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Berkshire Museum’s Festival of Trees Goes Green

Rural Intelligence: Rural Road Trips: Excursions Image

A recycled tree by the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter

It seems as if every school and not-for-profit group in the Berkshires is participating in the 24th annual Festival of Trees, which has an “eco-savvy and eco-fabulous” theme this year. There will be more than 200 trees on display made from sustainable, earth-friendly materials such as post-consumer paper and plastic, recycled steel, and bamboo. The tree in the photograph (left) was made by Pittsfield’s Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter. It is made of alternating layers of empty dog and cat food cans and lit with green lights. The tree topper is a large dog bone-shaped tin. The skirt is made of recycled bird seed bags, dog and cat food bags, and other pet product bags, which were stitched together with purple yarn. The names of some of the other trees on display such as “Pink is the New Green,” “Brown Bag Christmas,” and “Recycling Santa” suggest a great deal of whimsy in the interpretation of a serious theme.

Besides the trees, the museum is mounting a Going Green exhibition with artworks such as Virginia Fleck’s colorful, wall-sized mandalas made from discarded plastic bags; stylized purses and tote bags made from candy wrappers, plastic grocery bags and drink pouches by Cara Taylor; a sculpture by Gordon Chandler in the shape of a deer made from recycled metal. An interactive component of Going Green permits visitors to hop on Pedal-A-Watt bicycles to power the lights on several of the trees.

The Festival of Trees kicks off with the museum’s Party of the Season on Friday, November 14, from 5:30 to 8 PM. Tickets are $45 for museum members; $55 for the general public and $60 at the door. RSVP: 413. 443.7171, ext. 10.

Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum (through January 4, 2009)
39 South Street, Pittsfield; 413.443.7171
Monday - Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM; Sunday noon - 5 PM
(Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days;  closing early at 2 PM on Dec.24 and Dec. 31.)
Admission: $10 adults; $5 children (3 - 18); members $5/$3
Children under 3 are free.

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 11/12/08 at 09:35 AM • Permalink