THE ARTFUL MIND
Monthly Berkshire Artzine Since 1994
IS183 ART SCHOOL OF THE BERKSHIRES Photography by Cassandra Sohn
Find your Chocolate Inspiration /HUKJYHM[LKPU[OL)LYRZOPYLZ -HTV\Z*OVJVSH[LHUK*HMt 6WLUKH`ZH^LLR 7P[[ZÃ„LSK3LUV_9VHK9V\[L3LUV_4( chocolatesprings.com
THE ARTFUL MIND
“With a blink of an eye, spring has sprung!”
THE MUSIC STORE
Cover photo: Hope Sullivan, Executive Director of IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Photography by Cassandra Sohn Hope Sullivan IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Harryet Candee .....8 Warner Friedman Form & Light Eunice Agar ...13
Planet Waves March Eric Francis...... 14 Simply Sasha Sasha Seymour...... 15
Architecture & Arcadia Stephen Dietemann..... 19 The 2CV In Love Richard Britell ... 20
Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Eunice Agar, Richard Britell, Stephen Gerard Dietemann, Eric Francis, Sasha Seymour Photographers Jane Feldman, Julie McCarthy Sabine Vollmer von Falken, Cassandra Sohn Publisher Harryet Candee
Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee
Box 985, Great Barrington, MA 01230
firstname.lastname@example.org issuu.com/theartfulmindartzine 413-528-5628 All submissions for April due :: March 16, 2013
FYI: ©Copyright laws in effect throughout The Artful Mind for logo & all graphics including text material. Copyright laws for photographers and writers throughout The Artful Mind. Permission to reprint is required in all instances. In any case the issue does not appear on the stands as planned due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control, advertisers will be compensated on a one to one basis. Disclaimer rights available upon request. Serving the Art community with the the intention of enhancing communication and sharing positive creativity in all aspects of our lives.
Our Art...Our Way
2 • March 2013
THE ArTFuL MInD
As we negotiate the Berkshires’ mid-winter symphony, we at The Music Store look forward to the pre-spring interlude at the end of the Railroad Street extension in Great Barrington. The Music Store offers music lovers and musicians of all ages and abilities a myriad of musical instruments, accessories and gifts that will help them join in the chorus of Berkshire living. Acclaimed as one of the area’s best music stores, The Music Store specializes in fine, folk and unusual musical instruments, accessories, supplies and music motif gifts. Music lovers and professional and amateur musicians alike will find an exciting array of both new and used name-brand and hand-made instruments, extraordinary folk instruments and one of the Northeast’s finest selections of strings and reeds. Music Store customers enjoy fine luthier handmade classical guitars, the peerless Irish Avalon steel string guitars, Breedlove , the Baden Pantheon USA guitars, as well as guitars from other fine lines including Alvarez, Avalon, Composite Acoustic, Fender, Prestige, DBZ, Luna, Recording King and Takamine. Acoustic and electric guitars from entry to professional level instruments are available. Famous names including consignment guitars and basses join lesswell-known brands which appeal to those seeking high quality but are on tight budgets, providing any guitarist a tempting cornucopia of playing possibilities. Unusual instruments are also available, including the locally hand-made Sonic Boxes, lovely and unique Cigar Box Guitars and Diddly-Bows, by our very own Dr. Easy. Come in and meet him! We also carry the Sheffield-made and in-
ternationally adored Fluke and Flea Ukeleles and the peerless and lovely Stockbridge-made Serenity bamboo and walking stick flutes. New and used student orchestral and band instruments are available, including violins from $159 to $3000. An extensive array of international strings and reeds provides choices for the newest student to the symphonic performer. Children’s instruments, as well as a fine line of international percussion including Middle Eastern and handmade African instruments along with many choices of industry standard drum heads, stands, and sticks, as well as tuners, forks and metronomes can be found as well. All new instruments are backed by The Music Store’s lifetime warranty which provides free set-up and adjustments on any new instrument sold. And of course expert luthieryat excellent prices, as well as authorized repairs on Lowden and Takamine guitars, is provided by Sean Barry for those whose stringed instruments need repair. Those in search of the perfect present for music lovers will find a treasure trove of gift favorites such as bumper stickers (“Driver Singing,” “Go Home and Practice,” Tune it or Die” and more), tee shirts, caps, scarves, miniature musical instruments and instrument magnets, music motif mugs, socks, totes and ties. Small bronze and metal musician statues and cuddly ‘Music Lover’ stuffed animals, lapel pins and earrings add additional possibilities to gift giving customers. A proud server of the community for over eleven years, The Music Store’s warm and friendly staff are available for help in tuning, stringing or instrument repair. Help in choosing tuners, capos, mutes shoulder rests and strings is as happily given as help in selecting instruments themselves. Since our mission is to support and encourage our musical community, consultation and advice are always free. Professional musicians seeking the finest or unusual strings or accessories are welcome to call in advance. We will make every effort to satisfy the need! For capos to kazoos, guiros to congas, rainsticks to rosin, bows to bodhrans, mandolins to microphones, reeds to rods, Strats to stands, local artist’s CDs and harmonicas to picture frames and music motif ornaments, instruments and more, The Music Store is the place to be. The Music Store, 87 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 to 6, and on Sundays from 12 to 5. Call 413-528-2460 or email us at email@example.com
CALENDAR OF ARTFUL EVENTS museums & galleries
A.P.E GALLERy northampton, MA • 413-529-1895 Easthampton Artist, Susan Montgomery, exhibits new works of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, Mar 8 - 29. BERkSHIRE MUSEUM 39 South Street (route 7), Pittsfield, MA Bryan nash Gill: Beyond the Landscape thru May 2013.
