Visual Art in Western MA: April Openings, Closings & Calls for Art

Visual Art in Western MA:
April Openings, Closings & Calls for Art

DRAW THEM IN: A Rock Poster Retrospective
Bingo! Gallery at Shire City Sanctuary
April 1, 2016 through April 30, 2016
For 21 years Dan Blakeslee’s mysterious rock posters have been hanging on record store windows, telephone poles and cafe walls. Every bulletin board becomes a gallery, transporting the viewer into his wondrous, strange landscape. He is also the artist behind “Heady Topper” and “Focal Banger” beer labels for The Alchemist Brewing Company. This groundbreaking exhibit, DRAW THEM IN: A Rock Poster Retrospective at the Shire City Sanctuary, will showcase 100 of Dan Blakeslee’s work spanning two decades. Off kilter and whimsical, his pen becomes an acrobat, bombarding each page with expressive line and type. The artwork can be iconic, conjuring up new, bizarre creatures of the old forms, with a nod to Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Fillmore poster artists. Viewers will delight in the masterful blending of art and music woven throughout the work of a brilliant local artist. The exhibit runs April 1, 2016 through April 30, 2016 in the Bingo! Gallery at Shire City Sanctuary. 413-236-9600. 40 Melville Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE)

Liminal Artifacts: Recent Paintings by Joe Goodwin
Berkshire Museum
April 2, 2016 through June 19, 2016
This solo show by Berkshire-based artist Joe Goodwin will feature abstract paintings that appear ethereal, enigmatic, and reflective. Goodwin uses a unique and innovative layered process that incorporates his own acrylic paint made from dry pigments and polymer emulsions with additives such as marble dust and silica. This process creates a distinctive sense of depth, in both a physical and non-physical way. The artist’s work reflects his interest in dreams and the collective unconscious. Goodwin notes that “Dreams defy physics and amplify experience with their ambiguous spaces, symbolic meanings, and sensations that seem to speak to a sixth sense. In this way, painting and dreaming have much in common, both in process and result. I have come to see painting as a developing solution to the unconscious.” Liminal Artifacts: Recent Paintings by Joe Goodwin at the Berkshire Museum will spotlight the artist’s current body of non-objective work. This showing allows observers to view art through a more profound and introspective lens, as Goodwin transforms the intimacy of his own subconscious process into reflective pieces of art. The exhibit will be on display from April 2, 2016 through June 19, 2016 at the Berkshire Museum. 413-443-7171. 39 South Street, Pittsfield, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Reimagining The Four Freedoms
Norman Rockwell Museum
On view through April 3, 2016
In his January 6, 1941 address to Congress, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt articulated his vision for a postwar world founded on four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The Reimagining The Four Freedoms exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum will reimagine Norman Rockwell’s famous Four Freedoms painting for the 21st century. This unique display will feature original artworks by high school students from New York State, offering viewers an opportunity to experience modern interpretations of FDR’s timeless message. This exhibition will run from March 11, 2016 through April 3, 2016 at the Norman Rockwell Museum. 413-298-4100. Route 183, Stockbridge, MA. (FREE W/MUSEUM ADMISSION)


Second-Hand Reading: William Kentridge and Zenele Muholi
Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
On view through April 3, 2016
Artists Kentridge and Muholi create artworks that reflect the complex history of race and gender in south Africa through distinct media, artistic philosophies and emphases. Muholi’s black-and-white photographs portray South Africa’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through portraits from her Faces and Phases series and recent self-portraits. An activist as well as an artist, she seeks to “re-write a black queer and trans visual history of South Africa for the world.” Kentridge, who has dedicated the last four decades to examining apartheid’s effects on his life and South Africa’s historical memory, deploys a variety of artistic techniques, including text, drawing, and stop-motion film, to articulate the elusive nature of marking and narrating history. Second-Hand Reading: William Kentridge and Zenele Muholi at the Mead Art Museum is an exhibition that features a selection of Muholi’s photographs, as well as works on paper by Kentridge and his 2013 film “Second-Hand Reading.” The showcase examines how the works of Kentridge and Muholi represent the unfolding history of South Africa, their native country. The exhibit runs now through April 3, 2016 in the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. 413-542-2335. 41 Quadrangle Drive, Amherst, MA. (FREE)


