North Adams Launches Arts Season

DownStreet Returns With Double Last Year's Programming

By: - May 19, 2009

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DownStreet link

NORTH ADAMS, MA – Following the extraordinary success of last year's DownStreet Art program, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), the City of North Adams, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA),Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC) and Scarafoni Realty haveannounced that this year's DownStreet Art will nearly double in size and scale with 27 galleries, museums and other arts destinations participating, including 13 new galleries to open on June 25.

DownStreet Art, a public art project of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, is designed to revitalize downtown North Adams, harnessing existing arts organizations and events, and transforming vacant and open spaces into arts destinations. 

The program defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members downtown. Last year, DownStreet Art brought 15,000 visitors to downtown North Adams. Businesses felt the impact, both in attendance as well as in sales. The goal – working closely with the City, Scarafoni Realty, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and MASS MoCA – is to increase those numbers.

Almost every empty store in downtown will be filled as of June 25th. North Adams will be an arts destination – not only because it is the home of MASS MoCA – but because of the scope of art in the downtown.

This year's DownStreet Art will kick off at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 25, with the opening of 13 new galleries. In addition to performances to take place throughout the downtown that evening, a number of area restaurants and cafés will be open late and feature menu specials in honor of the program's launch.

A wide variety of arts activities will take place including "DownStreet Art Thursdays," to be held the last Thursday of each month. All of the galleries will be open late on that day. These events will include the opening of new exhibitions, dance performances, meet and greet gatherings with the artists and other festivities.

A major component of the program is the DownStreet Art map. New to this year's publication is a calendar of performing arts and citywide events.More than 20,000 copies of the map and calendar will be printed and distributed to MASS MoCA visitors and those staying in North Adams hotels, motels and inns.

MCLA President Mary K. Grant says DownStreet Art was a great opportunity for the community to come together. "We saw such tremendous energy last year as people came to the downtown," Grant said. "We are thrilled to be partnering with MASS MoCA, the City of North Adams, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (NBCC) and Scarafoni Realty as we connect with the community."

Mayor John Barrett III said revitalization in the downtown continues because of the arts.  "We are using the arts to transform the community and to drive the local economy," Barrett said. "But most important are the partnerships we've been able to establish – the links with MASS MoCA and MCLA and the way the business community has come together and the role that the local lending institutions have played."

DownStreet Art will run through Oct. 18.

For more information, go to or .


5 Holden St.

"Works and Days 1979-2009: A Survey of Selected Work by Mark Mulherrin" spans a period of 30 years.  The project will be divided into three sections. "Visions and Mishaps," curated by local video artist and painter David Lachman, is a selection of drawings and work on paper focusing mainly on his early work from the 1980s as a young artist in New York. "Plausible Kingdoms" will take place between July 30 and Aug. 21. Curated by Chuck Webster, this will be a selection of oil paintings from 1990 to 1999, when the artist worked on the island of St. Croix, and from 2000 to 2009,  after he relocated to North Adams and became an instructor of visual art at a private psychiatric hospital.  "Projects and Objects" will run from Sept. 24 to Oct. 18..

The task of the curators will be to distill the depth of the work without sacrificing its breadth. Given the eclectic and prolific nature of the artist's production, the challenge is to implicitly describe the scope of the work over time and present the overall narrative of the artist's journey in an intimate way. 

7 Holden St.

Curated and managed by Andrew Davis, Avalon Seafood Gallery will focus on emerging artists in painting and sculpture. Its exhibitions are intended to challenge, amuse and astonish the viewing public. The front room will feature a regularly changing solo exhibition. The back room will have an ongoing group exhibition of other artists involved in the gallery. Painting and sculpture are vital media and will continue to engage the art world and the human condition. June 25: Ian George (in conjunction with the DownStreet Art grand opening) paints as an old master, both in the classic method and through various crude inversions of it. His common concern is the fundamental animal state of human beings.

July 30: Bryan Heggie renders the spiritual reality he observes in the material Western world, and more.