510 WARREN STREET GALLERy Hudson, nY • 518-822-0510 Peggy reeves, “Mostly Blues II”, thru March; Jeannine r. Schoeffer, “Africa”, thru April. reception Sat Apri 6, 3-6pm.
ART ET INDUSTRIE 420 Park St, Housatonic, MA, 2nd fl. • 413-353-0037 reclaimed: reused: repurposed Furniture & Furnishings from Found Objects
Apr 1; Shifting Perceptions: The Art of Autism, a collaborative project, Apr 5 - May 27 GOBERRy 28 Amity St., ste 1E, Amherst, MA Contemporary art work by local artists
THE PLAy: “ANNIE JR.” Farmington Elementary School, Otis, MA Please call school for tix. April 5 and 6 at 7:00pm
NEUMANN FINE ART 65 Cold Water St., Hillsdale, nY • www.neumannfineart.com Featuring the paintings of Bob Crimi and the custom made furniture of Joel Mark in the gallery's second group show, which opens with a reception on April 13, 5-8pm. The exhibit runs April 13 – June 2.
CLUB HELSINkI 405 Columbia Street in Hudson, n.Y. “night” at Club Heslsinki: 8 pm on Saturday, March 23rd. Classical pianist, Simone Dinnerstein and folk artist Tift Merritt .The concert is presented as part of the 2013 ClaverackLanding season.
LAUREN CLARk FINE ART 402 Park St, Housatonic, MA • 274-1432 www.LaurenClarkFineArt.comLauren Art and framing in the heart of Housatonic.
NORMAN ROCkWELL MUSEUM 9 route 183, Stockbridge, MA • 413-298-4100 An exhibition devoted to the work of Hungarian-born artist Istvan Banyai opens at norman rockwell Museum on Saturday, March 9, 2013, and runs through Sunday, May 5, 2013, as part of the museum’s Distinguished Illustrator Series.
DOG WASH 321 Main St, Amherst, MA • 413-253-wash www.amherstdogwash.com Edith Hundsberger, Painings : Bad Hair Day, Mar 7-30
SCHANTz GALLERIES 3 Elm St, Stockbridge, MA • 413-298-3044 • www.schantzgalleries.com. A destination for those seeking premier artists working in glass. (11 - 5 daily)
SAMUEL DORSky MUSEUM OF ART State university of new York, new Paltz • 845-257-3844 (Coykendall Science Bldg. Auditorium)Third evening of four in the West African Film Series: La Genese, Wed, March 20, 5 pm; Saturday, March 16, 2-5 pm ; Artist François Deschamps in residence. Visitors are invited to explore the recreation of a West African-style portrait studio in the Alice and Horace Chandler Gallery, where they can experience the ambiance of a studio in Mali and sit for their own portrait made by Deschamps. Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm
FREEDOM TRAILS GALLERy AT VALLEy FRAMEWORkS 319 Main St, Amherst, MA Installation art by Angela Zammarelli, Alicia renadette and Katie richardson, thru Mar 30
FRONT STREET GALLERy Front St., Housatonic, MA • 413-274-6607 / 413-528-9546, or cell at 413-429-7141 Housatonic Gallery for students and artists. Featuring watercolors by Kate Knapp (Saturday and Sunday 12-5pm or by appointment)
GOOD PURPOSE GALLERy 40 Main Street, Lee, MA / www.goodpurpose.org Dialogue of Two “Art Hearts”, Yom Tov and Elinor Tov, thru
GUIDO’S MARkET rte 7, Pittsfield, MA Susan Geller Photography Exhibit, “People/Places/Flowers”, thru the month of April.
BERkSHIRE ART GALLERy 80 railroad St, Gt Barrington, MA • 528-2690 www.berkshireartgallery.com 19th and early 20th Century American & European art and sculpture, contemporary artists DEB kOFFMAN’S ARTSPACE 137A Front St., Housatonic, MA • 413-274-6669 francopellegrino.com Franco Pellegrino, thru March 31. Open Weekends 2-5PM or by appt.
All Things in Paradise; March 13 through April 20, 2013. Opening reception with the artists on Saturday, March 16 from 5 – 7 p.m.
