, and more. This year’s Festival is set for Saturday, May 6. [Above, Book Fest director Jen Clark with Melissa Brown, a board member and Hudson city school teacher.]


Simon Martinez, Susan Simon, Chris Davies and John Mahoney; Rob Bujan and Jeffrey Perry with board member and HCBF co-founder Lisa Dolan.


Kylie Heidenheimer, Jonathan Lerner and John Hunka; Katrina Wilbur and board member Jennifer Merwin-Domkoski.


Stephen King and Peter Bevacqua; Owen Davidson, board member Martha McMaster, Chris Jones and Mark Prezorski, who is now Olana State Historic Site’s senior vice president and creative director.


Darcy and Carolyn from 2 Note Hudson, also on Warren Street, supplied the ambience.


Arthur Baker, board member Agi Clark, Jacqueline Wilder, Martha McMaster and Sheldon Evans; Hudson Area Library volunteer Lucy Nathanson with the Library’s director, Emily Chameides.


Susan Simon and William Stone; Hudson high school students Ingrid Kildiss and Karrie-Ann Silvernail flank their writing teacher, Gail Wheeler.


Liz Nealon, Wendy Schmalz Wilde, Seymour Simon and Greg Powell; Michael Susi and Pamela Salisbury.


Keith and Katherine Kanaga flank a board member of the HCBF Literacy Fund, Virginia Martin; Melissa Brown, Peter Meyer, Ellen Thurston, host of the Thursday Afternoon Show on WGXC, and Janet Kealy.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 04/02/17 at 03:03 PM • Permalink

Flying Deer Supporters Shake What Mother Nature Gave Them

Amy Krzanik reports from Lenox. If you were in downtown Lenox this past Saturday night, March 25, and heard thundering drumbeats in the distance, they were coming from The Berkshire Bateria who were performing for a packed house upstairs at the Lenox Community Center. Flying Deer Nature Center had booked the band for its “Shake Your Tail” Dance Party fundraiser, and the crowd needed no extra encouragement to do just that. Supporters took to the floor to shake off the week to Bateria’s samba sounds. Volunteers served up snacks, brews from The Beer Diviner in Troy, New York, and signature Flying Deer cocktails such as The Tom Brown Collins, The Stalking Wolf Swizzle and Berkshire Bateria Sangria. Flying Deer Nature Center, located in New Lebanon, New York, is a nonprofit nature education organization offering summer camps, school and homeschool programs for kids aged 4 to 17, coming-of-age programs for adolescents, adult programs and corporate trainings throughout Berkshire and Columbia counties, as well as in the Albany and New York City regions. Proceeds from the dance party benefit the Center’s Financial Assistance Fund. [Above, Lily, a Bateria drummer, poses with Bella and Beatrice.]


Emily Moraes of Radiance and Yoga GB with Aiden, and her sister, actress Ruby Littman; Willow Stron with Dan Hegerich of Berkshire Bateria.


Sara and Adam Heller; Katherine Simmons, board member Jane Bernstein and Meredith O’Connor.


Board member Malene Waldron and board chair Meg Agnew, with Flying Deer executive director Michelle Apland, program director Devin Franklin and their daughter, Wren.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 03/27/17 at 11:24 AM • Permalink

Season Celebration: What’s New At WCMA

Amy Krzanik reports from Williamstown. Before studying in London, Los Angeles and New York City, and seeing his paintings hung in galleries around the world, artist Meleko Mokgosi graduated from Williams College in 2007. Therefore, his solo exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), Lex and Love, can be seen as a sort of homecoming. The artist was on hand to speak to admirers at a spring celebration of three new shows at the museum on Thursday, March 16. Along with Mokgosi’s exhibit, which features two new chapters in his Democratic Intuition project, the event feted Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography, which combines archival documents and original works and focuses on the artist himself; and Accession Number, which highlights pieces WCMA acquired from 1960 to 1962 and questions what the museum was given, why, and what work was prioritized or overlooked. [Above: WCMA director Christina Olsen and Meleko Mokgosi.]


Olivier Meslay, director of The Clark, with Lea Stephenson and Michael Hartman, current Williams College graduate students; Nina Pelaez, assistant curator of public programs at WCMA, with WCMA exhibition manager Kate Barber and Amanda Tobin of MASS MoCA.


Ghana ThinkTank participants Agung Geger, Wisnu Wisdantio and Agus Tri Budiarto of Lifepatch; Williams art history student Alex Jen with Joe Cruz, a philosophy professor at the college.


WCMA director Christina Olsen welcomes the crowd to the opening.


Ashley Drake and Amanda Bell; Lisa Dorin, WCMA’s deputy director of curatorial affairs, with Meleko Mokgosi, Christina Olsen and MASS MoCA curator Denise Markonish.


Marco Antonio Flores, Julie Reiter, Jenna Marvin and Eve Rosekind; Susan and Phil Smith are Mokgosi’s generous hosts while he’s in Williamstown.


Ghana ThinkTank is currently installed in the Rotunda; a piece from the exhibit Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 03/20/17 at 12:54 PM • Permalink

Lenox Shows The Love For Sculptor Andrew DeVries

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. “We came to support our friend and fellow merchant,” said many of the guests attending a benefit for master sculptor Andrew DeVries at Ventfort Hall on Saturday evening, March 3. The award-winning bronze artist, who has a gallery on Church Street in Lenox, lost his foundry (in Middlefield, Mass.) in a devastating fire the day after Thanksgiving. His molds and many of his works of art were also lost. But the outpouring of support for DeVries and his wife, Patricia Purdy, has been extraordinary, and the proceeds from this event, spearheaded by the Lenox Chamber, will help fill the coffers so that DeVries can rebuild his foundry. Ventfort Hall donated the space, Nejaime’s provided the beer and wine; others (including James Taylor) offered items for the silent auction. The artist’s drawings that survived the fire — singed around the edges — have been framed by a merchant and were on display (and for sale). Clearly respected and loved by the community, DeVries thanked his friends and supporters. “The artwork comes through my hands, and it’s a gift,” he said, “but all of you are the gift to me.” [Above, Patricia Purdy and Andrew DeVries.]