Aug. 27: Jason Lockyer creates moving collages that explore a contrived environment, a stage where ordinary elements can become extraordinary. He isolates mundane moments of time and magnifies their importance by using insects, birds, and elements of the landscape as his visual language.

Sept. 24: Claire Fox draws abstract pictures that are rooted in folk art. They are inner landscapes; maps, diagrams and schematics of a different zone.

Oct. 15:  Andrew Davis works in painting, drawing, text, cartoon, sculpture and other media to create works that address both the humor and horror of life in a way that denies any conclusion.

28 Holden St.

Brooklyn-based painter George Cochrane will present the original drawings of the first two chapters of Long Time Gone, a 24 chapter graphic novel he is creating with his 6-year-old daughter, Fiamma at MASS MoCA. Chapter Three will be housed at MASS MoCA's gallery downtown.  The core narrative of this autobiographical work is one 24-hour period, with each 24-page chapter depicting one hour in the day.

51 Main St.

MCLA Gallery 51 features the work of international, national and local artists, including MCLA faculty and students. The gallery hosts 10 exhibitions each year, as well as numerous events and happenings. Staffed by mostly student workers, MCLA Gallery 51 provides students with hands-on experience in the day-to-day operations of a gallery.

June  25 - July 26: "Threaded"
Opening reception: June 25, 6-8 p.m.

Tweeks and twists on tradition and use, straddling the fine line of
"craft" and "art," "Threaded" features a variety of unconventional objects and spaces made from fabric, yarn and thread. This exhibition will feature local and national artists: Karylee Doubiago, Olivia Park, Ven Voisey, Angela Zammarelli and more.

July 30 – Aug.  23: "Debi Pendell"
Opening reception: July 30, 6-8 p.m.

Concentrating on abstract elements (value, color, shape, line, texture), materials, and processes, Debi Pendell plays with symbols and how people "read" them and make meaning from them. Juxtapositions and relationships play key roles in her multi-layered paintings, as does the exploration of space, both actual and illusory.

Aug. 27 – Sept. 20: "Reflections: Photographs by Thomas Mikelson"
Opening reception: Aug. 27 6-8 p.m.

A diverse selection of photographs by local photographer Thomas Mikelson, featuring subjects both familiar and exotic, all sought with an eye for reflection.

Sept. 24 – Oct. 25: "Hey you, here"
Opening reception: Sept. 24, 6-8 p.m.

An exhibition of locally produced artworks.

MCLA Gallery 51 Annex @ 65 Main St.

In the spirit of spectacle and reinventing how people view and interact in public space, Kinodance creates vivid and engaging site-specific performance work. In response to the unique atmosphere, architecture and history of a place or space, they compose integrated film and movement scores that deeply inhabit and organically amplify the nature of a given site. Site specific and/or object based installations interweave sculptural elements with video imaagery, creating complex and evocative spaces while conjuring experiences of dance through abstract and representational video imagery. For the durational performances, the choreography of bodies in this re-imagined theatrical space will be influenced by silent film, vaudeville and early musical theatre.

Classes, lectures and workshops will take place throughout DownStreet Art.

73 Main St.

At first glance, Maya IV is a giant dizzying ziggurat covered in toys.  Simple enough – it's just a pile of toys, right?  Or is it? Maya IV is an explosion of pop culture and media overload, a temple to consumerism, an altar to the gods of the moment, a voluntary indulgence in obsessive-compulsive disorder, and a mirror reflecting ourselves and the stories of our lives. 

"No weirder than my mind," said its artist, Jarvis Rockwell. "It's self expression. After all, the toys are not real to begin with."  He notes that, in Sanskrit, "maya" means illusion. Maya IV is complex, confusing and compelling. We look as forgotten memories emerge: childhood, friends, family, holidays and play – along with the opposite: melancholy, regret, jealousy, hurt and longing. The toys are a reflection of us, our times, our personal lives, our individual stories.  Rockwell says the toys "are like us, except we are changing all the time and they don't.  They are like us in one moment." Maya IV is a riot of color and sheer euphoria.  It is also a commentary on mass consumption, pop icons, and the material world we live in, suggesting that in Western culture, material objects are worshipped like gods.  Whether you read Maya IV simply as delightful eye candy, or you see its innocence, it has something for everybody.