ORNAMENTUM GALLERy 506 Warren St, Hudson, nY • 518-671-6770 Dana Hakim, “My Four Guardian Angels”, Mar 16-Apri 14, reception, Mar 16, 6-8pm;
ST. FRANCIS GALLERy 1370 Pleasant St, rte 102, Lee, MA • 413-717-5199 Opening March 16, 3-6pm. Mixed media.
THE GALLERy AT R&F 84 Ten Broeck Ave, in midtown Kingston, nY• 845-3313112. Julie Hedrick: Rome, through March 23rd THE HARRISON GALLERy 39 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA March featured artist: Leslie Peck
THE ISHA NELSON GALLERy railroad St., Great Barrington, MA COLOr, MOVEMEnT AnD BALAnCE Artist David J. richardson, “Color, Movement and Balance”, April thru May; opening is April 6th at 4pm. THE OXBOW GALLERy 275 Pleasant St., northampton, MA 01060 oxbowgallery.org (413) 586-6300 POLLArD WILLOWS, by painter Gary niswonger, March 7-31, Opening 5-8 Friday March 15.
WILLIAM BACzEk FINE ARTS 36 Main St. in downtown northampton • 413-587-9880 Gina Kamentsky, The Engagement Party; nanette Vonnegut,
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Castle St, Gt. Barrington, MA Grand Piano Trios", Saturday April 20, 6 PM
IMAGES CINEMA 50 Spring Street, Williamstown, MA. Wednesday, 3/13, 4:30pm: The Impossible,7pm: rust and Bone, 9:15pm: The Impossible; Thursday, 3/14, 7pm: rust and Bone, 9:15pm: The Impossible; Friday, 3/15, 2pm: Quartet, 7pm: Quartet, 9pm: Quartet PROCTORS THEATRE Albany, nY, Mainstage Brighten Beach Memoires, Feb. 15-24; A Soldiers Play, Apr 5-14; Doubt, May 31-June 9 THE EGG Albany, nY • 518-473-1845 / www.theegg.org .HOT TunA, June 21
The Last Waltz LIVE Memorial Hall in Shelburne Falls, MA. Saturday March 30th at 7:30PM ; Sunday April 7th at 7PM we will be at Bridge Street Live in Collinsville, CT.
BERkSHIRE MUSIC SCHOOL 30 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA / berkshiremusicschool.org Saturday and Sunday, April 6 and 7: MuSIC MArATHOn WEEKEnD. nearly 200 students perform in five minute increments having obtained pledges for their performances. The weekend includes a bake sale and music shop. Saturday hours are 9 am-6 pm. Sunday hours are 9 am to 2 pm. Free and open to the public; new England Brass Band in concert at Zion Lutheran Church, 74 First Street in downtown Pittsfield on Sunday, April 7, 4:00 pm. THE MAHAIWE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Castle St., Gt. Barrington, MA •413-528-0100 / www.mahaiwe.org Ghetto Tango: Cabaret Songs of Love, Truth and Defiance Presented by: The national Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene and Congregation Ahavath Sholom, Sunday, May 19, 3:00 pm
Calendar listing are due March 18th for the April issue. THE ArTFuL MInD March 2013 •3
510 WArrEn ST., HuDSOn, nY
FEATurED MARCH ArTIST
“Mostly Blues II” Peggy’s artwork is on display at the gallery throughout the year. Please stop by!
510 MEMBERS INCLUDE: WILL CLArK LInDA CLAYTOn’ DIAnA FELBEr JOAn GIuMMO ISKA KEnnEY KATE KnAPP JOHn LIPKOWITZ nInA LIPKOWITZ ELEAnOr LOrD HAnnAH MAnDEL PEGGY rEEVES JEAnnInE SCHOEFFEr DOrIS SIMOn MuSEuM QuALITY FurnITurE BY JOEL MArK AnTIQuE PrInTS & POSTErS FrOM MILL rIVEr STuDIO
4 • March 2013
THE ArTFuL MInD
Friday and Saturday 12-6, Sunday 12-5, or by appointment
NEW OILS plus BLACk AND WHITE DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS Pastels, oils, acrylics and watercolors…..abstract and representational…..landscapes, still lifes and portraits….a unique variety of painting technique and styles….you will be transported to another world and see things in a way you never have before….please come join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Mon Wed mornings 101:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field and are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you...all levels and materials welcome... Classes at Front Street for those wishing to learn and those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art and who have some experience under their belt. Perfect for those seeking fresh insight into watercolors, and other mediums. Kate Knapp has been teaching for many years, and has a keen sense of each student’s artistic needs to take a step beyond! Perfect setting for setting up still lifes. Lighting and space is excellent. Peak in to see! Kate Knapp’s paintings are also on display at 510 Warren St. Gallery in Hudson, nY. Please stop by to see all the many works of art by exceptional artists. Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery now open by appointment or chance...if you call my home phone 413-528-9546 or cell 413-429-7141. I can meet you there very quickly...I look forward to seeing you!