Debris Flow: A Meditation on the Mill River Reservoir Disaster in 1874
Historic Northampton
On view through April 3, 2016
On May 16, 1874, an earthen reservoir dam in Williamsburg, Massachusetts broke, thanks to hubris and human error. One hundred thirty nine people died, and some 600 million gallons of water and debris destroyed factories, homes, and bridges along an 11-mile path, ending in a broad plain in Florence. The tragedy, the first major dam disaster in the United States, was a big story nationwide, and photographers flocked to document it. The Debris Flow: A Meditation on the Mill River Reservoir Disaster in 1874 by Rebecca Muller at Historic Northampton is a mixed-media exhibition based on stereopticon images of this historic disaster. Through this exhibit, Muller showcases her artistic explorations, which often revolve around found material, scattered fragments of things lost, abandoned, eroded, or wrecked. Her showcase brings to life the symbolism of debris – physical, emotional, spiritual and energetic – and how it impacts our lives. Through her art, Muller also shows us that there is beauty in debris, as it serves to mark time passing, the impact of weather, and its historic aftermath of events. This display features the masterful work of this talented Massachusetts artist while also educating viewers about the 1874 flood that held local and national significance. The exhibit runs March 11, 2016 through April 3, 2016 at Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street, Northampton, MA. (SUGGESTED DONATION $3)


The Art of Eric Carle: Hide and Seek
The Eric Carle Museum
April 6, 2016 through August 28, 2016
Carle has made many pieces of unforgettable art during a 50-year career that includes more than 70 books. Unbeknownst to most readers, however, Carle has left behind a trail of “Easter eggs” in his illustrations, and in doing so has created a subtext of secret allusions. “Easter eggs” is a term that refers to the small, unexpected items that artists intentionally incorporate into their work, usually as a way to honor someone or to further engage their fans. Carle’s art playfully references his family and friends, often hiding the letters “C” and “R” in his images, denoting the first letters of his children’s names. He also camouflages the names of his friends into some of the images. The Art of Eric Carle: Hide and Seek at the Eric Carle Museum presents 27 works of art from 17 books, as well as previously unseen original art from the Museum’s collection. This exhibition offers an intimate glimpse into the artist’s personal story. It also aims to entice viewers to take a closer look at the artist’s work to uncover his hidden references. The exhibition is on display from April 6, 2016 through August 28, 2016 at The Eric Carle Museum. 413-658-1100. 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen & Imagined
On view through April 17, 2016
This bold and stunning exhibit is a photographic masterpiece. Ross uses high-scale high-resolution photography to bring nature to life right before your eyes. For his Hurricane series, Ross wades into the surf while tethered to land, capturing vivid images of ocean waves during severe coastal storms. In his Mountain series, Ross invented and patented a camera that created some of the highest- resolution sing-shot photographs ever produced. Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen & Imagined at MASS MoCA takes place throughout two buildings, six galleries, and an exterior performing arts courtyard. The exhibition also includes a new series of video works. Viewers will marvel in the splendor of Ross’s vision, especially the interplay between realism and abstraction, as they experience “the divergence between the world as we see it and as we imagine it might be.” The exhibit is on display now through April 17, 2016 at MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Liz Deschenes: Gallery 4.1.1
On view through April 24, 2016
Liz Deschenes work makes visible the materials, properties, and chemical processes of photography rather than representing the external world. Known as “concrete photography,” the pieces in this exhibit draw attention to the rooms they occupy by reflecting the environment in their mirror-like surfaces and in shaped supports designed to mimic the shadows and light in a particular site. Through the use of careful placement and non-referential images, viewers are aware of not only the parameters of the medium but also their own perceptual and physical experience. Liz Deschenes: Gallery 4.1.1 at MASS MoCA will also feature Deschenes’ best known work, photograms produced without a camera. Her engagement in the fundamental properties of light-sensitive paper and its exposure harkens back to the emerging stages of photography in the 1830s. The artist’s exploration of non-representational and experimental forms connect viewers with the developments of early 20th century practitioners while offering a unique visual experience. The exhibit is on display now through April 24, 2016 at MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Artists’ Choice: An Expanded Field of Photography
Ends April 24, 2016
This exhibition features the work of six artists whose work expands the field of photography. The artists demonstrate wide-ranging approaches to their art, including camera-less work, moving image, and sculptural investigation. Each artists offers new perspective on the fundamental properties of photography while exploring and rethinking light, depth, and pattern. Artists’ Choice: An Expanded Field of Photography at MASS MoCA will introduce viewers to multiple mediums that push the boundaries of photography through experimentation and new technology. The exhibit is on display now through April 24, 2016 at MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)