In the window of 73 Main St.

Kidspace @ 107 Main St.

Kidspace has a satellite space at 107 Main St. in North Adams.  Students from the North Berkshire School Union (Savoy, Florida,and Clarksburg) will work with Matt Bua this spring to create art for this space installation pieces for CRIBBAGE, an off-shoot of Kidspace's CRIBS exhibit. 

Visitors to Kidspace at MASS MoCA are invited to visit the 107 Main St. gallery and add their "junkitecture" sculptures to the installation. 

107 Main hours: May 2 – June 21: every Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 2 p.m. June 25: Open every day except Mondays and Tuesdays from 12 to 4 p.m.

Spaces 1 & 2 in the Registry

Spearheaded by Colleen Williams, Nestor Valdes and Martha Flood, The North Adams Artists' Co-op is a member-run gallery of professional, local and regional artists exhibiting work in the fields of fine and applied arts.

Web site:
Open June 24 through Oct. 18, Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.


"Uptown Arts"
June 24 - July 26
Opening: Thursday, June 25, 6-8 p.m.

"La Mesa"
July 29 – Aug. 23
Opening: Thursday, July 30, 6-8 p.m.

Aug. 26 – Sept. 20
Opening: Thursday, Aug. 27, 6-8 p.m.

"Out of the Box"
Sept. 23 – Oct. 18
Opening: Thursday, Sept. 24, 6-8 p.m.

"Artist Talks and Tea"/Demonstrations are gallery-affiliated artists
sharing insights about their work and processes. These events will take place at 4 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: July 15, Aug. 12, Sept. 9 and Oct. 7.

Space 3 in the Registry


43 Eagle St.

September and October 2009
Stephen G. Donaldson's "Berkshire Landscapes"
Fine art prints from 11x14 to 30 x 45 in size.

Stephen G. Donaldson of Great Barrington is the author of numerous photography books, including "The Berkshires" (2007), "Barns of the Berkshires" (March, 2009) and "Along Route 7: A Journey through Western New England" (fall, 2009).  He is a  travel photojournalist whose images have appeared around the world in books, magazines, newspapers, billboards, annual reports and landscape calendars. He also is a regular contributor to Berkshire Living Magazine and its sister publication, Berkshire Business Quarterly.  This exhibit features signed limited and unlimited edition prints of images that appear in "The Berkshires."  Additional  prints are available from other collections, including a 35-image collection of limited-edition color prints of various sizes from around the world that dates to 1996-97.

Eclipse Mill - Studio 109
243 Union St.


Hours: Fridays - Sundays 12 – 6 p.m. and by appointment.
Museum-quality paintings, photography and sculpture.

Exhibitions: "Artists without Borders," "Nude & Naked," "Ryan Cronin" and "Outsider"

243 Union St. Loft 104

Hours: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. most days

Taking clay extrusions of their own design, Phil and Gail Sellers
transform them into unique and one-of-kind woven clay baskets. For truly different works in clay, visit the gallery and see a working studio.

57 Main St.


The Redroom is a social event, a salon and a performance – all in one evening. The doors open at 8 p.m. for light refreshment and life drawing in the lobby, along with a lot of mingling. An Advocate article called it "the kind of place where you can talk to a stranger." You can sketch the live model, watch other people sketch her (or him), have a glass of wine and some snacks. Also, you get to mingle with the cast, who wander about in the lobby before the show. Then, at 9 p.m., the evening's host leads you back into the theatre for a variety show that usually includes a musical act and new work by local writers, in addition to readings, dance or magic – whatever we can find. One never knows what will happen at the Redroom, or what will come on stage next. The show usually runs an hour and people often stay after in the lobby.