Kent Mikalsen expands his design consultancy to include designing sacred space. Living near these magnificent northeastern forests it easy to be aware of the positive effect our natural environment has on our sense of well being. We are deeply connected to the sensuous and integrating experience of nature. Even in our sheltered built environments we create openings to invite nature’s light and spaciousness inside. Designing our interiors we emulate her natural colors, textures and patterns. These spaces that we inhabit can significantly affect our mental, spiritual and even physical health. Clinical research has linked the positive effects of a beautifully appointed hospital room to the length of time a patient requires to heal. Employing the essential elements of good design, sacred spaces are beautiful healing environments that contribute to our vibrant health and confirm our most positive aspirations. Kent is a professionally trained artist and designer with an unusually broad and experienced background in fine art, architecture, woodworking, film and entertainment design. He studied yoga and meditation for ten years while living at an ashram in rural Pennsylvania and has maintained his practice for more than thirty years. Kent Mikalsen Studio creates beautiful and healing environments for homes, businesses and institutions, designing a wide range of venues including yoga studios, hospitals, clinics, meditation rooms, chapels, memorials, pavilions and events. Kent Mikalsen Studio – 413-652-4801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; kentmikalsen.sacredspace.com
SABINE PHOTO ART
Still young at twenty-something, Sabine’s studio has become a brand for contemporary, unobtrusive, relaxed photography in the European style. Did you have a “Sabine” experience, yet? A master of the subtleties of lighting and the nuance of background, her eye for detail provides imagery to be treasured for a lifetime. Assignments are tailored to meet her client’s needs - a remembrance for a special occasion or a logo image to create an authentic professional online presence. It is to no surprise that she is a sought-after wedding photographer, as well. Her editorial work includes book projects to photograph all imagery for “WOODLAnD STYLE” and “SHELL CHIC”, published by Storey Publishing, author Marlene H. Marshall; they can be purchased from your nearby book stores. Signed fine art prints and books are directly available through her studio. The Artful Mind has showcased her work since 1994, the very beginning of the monthly Berkshire Artzine. Photo Art Sale every weekend by appointment. Sabine is a member of The American Society of Media Photographers asmp, The International Center of Photography ICP and the Wedding Photojournalist Association, WPJA. And just in case you don’t know what to give this holiday season: how about a gift certificate for a portrait session and / or photographic art prints? Certificates can be made out in any amount and are good for seven months. Sabine Vollmer von Falken Studio: 20 Glendale Road a.k.a. Route 183, Glendale, MA 01229; www.sabinephotoart.com, email@example.com; 413-298-4933.
Blueberry Hill Market Cafe
Photo: Jane Feldman
FRONT STREET GALLERy
KATE KnAPP, BrIDGE SHADOWS, HOuSATOnIC, 30 x 30”
DESIGNING SACRED SPACE
A most wonderful place to be.
RO U T E 2 0 , N E W L E BA N O N, N E W YO R K THE ArTFuL MInD March 2013 •5
GOOD PURPOSE GALLERy
DIALOGUE OF TWO â€œART HEARTSâ€?
MARGUERITE BRIDE PAINTINGS IN WATERCOLOR MArGuErITE BrIDE, HOuSE POrTrAIT
Often winter months in the Berkshires are the busiest time for artists who are preparing for the next show season, which always seems to arrive in a hurry. With plans to exhibit new and exciting material, painters view this creative period with great excitement and anticipation. At least thatâ€™s how watercolorist Marguerite Bride feels about it. During these â€œquietâ€? months, Bride also gives watercolor technique lessons in her studio on north Street, Pittsfield. Visit her website for more details about commissioning a painting, purchasing a painting or fine art reproduction lessons and updated exhibit information; or contact the artist directly. Over the years Bride has painted many scenes from vacations, special occasions, and favorite settings...all from clientsâ€™ own photos. These have included scenes from romantic wedding settings and honeymoon trips, Tuscan villas, vistas from fabulous hikes, exciting canoe trips, scenes from family vacations and reunions, â€œonce in a life-timeâ€? adventures, and more. Commissions for vacation and house portraits are welcome at any time. Itâ€™s not too soon to think about 2013 holiday gift givingâ€Śtake photos now if you want a stunning winter scene in the Berkshires. Marguerite Bride, NUarts Studios, 311 North Street, Pittsfield, Studio #5, by appointment only. Call 413-4427718, or 413-841-1659 (cell); website: margebride-paintings.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEUMANN FINE ART SPrInG SHOW CHErrY AnD EBOnY TABLE BY JOEL MArK
