Lisa Green reports from Pittsfield.
For the past 12 years, spring at Hancock Shaker Village
has signaled not only the Baby Animals on the Farm weeks, but also a new exhibit of farm animal paintings by the Berkshires’ beloved artist Susan Merrill
. Although Merrill passed away last year, Hancock Shaker Village elected to keep the tradition by honoring the artist, and on Saturday, April 14, held a reception to open “Susan Merrill: A Celebration” in the Poultry House Gallery. Merrill’s legacy lives on in her extraordinary collection of barnyard scenes that help us see her subjects in new ways. “Susan captured familiar faces for us, so we could remember our connection to nature,” states the exhibition’s signage. “This year, we celebrate her art and remember her with love.” As do all of her many longtime admirers. [Above, Jennifer Trainer Thompson
, HSV's president and CEO, with Richard Seltzer
, president of the board; both were thrilled with the record attendance on opening day prior to the reception.]
Susan Merrill's family members in attendance included her niece Kristin Johnson
, daughter Daisy Rockwell
and sister Pepper Crofoot; Sarah Hatch
and David Nolan.
Sculptor Tom Fahsbender
and Jennifer Almquist,
a photographer; Musician David Edwards
and dancer Ruslan Sprague
(Merrill's son); the two collaborated on music for one of Sprague's dances.
Olivia Cavanagh, Lara Ryan, Peter Cavanagh, Jane Ryan
and Sarah Horne
and David Lamb;
production designer Carl Sprague
greets guests at his late wife's exhibition.
After viewing Susan Merrill's vibrant animal paintings and drawings, attendees got to take an after-hours peek at the live baby animals in the Round Stone Barn.