Thursday, June 25
Saturday, July 11
Thursday August 27
Thursday, Sept. 24
Thursday, Oct. 15

82 Summer St.

Open summers, Wednesday through Sunday, 1- 5 p.m.

A Chapel for Humanity contains a contemporary sculptural epic that includes more than 150 life-sized figures. The chapel is a work-in-progress as the artist, Eric Rudd, completes 54 ceiling panels, containing more than 250 additional monotype/painted figures assembled in low relief.

A Chapel for Humanity is housed in an historically important structure (built in 1893, formerly the Unitarian-Universalist Church).

Rudd first began the sculptural epic in 1991. Working on and off for the next decade, it was conceived as an installation in the present structure when he acquired the church in April, 1996. The epic was finished and installed during the summer of 2001 and was first opened to the public on Dec. 15, 2001.

The main sculptural work is made of painted acrylic enamel on spray polyurethane foam over wood and fabric. The figures are approximately life-size or larger. Figurative groups are placed on "islands" with footpaths that allow the viewer to walk into and through the many scenes. A balcony allows the entire assemblage to be viewed from above. An adjacent room contains 'floating' figures above an ash-colored terrain. This installation is in homage to the September 11 victims.

Fusing traditional and contemporary art, A Chapel for Humanity offers both an art experience and a place for meditation. Along with the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas, it is one of the few artist's chapels or contemporary, large-scale religious installations in the United States.

The public will find many references to both religious and social history as well as current political conditions, especially as it relates to the tragic events of September 11.

38 Eagle St.

Open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12 – 5 p.m. or by appointment

This space features drawings by Eric Rudd.  Rudd is a well-known
sculptor/mixed media artist who has exhibited since 1965. His work is in many museum and private collections in the United States, Europe and Asia. Originally from Washington D.C., he  moved to North Adams in 1990. He works with new technological processes and materials including robotics, industrial spray polyurethanes and blow-molded polycarbonates. He is the creator of the Dark Ride Project, a permanent 15,000 square-foot exhibition (open since 1996) that includes an actual 10-minute ride on the robotic "Sensory Integrator."

Rudd co-founded the Center for Robotic Arts @ MCLA and is working on a huge installation of autonomous robotic sculptures called "Night Garden of the Hesperides." He also founded and for 10 years directed the Contemporary Artists Center, a not-for-profit artists' studio residency and exhibition facility. He has been the recipient of fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Japan Foundation. He is the author of two books, "The Art Studio/Loft Manual - For Ambitious Artists and Creators" and "The Art World Dream – Alternative Strategies for Working Artists."

46 Eagle St.

189 Beaver St.


The creator of this space promises it will be the biggest surprise of the Berkshires and invites the public to come visit the Beaver Mill's open studios and to see something "very robotic and very big," suggesting that people stop by as work on the project progresses.

The Second Floor Gallery: group show, curated by Berkshire Artists Residency; free Admission; open Monday thru Sunday, 10-5. (not handicap-accessible)

Saturday Open Studios: A behind-the-scene look at various artists studio and workshops, including- Graving Studio/Gravity Press (featuring the Monster Press), Center for Robotic Arts - Rudd Studio, Entrances. (Some are handicapped accessible; not all) Saturdays, 1-4 p.m. Free.

Beaver Mill Art Talks & Performances: Hosted by the BAC: Every Sunday after the Fourth of July (July 12,19, 26; August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30), 7 pm; in the Frog Lotus Yoga Studio, off of The Hall Gallery, 2nd Floor, Main Entrance. Shoes off at hall door. Refreshments; free to the public.

The Big Outdoor Robotic Thing: A really big surprise in the Historic Beaver Mill parking lot, coming sometime in July 2009. If it's there, you'll know it.

243 Union St.

Brian D. Handspicker, 2009 chair:

Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 p.m. or by appointment

The Eclipse Mill Gallery is an artist-run gallery featuring works by
artists working in the Eclipse Mill, as well as other local and regional artists. The 2009 season includes the following shows: "Berkshire Salon," "Two Actors, Ten Painters," "Illuminati: Working with Light," "Imaged Words," "Eclipse Annual" and winter holiday "Small Works."