neumann Fine Art will be featuring the paintings of Bob Crimi and the custom made furniture of Joel Mark in the galleryâ€™s second group show, which opens with a reception on April 13, 5-8 PM. The exhibit runs April 13 â€“ June 2. The paintings of Bob Crimi reflect his joy in the act of painting. Crimiâ€™s work offers the viewer a window into a meditation. His canvases breathe with shifting passages of bold saturated color dissolving into ephemeral veils of subtle calm. Crimiâ€™s visceral approach to painting is perhaps best illuminated in the artistâ€™s own words: â€œIntuition is our builtin GPS system. It always does us well. I go to it when I pick up a brush; like Zen and archery, keeping the intellect out of it, becoming the bow and arrow and, similarly, becoming the brush.â€? Joel Mark makes furniture that you want to touch. His sophisticated design sense makes his pieces a treat for the eyes as well as the hands and body. Superbly crafted from both local and exotic woods, the marriage of form and function in this museum quality furniture is one that is sure to endure for generations. The look is both contemporary and classic. Aside from the impeccable workmanship in Joel Markâ€™s furniture, his designs are original, insuring the owner of piece that cannot be had anywhere else. With elements of Modern Scandinavian and Art Deco influences, each signed and dated piece is an expression of the artisanâ€™s personal style. The owner of a Joel Mark piece of furniture is rewarded with meticulously crafted elegance that makes the comfort of home an artistic statement. Neumann Fine Art, 65 Coldwater St., Hillsdale, NY. Gallery hours are 11 - 4 Thursday - Sunday and by appointment. Tel: 413-246-5776. www.neumannfineart.com
The Farmington Elementary School in Otis, Massachusetts
Annie Jr. Presents
April 5 and 6 at 7:oopm
Annie played by Makenna Albee Sandy played by Wilder Dunaj
6 â€˘ March 2013 THE ArTFuL MInD
Makenna Albee (left) Wilder Dunaj (right)
Director Kim Chirichella Assistant Director/Choreographer Meredith McMillan
For tickets please contact the school at: 413-269-4466 555 N. Main Rd, Otis, MA $5.00 donation
Both yom Tov and Elinor share a love of God, nature and creativity. Their expression of that love is what makes the dialogue between them, you and their artwork so interesting. Please come to Good Purpose gallery and feel a creative dynamic theyâ€™ve made. Their intention is that through their work, they would be able to help others and communicate the beauty, harmony and love of the Divine. Their exhibit called â€œThe way I see itâ€? will be on display until April 1 at 40 Main Street in Lee, MA. With vivid color and brilliant skill, Yom Tov Blumenthal penetrates imagination. His large acrylic paintings are both illustrative and surreal. Yom Tov, which means â€œGood Dayâ€? in Hebrew, grew up in the northeast uS but moved to Israel, now studying the Torah and exploring how that will relate to his artwork and life. He is an exceptional artist who also has grown up with mild form of Autism. Initially he created art to manage his feelings, solve problems, to exorcize inner demons, if you will. now that he is so involved in the study of the Torah, he is exploring how his artwork might change and serve the message of God. Yom Tovâ€™s work has softened; the images he creates became more playful and enigmatic. For Elinor, her work is an expression of her love of the Torah and God - she sees the Creatorâ€™s beauty in all of nature. Elinorâ€™s canvases are full of natural beauty skillfully articulated with movements and inner sound. The artists met, married and live in Tzfat - a small town in Israel, sharing their passion for the Torah and art. Their personal relationship reflects a fascinating dialog: between two people, between their art and spirituality. It is as if some parts of them talk to each other, reflecting back and force their growing awareness, shaping their purpose and ways of expression.
The Art of Autism is a collaborative project that brings awareness to the general public the creative abilities of people with autism. Our plan is to do this, in part, by facilitating exhibits of their work throughout the world. By bringing awareness about the artistic gifts of people on the spectrum, The Art of Autism inspires community members, gives hope to parents of children on the spectrum, as well as adults with autism, and shifts consciousness about autism. Please join us for Art of Autism experience at Good Purpose Gallery in Lee, Mass. The show opens on Friday, April 5 and will be on display until May 27 The project combines book signings with art from local and traveling visual artists, as well as poetry, film festivals, and entertainment shows. With a database of over 250 artists, poets, authors, musicians, and entertainers from age 4 to 70, participants come from all parts of the world â€“ including the united States, Canada, Israel, Pakistan, India, The Philippines, Morocco, France, Germany, Japan, and England. In 2011, the book Artism: The Art of Autism â€“ shattering myths through the voices and art of those on the spectrum was released. The book features fifty-four artists with autism from around the world. Some of the artists in the book are well-known, such as Temple Grandin and Donna Williams. Others are struggling to make a viable career out of their passion. In 2012, her second book The Art of Autism: Shifting Perceptions was released. This book featured seventyseven artists and poets on the autism spectrum. It also included stories of love, determination, and faith. Debra Hossieni, author of the book The Art of Autism, will be in Lee in early May for a panel discussion & book signing. Her son Kevin Hossieni is one of the exhibiting artists. Good Purpose Gallery, 40 Main Street, Lee, MA. Visit www.goodpurpose.org for more information. Winter hours are 9-5 Wed-Sat, 9-3 Sunday.
