Hilltown Families


Families can use their minds as butterfly catchers in insect nets when visiting the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art this spring and summer, as the galleries will be filled with Carle’s images of crawling creatures of all shapes and sizes! Hands-on art making opportunities enhance the bug-art themed, allowing families to exercise their entomological creativity just as Carle has.

There is something about a snapshot. It records a passage of time. The density of color in some of the pictures, the authentic black & whites. They almost feel part of a movement and have their own identity- something a little lacking in the quick-fire shutterbugging with smart phones today. “It’s A Snap” in Easthampton is an exhibit of anonymous snapshots gathered by top collectors that provide a multi-layered and though-provoking look into a particular era. Read more about it and upcoming associated events…

It must be the term itself but “Endangered Species” suggests a distant acknowledgment of a painful occurrence. It’s almost too scientific when what’s at stake are living breathing creatures facing extinction. The exhibit “Animalia: The Endangered” by Dawn Howkinson Siebel at UMass Amherst’s Hampden Gallery counters this with the capturing of an intimate sad capturing of beautiful animals in danger of being wiped from the earth. It’s powerful stuff and can be used as a rallying call to become more engaged in the protection of animals. Read on for more information…

The Clark Institute nailed it with a stunning exhibit, recently opened, “Radical Words: From Magna Carta to the Constitution.” In celebration of this, they are hosting an film series that puts the exhibit in cultural context. The whole package is a wonderful glimpse into history, and an enriching community-based educational experience…

Famed artist Henri Matisse had particular style when it came to the line-work of his drawings. Amazingly you can actually go and see for yourself as Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in South Hadley has landed the work of one of the all-time greats! This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone really, as Matisse has that amazing allure. Arts student will no doubt swoon at the opportunity, and so they should as Matisse was not only a genius but also an artistic trailblazer. A fantastic chance for young kids to be exposed to the original work of a bona fide artistic giant right here in the Pioneer Valley.

Imagine a historic fingerprint that goes back 6,000 years? The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum’s latest exhibition, “The Potter’s Tale: Contextualizing 6,000 Years of Ceramics,” draws the curtain back on some rich historic revelations via pottery!

Ceramics involved a craft directed towards both utilitarian and artistic purpose. Imagine how tools changed over the years and how different cultures influenced different forms at certain periods in history. This new exhibit is a treasure trove of historic insight that awaits all ages. Read on more information on this rare exhibit, and how to get the most from a visit.

The idea of an extinct species is a chilling one, and the case of the passenger pigeon is one of rapidly declining numbers actually bottoming out at zero; an incredible blow to the planet’s natural life. MASS MoCA does its best to bring the passenger pigeon back to life in its wonderful space via a stunning new video installation. This exhibit is something for the whole family to experience, as it brings pause and reflection to the idea of existence and offers important educational themes to explore.

A thought-provoking art installation at the Springfield Museums’ Michele and Donald D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts is now open! Drawing from the well of magnificent western Massachusetts artists, this take on American domesticity comes from Berkshire resident, Ricky Bernstein. The subject matter is certainly an intrigue that invites discussion on pop art through stereotypically-American domestic scenes. However, since this is an installation that works outside the format of a formal exhibit, we are afforded an opportunity to watch how art works with its space. That is the tantalizing thing about installation art: it takes into account the surroundings it is being shown in. They are generally more labor intensive to exhibit and are a stimulating experience for the whole family to enjoy!

Read more and make plans to visit the many fine art museums we have here in western Massachusetts this summer with your family!

Springfield Museums explore Modern American Masterworks from O’Keefe to Rockwell and how artists in the 20th century depicted the emergence of individuality in America along with the challenge to existing social patterns in a new exhibit, “American Moderns, 1910-1960: From O’Keeffe to Rockwell.”

Use the exhibit as a opportunity to examine the work of many great artists, but also to explore ideas and images that represents periods in time and culture. When visiting this exhibit with your family, see if you can identify symbols of American tradition that are present in the works in this exhibition. Then stop and think what symbols might you use to express changes you’ve seen in your lifetime.

Landscape Photography Exhibition Encourages Visual Literacy From now through the end of August, the Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, MA will be home to a major exhibition of works by Anne Whiston Spirn. Spirn, a renowned author and photographer, has for decades drawn connections between her photographs and the work she does as both teacher and scholar in the field of landscape architecture. A graduate of Radcliffe College and the… Read More

Stories about princes and princesses, and quests and bravery in the face of extraordinary odds, have remained an essential part of our culture’s foundation, shared by parents and children for many generations— they have also inspired countless artists along the way. A renowned fantasy artist and illustrator of children’s literature, Ruth Sanderson has created imagery for more than 75 picture books, many of which bring such classic tales to life. Norman Rockwell Museum will present “Dancing Princesses: The Picture Book Art of Ruth Sanderson” beginning Saturday, December 7th….

Jane Beatrice Wegscheider of Shelburne Falls, MA writes: You are invited to the opening reception for Hundreds of Ways: A Community Exhibit about Walking at The Art Garden in Shelburne Falls on Thursday, September 23rd, from 6-9pm. (Directions) I am very excited as approximately 30 artists and writers submitted work for the exhibit! There will be refreshments and an interactive art piece to contribute to. All ages are welcome! I’m also hoping… Read More

Rootsongs: Art Exhibit by Hilltown Artist, Nancy Mahoney at the Neil F. Hammer Gallery in Williamsburg Yesterday while visiting the Meekins Library in Williamsburg, their new art exhibit was all the buzz. Hilltown artist Nancy Mahoney’s art show Rootsongs is on exhibit in the Neil F. Hammer Gallery during the month of January, and it’s bewitching! I had noticed the poster up for her show with an image of what looked simply… Read More