Berkshire Salon
May 22 through June 21
Opening: Friday, May 22, 6-8 p.m.

The Berkshire Salon will provide an overview of the many artists creating in the region. This is an non-juried exhibition open to all Berkshire based artists 21 and over. The work will be hung in traditional "salon" style.

Two Actors, Ten Painters
Curated by Sharon Carson and Andrew Davis
June 26 through July 26
Opening: Friday, June 26, 6-8 p.m.

Ten painters from the region interpret two actors from the Main Street Stage company. The exhibition shows at the Eclipse Mill Gallery and continues at the Main Street Stage lobby. Opening night theatrics are anticipated.

Illuminati: Working with Light
Curated by Julie Seitel, Brian Jewett and Marge Minkin
July 31 through August 30
Opening: Friday, July 31, 6-8 p.m.

Illuminati will present works that utilize light as the primary artistic medium. These works include abstract sculpture, stained glass, and practical lighting fixtures made from vintage and recycled materials.

Imaged Words
Curated by BD Handspicker and Michelle Silva
Sept. 4 through Oct. 4
Opening: Friday, Sept. 4, 6- 8 p.m.

The "Imaged Words" show presents synergy between literary and visual works where the written word and the visual art gain from dual consideration, where poetry or prose is displayed with, or incorporated into, one or more visual works that present illustrations, points-of-view, counterpoints, or commentaries. This show will include collaborations between authors and artists, as well as the work of artists who incorporate text into their work.

Eclipse Annual
Oct. 9 through Nov. 15
Opening: Friday, October 9, 6- 8 p.m.

The annual group exhibition of Eclipse Mill artist residents runs in
concert with North Adams Open Studios. This exhibition will open a week prior to the Open Studios weekend and will run through mid- November. The gallery exhibition will help to guide Open Studios visitors to the works of specific residents in the building. This selection of work will serve as a preview of what is presented on the other floors. The full range of Eclipse artists will be included from painting and sculpture to crafts, photography and works on paper.

1112 Mass MoCA Way

Tues.-Sun. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Hudsons is a gallery for art, antiques and collectibles from the region, and is located on the campus of MASS MoCA. Patrons may view works by artists Henry Klein, Marsha Karlson, Steven LeRiche, Bill Guild, Rick Patterson, Brantner DeAtley, Peter Dayton, Jane and Jeff Hudson, Richard Harrington, Brian Jewett, Susan Osgood and Steven Forrest.

49 Main St.
Open Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Gallery at North Adams Antiques is proud to present "Silver Linings," an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Danny O. A long-time resident of the Berkshires, and recently of Boston, the artist finds his inspiration in pop culture, pawn shops, 'Cash for Gold' bail bonds, palm readers and other false promises. The exhibition opens on Saturday, June
27, 5-7 p.m., and runs through Aug. 29.

303 Ashland St. 413.664.7303

Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Fridays 7 a.m. - midnight; Saturdays 9 a.m.-.midnight

Elf Parlor Gallery is an intimate gallery space in the new Elf Parlor
coffee and tea shop. Showcasing the work of local artists and musicians, Elf Parlor is a warm and friendly place to hang out and enjoy delightful consumables while being a part of the local art and music scene. The procurers of Elf Parlor love using free-range unicorn milk in most of their products and take advantage of as many local resources as possible: including Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Barrington Coffee Roasting Company, High Lawn Farm – and even Berkshire Water.

June 23 – July 18: Ripley, North Adams, glass print photographer
July 21 – Aug. 15:  "Sharing is Best" with Nathan Rodgers, outside artist, painter; and Ven Voisey, mixed media. Other artists to be announced.  Aug. 18 – Sept. 19: Carl Bowlby, North Adams, painter.
Sept. 22 – Oct. 17:  Melanie Mowinski, North Adams

Open jam events most Friday nights. Bands and such play "tip jar events" on most Saturday nights.