COLOR, MOVEMENT AND BALANCE
DAVID J. rICHArDSOn, On THE WInG, ACrYLIC On CAnVAS, 18 x 24”
ArTIST DAVID J. rICHArDSOn
Someone said, “Abstract expressionism is the celebration of the medium”. That has always stuck with me for some reason. I like the idea of painting with feeling as much as skill, and I think that experience is as important as the colors on my palette. Paintings are built, sometimes arduously and sometimes easily, and you shouldn’t let your mind get in the way of your hands. At first, I painted instinctually, and have since learned the vocabulary of what I have done. I create “l’art pour l’art” as the French say, or “art for art’s sake”. My work is about color, movement, and balance, and ideally, a hybrid of the realistic and the abstract, that being: the image in the abstract, or, the abstract in the image. Masterful work celebrates the medium as well as the craft. Blues musicians found in remote pockets in the South were able to cultivate a signature sound in music like no other because of their isolation from other influences. This is the benefit of being a non-conformist, self-taught artist. I spent years working with paint and searching inward for inspiration. Eventually, I studied first, the movements in art and then techniques in painting. I created what people have called, “ignorant art”, and prior to that, I practiced primitivism. My progression in art has been natural rather than academic, straddling the line between creating and destroying. I never wanted there to be stiffness or fear in my paintings. I liked what I saw in futurism, surrealism, and abstract expressionism among many other movements in art. It was a language that I understood. I had this idea of representing everything and nothing at the same time, and that was my understanding of life. I recently painted a very large canvas pure black, just a step lighter than the darkest value. I felt the true power of black by its sheer size; but as I would find out, there could be a whole galaxy of emptiness and darkness represented in just the pupil of an eye. As I moved closer to the painting, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I broke from my trance for a moment to see what had moved, and was suddenly face to face with myself. A mirror I had positioned next to my easel, in a clustered room, served as a portal to a place far away. For a split second I saw into my own eyes so unexpectedly. There was the vastness of space and absolutely nothing else. Then in an instant, within the same second, I was back into the body of an observer who only saw himself. An artist once said, “You haven’t painted anything until you’ve realized why you paint.” For me, it’s to go to that place, to lose myself completely, but at the same time find myself. I have always imagined art as a conversation throughout time. It speaks to us and says, “This is who we are, and this is where we are.” My artwork will be on display April – May at The Isha Nelson Gallery on Railroad Street in Great Barrington MA. The opening is April 6th at 4pm.
510 WARREN STREET GALLERy JEAnnInE r. SCHOEFFEr, FrOM “AFrICA” SErIES
510 WARREN STREET GALLERy PEGGY rEEVES PEGGY rEEVES, HOuSATOnIC TOWEr
“Mostly Blues II” is another installment of the alternate photographic work of Peggy reeves through the month of March at 510 Warren St. Gallery in Hudson. reeves discovered that the very earliest photographic processes had great potential for constructing visual images incorporating more contemporary media such as collage and encaustic. Cyanotype which predates tintypes and other prefilm methods begins with rich Prussian blue derived from the suns reaction to a simple combination of two chemicals. revival of archaic techniques is both scientifically and artistically interesting to reeves sensibility and nourishes a love of surprise within the craft of photography. In addition to Peggy’s work, other artists exhibiting are: Will Clark, Joan Giummo, Dianna Felber, Iska Kenney, Kate Knapp, John Lipkowitz, Nina Lipkowitz, Eleanor Lord, Hannah Mandel, Linda Clayton, Jeannine R. Schoeffer, Doris Simon. Also showing is furniture by Joel Marks and Mill River Studio Antique Prints and Posters. 510 Warren St. Gallery, 510 Warren St., Hudson, NY. Friday and Saturday 12 – 6pm, Sunday 12-5 pm. 518-822-0510. www.510warrenstgallery.com
JEAnnInE r. SCHOEFFEr
An exhibition of oil paintings by Jeannine Schoeffer titled “Africa” will be featured In April at 510 Warren Street Gallery. Opening reception 3:00 - 6:00 P.M., Saturday, April 6. Mrs. Schoeffer loves all God’s creatures, and a recent African trip introduced her to some new ones, up close and personal. Look at it as taking a break from her favorites... the flowers. In addition to Jeannine Schoeffer, exhibiting artists include: Will Clark, Diana Felber, Joan Giummo, Iska Kenney, Kate Knapp, John Lipkowitz, Nina Lipkowitz, Eleanor Lord, Hannah Mandel, Peggy Reeves, Doris Simon, Joel Mark Furniture, and Mill River Studio Antique Prints & Posters. 510 Warren Street Gallery, 510 Warren Street, Hudson, New York. Gallery Hours: Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 6 P.M., and Sundays from noon until 5 P.M. For information please call 1-518-822-0510 or 1-413-5289456. www.510warrenstgallery.com
THE ArTFuL MInD MArCH 2013 • 7
stay alive. We talked a few hours, drank coffee, brainstormed, tapped into some important resources in the Berkshires for Hope to follow up on. Hope’s goal was for the school to get in gear and run at full throttle. There was a lot to be done! Since our first meeting, I have watched Hope take this amazing school and shape it. Watching the seeds being planted with new roots growing deep and wide— just goes to show what we can do when we apply ourselves 100% to a vision in mind and heart. What do you do at IS183 and how long have you been there? Hope: I’ve been the Executive Director of IS183, Art School of the Berkshires for just over 7 years, since October 2005.