Annual Teen Invitational
April 29, 2016 through May 1, 2016
This 6th annual pop-up exhibition will showcase the artwork of high school students here in Western Massachusetts. The Annual Teen Invitational at MASS MoCA is organized in collaboration with high school art teachers, principals, and artists in the Northern Berkshires. It is designed to bring the artwork of local students to the public in a fun and friendly environment. The goal of the exhibit is to reach all students who are engaged by art and who have excellent in various mediums inside or outside the normal curriculum. In addition to being awarded cash prizes for their work, the grand prize student artist will receive a special tuition credit to attend North Adams College of Liberal Arts (MCLA). This display gives young people the opportunity to support and experience the emerging talents of other students and peers in their community. The exhibit will be held at MASS MoCA. 413-662-2111. 1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA. (FREE W/ADMISSION)

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Submissions accepted through April 15, 2016
Pittsfield Paint Box Project. Artscape, Pittsfield’s downtown art committee, is looking to bring intriguing and vibrant paintings to the street’s utility boxes. The Pittsfield Paintbox Program is seeking local artists to help transform the typically drag electrical boxes, increasing the visual atmosphere of the downtown area. This is a great opportunity for painters to have their work displayed in a lively and innovative way. Stipends are awarded to chosen artists. Submissions will be accepted through April 15, 2016. For complete project details, please click here. For questions or additional information, call 413-499-9368 or email Artscape at Pittsfield, MA (FREE)

Submissions deadline through April 18, 2016
The town of Montague and Turners Falls RiverCulture are requesting proposals for a public sculpture to be installed in the new pedestrian park on the corner of Avenue A and 3rd Street. Any artist in the United States may apply, and an award will be granted to the winning proposal. This offers a wonderful opportunity for local sculptors to submit their work in consideration for permanent public display. Proposal information can be obtained by contacting the Turners Falls RiverCulture or the Town of Montague. Submission deadline is April 28, 2016. (FREE)

H.A.T.C.H. The Greater Shelburne Falls Area Business Associate (GSFABA) and The Art Garden announce the launch of Hilltown Art & Thriving Community Happenings (H.A.T.C.H), a pilot program designed to inspire, support, and help fund creative projects that engage the hilltown communities of western Franklin County. Three free work sessions, facilitated by local working artists, will be offered to help artists develop and receive feedback on their idea. At the end of each session, those interested in moving their projects forward may apply for the opportunity to present their vision at a community hatching event on Saturday, June 25 at the Buckland Town Hall. This project is funded in part by a Massachusetts Cultural Council Adams Grand awarded to the GSFABA last year. Work sessions will be held at The Art Garden on Monday, April 25; Thursday, May 5; and Wednesday, May 18, 2016. Up to five projects will be selected through a juried process. Creative projects, performances, or events including murals, sculpture, performance, spoken word, street art, and more will be considered. Artists that create a performance or a community conversation with an artistic twist, an event, or a spectacle that is permanent or temporary, that engages residents and visitors, are all encouraged to apply. For more information and eligibility criteria, visit

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