1040 MASS MoCA Way, Building 10, 2nd floor

413.664.4481 ext. 8131

June 27 – Sept. 7: Every day, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.; art classes typically held from 9 - 10:30 a.m.

Kidspace at MASS MoCA is a contemporary art gallery, studio and
educational program that promotes the understanding and teaching of art through experiential learning opportunities designed for elementary and middle school students, teachers and families.

"Cribs" (runs through Sept. 7): An Installation byMatt Bua with Special Project by Jesse Bercowetz

"Cribs" features an overloaded crib by Brooklyn-based artist Matt Bua. Surrounding the crib is the artist's pack-ratted material possessions —random detritus combed from the streets, lost gloves, found paintings, vacation slides, guitars, broken record players, old video games — all organized and presented as formal, if not strange, collections. The exhibition incorporates several collaborative works, including a video made with Carrie Dashow, sculpture made with Ward Shelley and Lisa Marie Ludwig, and a plant-like mobile that hangs over the crib, produced with Bua's artistic partner Jesse Bercowetz.

"Cribs to Cribbage" is a section of the crib that has apparently escaped from Kidspace gallery through its second floor window. Accessible from the museum's entry courtyard, Bua encourages visitors to construct their own visionary spaces made up of found objects.

Opening Oct. 3: "You Art What You Eat"  This exhibition features artists who use food as art materials, including Liz Hickok, Chandra Bocci, Saxton Freymann, Luisa Caldwell and Joan Steiner. Check out Kidspace's Web site for fall public hours.

243 Union St.


NoAMA Gallery: Featuring the work of Jean Noelle Chazelle

First built as the Hoosac Cotton Mill, the NoAMA (North Adams, MA) building is a historic brick and timber mill. Currently, NoAMA houses a gallery and artisan fair. The NoAMA Gallery will showcase the work of Jean Noel Chazelle this summer.

Chazelle came to the building two years ago from Paris. He walked in "off the street," looking for space to work in to produce large and unique pieces of art. After two different series, and two summer residencies, the pieces are on exhibition.

Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and by appointment

Artisan Fair: Featuring the work of BerkshireMade artisans

BerkshireMade is an organization based in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and comprised of a select group of artisans who produce handmade, high quality goods. We work cooperatively to promote buying locally produced products and to build the individual businesses of each of our members by participating in local community events and artisan markets, as well as through our online presence.

All BerkshireMade artisans have established individual reputations for excellence in their mediums of jewelry, woodworking, ceramics, glass, fabric, paper, metal and fine arts. Our goal is to promote a shift in the shopping paradigm, so Berkshire consumers – whether shopping here in the Berkshires or on the Internet – seek to purchase local goods created by local artisans.

Artisan Fair dates: Memorial Day Weekend – May 23-24
Open Studios Weekend – Oct. 18-19

63 Main St.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Artist-run gallery and stained glass studio.

121 Union St.


Kolok Gallery represents and exhibits artwork by emerging and mid-career, nationally and internationally-based artists. Our goal is to form global relationships and collaborations with both local and international artists, art collectors and arts organizations.

Saturday, June 27, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Reception with the artists: "Go Forth: Celebrating Four Years of New Art in North Adams."
Saturday, July 11, 5-7 p.m.: Conversation with two authors: Joseph Olshan & Susan Quinn, a book reading and book signing event.
Saturday, Aug. 8, 4-6 p.m.: "The Calico Buffalo"  Reading and art
exhibition by children's author EJ Stapleton. Saturday, Aug.  22, 5-8 p.m.: Reception with the artist Peter Dudek and his onsite installation.


The Hoosic River between Eagle Street and MASS MoCA

Saturday, Aug. 22, 7:30-11 p.m.

Celebration of the Hoosic River with Food, Music and Lights
For more info contact Brill Gallery Productions, Ralph Brill, director.
Eclipse Mill - Studio 109