What a huge undertaking this all has been for you, Hope. Tell me how it’s all been going for you since your time of arrival at the school. It’s a big job, and will always be like that. Hope: IS183 is a small organization but in the non profit sector, leading a small organization can be a big job. And when you look at the mission of the organization I do feel like my job is very big. What we’re looking at is how to make art part of our community life – starting with the individual experience and having that proliferate in all ways expected and unexpected. Because of the importance of our mission (to enrich our community through hands-on experience in art making), we’re constantly evaluating IS183’s standing both in terms of providing critical services to the county and the way that this all interacts in our world… These big, global issues have meant that identification of opportunities that enhance our mission is a significant piece of my job. I have to be able to not only work on the ground with the staff, with people receiving services, but with the shape of what those services are. For us that means looking at art, looking at the different flavors of life in the Berkshires and understanding how we can bring these together. Our home base, Citizens’ Hall, is one example of how we do that and so are our off-site programs including Learning Through Arts, ArtsCool, Bridge and the Berkshire residency Exchange.
HOPE SuLLIVAn IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Interview by Harryet Candee Photography by Cassandra Sohn
When we need to be artistically inspired, it’s a no-brainer— we have it! We own it. Berkshire County has a plethora of artistic outlets for all ages. And one of those, not far from anyone’s radar, is IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. It’s one of the prime spots for inspiration and artistic education. Whether it be making pottery, drawing, jewelry making, painting, drawing, quilting, mixed-media—its a studio away from studio; a school where learning something new, discovering one’s potential, plug into hidden talent we may never had the chance to get acquainted with before—why? One rea-
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son possibly: we have such busy, busy lives. But, I believe, we can find the time for something if we dig…dig real deep. A little over seven years ago, I met with Hope Sullivan, Executive Director of IS183, at The Deli (sadly no longer in existence), in Great Barrington. Hope had recently moved up to the Berkshires from the Big Apple and had just started at IS183 with “new job” ambition and a willingness to work long hours in order to develop the Art School in Stockbridge (actually Interlaken is what the exact location is named). At this time, it desperately needed new blood and enthusiasm to
How have the state of world affairs and the economy affected the school and your job? Hope: In a very direct way I think the state of the world has changed the requirements for what a community should be providing to its population, particularly children. What does it mean to be a community? What are the responsibilities of a community to deliver? How do we ensure that this is a place where we want to live and can afford to live? And what role does our community art school need to play to create a culture of curiosity and possibility? It starts with education, engagement and our shared responsibility to each other, to our neighbors. I’d like to see the cultural richness of the Berkshires, these (inter)national organizations, turn around and look inward at what’s going on in our community and commit to elevating the experience of the generation growing up here. IS183 is working to create vehicles for that level of engagement, through our curriculum development in schools, our outreach to community partners and through our international residency program, the Berkshire residency Exchange, which is unique for bringing emerging artists not only into our community but into our schools so that some of our most vulnerable students can have a personal experience of the world. We’re using art as a catalyst to create a truly broad, engaged and rich experience for every child and helping them to be successful and to see the many paths to being an adult. And, by doing so, we’re transforming the experience of children living in the Berkshires, including the large percentage living in poverty, and make it the best place in the world to grow up. As we do this we need to look 15 to 20 years in the future and across the world to see how to support this renaissance of activity and not only fulfill our original mission but expand well beyond the scope it conceived of to creating a model for public engagement that can be replicated elsewhere.
IS183 Art School of the Berkshires: the classic, idyllic drawing studio setting with wood aisles, desks and model’s platform. Fabulous natural light, original wood floors, doors, etc.
What specifically does your job entail, and the responsibilities that go along with it? Hope: My job is both management of the business of IS183 and facilitating our mission and vision, which is about as exciting as you can get. What this translates to is that day-today what I’m doing and thinking about varies dramatically. It’s one of the reasons being Director never gets old, it’s always changing!
What now seems to be some of your pending goals? Hope: Our primary goal is to be a transformative force in the community by providing all community members – regardless of age, means or skill level – with the opportunity to make art. Art can elevate the experience of everyone living in the county, but art and the “world of art” has taken a bad rap. From the days of the caveman when people recorded their lives by drawing on the wall, it somehow evolved to be perceived as a stuffy, elitist, inaccessible experience for a rarefied few. That’s not what I believe, and it is the antitheses to our work at IS183. I strive to nurture an egalitarian spirit at IS183, to engage with staff, Board, faculty, collaborators and community members on an individual basis, and find common ground. We’re different people with different talents finding ways to combine our efforts for a common good, the enrichment of our community.
we approach that mandate have greatly expanded. As I said earlier, our ambition is to be a transformative force in the community. To be that, we have to look beyond our walls. For example, we now offer programs across the county from Sheffield to Williamstown which is a significant shift of vision and re-defining of community, as we explored how best to bring enriching power of art-making to the Berkshires. now I spend my time focused on the community, program development and ensuring that we have the resources in place to deliver at the high standard we’ve set. Over the course of my tenure we’ve increased the number of people served by more than 75% and we’re on track to raise that number significantly in 2013 with expanded studio pro-
Can you see yourself being titled as a new Pioneer? Hope: With all this in mind, YES, I can see IS183 being a pioneer organization for this region.