Natalie Tublitz and Susan Frisch Lehrer, who worked at Chesterwood when DeVries first exhibited there; Fran Fowler, Beth Joppru and Andy Mick.

Dennis Messana and Victoria Ross, real estate agent at Stone House Properties.


Consultant Christine Singer and Ken Singer, CEO of Berkshire County Arc, who own several of DeVries’ pieces, including a bust of Ken Singer’s mother; Jamie Trie, marketing director of the Lenox Chamber of Commerce, and Autumn Ni Dubhghaill, artist and musician.


Chocolate Springs chocolates decorated with DeVries images.


Tracy Hiltpold, Jeff Hiltpold and Marj Hastings; DeVries thanks his supporters.


Nancy Garton and Barry Garton of Adams; Pieter Vanschaick and Suzannah Vanschaick, recently retired from their Lenox business, Second Home.


Chesterwood staffers past and present gathered for sentimental reasons: Chesterwood was DeVries’ first museum collaboration, and also where he met his wife, who managed the gift shop.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 03/04/17 at 01:13 PM • Permalink

BAA’s Annual RAP Party Draws A Creative Crowd

Amy Krzanik reports from Pittsfield. Pittsfield’s 10x10 Upstreet Arts Festival, held for 10 days each February, is an ingenious way to bring residents out of hibernation to attend or participate in readings, concerts, plays, dance performances, children’s activities and more all throughout the city’s downtown. One of the most popular events of the Festival is the Berkshire Art Association’s (BAA) Real Art Party (RAP), held this past Thursday evening, Feb. 23 at the Berkshire Museum. Not only a great way to expose the work of local artists to possible fans, it’s also a way for art lovers to take home a painting, photograph, collage or other piece (ceramics, leatherwork, etc.) for only $25. In keeping with the theme, the 137 creations are 10”x10” and are awarded by raffle — ticketholders are allowed to choose an artwork when their name is called. Proceeds from the sold-out event benefit the BAA college fellowships, art field trip grants for Berkshire high schools, and free admission for art students to the Berkshire Museum. [Above, BAA board members Jayme Kurland, Michael Vincent Bushy, Carrie Wright, Danielle Steinmann and Jenn Gomez.]


Ogden Gigli, Kat Whitney and John Ryall; watercolor artist Amanda Harrington and Mary Ellen Devanny, who donated two pieces to the show.


Artist Jacqueline Pelzek with Dan Cohen, who was lucky enough to be picked fifth in the raffle and chose Pelzick’s “Applause;” Regina Burgio, Wren Bernstein, whose work is featured in the show, and Elisa Mishory.


Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer with Dianne DiNicola and Bonnie Hoskeer-Kirchner; Ann and Marty Phillips chose an artwork by Carol Kelly.


Anselm Bradford and Sara Lelyveld; Larry Strauss, Fran Weinberg and Roger Gutwillig, who works in the Communications department at the museum.


Julia Dixon and Gwendolyn Bird both donated artwork to the raffle; Lucie Castaldo’s “Curiosity Cabinet.”


“In the Barn Again” by Sandra A. Rawson; Jared Gelormino’s name came up second in the raffle and he chose Bill Wright’s “Lux et Veritas.”

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/26/17 at 08:43 PM • Permalink

Happy Feet: The Hudson Charity Sock Auction

Amy Krzanik reports from Hudson. More than 80 knitters and bidders crowded into Verdigris Tea & Chocolate on Warren Street for the very first Charity Sock Auction on Saturday evening, Feb. 18. The event, sponsored by Countrywool and Neighborhood Knitters of Hudson, was an ingenious way to supply neighbors with warm winter socks, which are a much-needed but rarely donated charity item. The live auction, led by Rupert Fennell, raised more than $3,000, which will be donated to The Salvation Army of Hudson to purchase thermal wool socks. Each of the 34 donated hand-knit sock pairs – which ranged from men’s striped to women’s silk to children’s booties – included a gift certificate stuffed inside, provided by one of 30 local businesses, making this a true community-wide effort and allowing even non-knitters a chance to participate. To add a little drama to the already brisk bidding action, one pair contained a $100 bill generously donated by one of the knitters.  


Lauren Osterhoudt, Elizabeth Schneider, auction knitter Nicky Sacco-Brown and her husband, Roy Brown, wearing a sweater Nicky made; Marlene Marshall and Betsy Miller.


Auctioneer Rupert Fennell with auction assistant and sock knitter Sarah Price; bidder Kitty Mackey and knitters Amanda Henry of Elder Living Strategies and Laura Teague of MELT Body and Skin, a generous auction prize donor.


Never stop knitting: at least seven future clothing items were created during the auction.


Bob Weinman and Carol Doerfer of the Salvation Army Advisory Board; a sample of the 34 warm and colorful lots up for bidding.


Sarah Price displays the current pair up for grabs as Rupert Fennell leads off the bidding at $35; merino and nylon cat socks.

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Posted by Amy Krzanik on 02/19/17 at 07:23 PM • Permalink

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