The evolution of the art school must seem like magic to you. It’s now has a life of it’s own. What were some of the first groundwork goals you worked on to get where you are now? Hope: The key areas of focus when I started were restoration of our historic home base, Citizens’ Hall, in Stockbridge and stabilizing finances. You really need to make sure the house is in order before you take on efforts intended to have significant impact. And, while our mission has remained the same over this period the ways in which
Citizens’ Hall, built in 1790. 2013: IS183 Art School of the Berkshires
gramming in Williamstown and significant investment in expansion of our in school programs. This significant programmatic change came when we realized we were missing a huge impact opportunity by keeping our physical walls as our borders. That occurred when we launched our In School programs, starting with the “Learning Through Arts” after school curriculum. It very quickly became apparent that if we were to change our model by going to students instead of having them come to us, we could serve exponentially more of them. We debated the shift at the Board level but very quickly came to agreement and in fact have had amazing success. We now serve 350 children a week during the academic year at 17+ sites and approximately 900 across the county in camp and enrichment programs each summer. I’m very proud of the staff and faculty of IS183 who have worked so hard to increase the impact of our organization. Art is essential to the community and in an area rich in opportunities to spectate - to witness world class dance, theatre and music - we lack not just participatory experience but true engagement, the empowering aspect of art as an element of our education to inspire creative thinking, innovation and unique work. Something every single member of our community needs…
Aside from the art classes and programs, I know you are heading towards making a great event take place for the school. What is that all about? Hope: We put on several events each year. Our annual gala was held on March 9th and it was a great success. This year’s event was the Big Bang at the Energy Vortex, an electro swing affair. Quite a title, eh? Plans are in the works now for a faculty art exhibit which will open on Friday, May 3rd. This is the first faculty show during my tenure which will have enough space to showcase the entire roster of art school talent. Thanks to collaboration with the red Lion Inn we’re taking over multiple sites in Stockbridge to accommodate the full scope of the show, it’s going to be great!
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THE ArTFuL MInD MArCH 2013 •9
(Left) Electric ceramic wheels.
We’re excited and proud to display the work of 75+ artists who offer classes, workshops, camps and other programs through the art school every year. You should come! We’re also seeking nominations for the 2013 Berkshire Arts Educator Award. This award is intended to recognize the most inspiring K through 12 educators – those who go above and beyond to inspire imagination and creativity in their students. Any Berkshire County K-12 arts educator, including those who teach outside of a formal academic setting, is eligible to be nominated. We welcome nominations from the community! Please visit our website – www.is183.org – and click on the link to the nomination form in the “What’s Happening” section on the first page to cast your vote!
Tell me about one of the your most favorite events that were put together. Like the Dance parties, for example, I like the idea of merging all forms of art together. It gets more people out to have some real fun. Do you bring music into it at all? Hope: I can think of a lot of ways that we’ve actively worked to combine artistic media! For our in-school programs the vision for the curriculum is to combine a wide range of modalities to provide a broad, engaging experience, which reinforces academic curriculum goals. Each lesson uses visual arts as the primary communication but we also introduce other media to expose children to and reflect the richness of our community. For example, we’ve partnered with the Word x Word Spoken Word Festival in Pittsfield to create an integrated visual arts/spoken word experience, we’ve brought in culinary arts, music, movement (yoga) and have curriculum development goals with community partners and faculty which use creative ways to enrich the program experience. One example for music specifically is Classic rock’, our April vacation camp which will be a fun combo of art, craft, geology and rocking out (ages 5 to 14). For our gala events we pair a DJ and Projection artist for a danceable, visual mix. At this year’s event, The Big Bang
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(March 9th) the music was electro swing. It was absolutely out of this world. One of reasons why I love participating in the workshops, fine arts like pastels, is because of the environment. I love the classrooms. The classic setting for studying art, similar to those you find at the art academies and universities. Hope: Every time I pop into a class I am reminded of what a unique opportunity the art school provides - to come to our studios and work with professional artists and understand art through personal experience. And how amazing the sheer number of artists that are involved with the art school! We employ about 75 artists a year to offer classes, workshops, camps and programs. The artists on our faculty truly are the strength and pride of IS183. Core to what we do is making their talent available to the community and making the community a place where they can find the support they need to continue making their work. As you know when you support IS183 by attending a gala, or becoming a member you’re supporting these artists, this wealth of talent that defines our region! The history of the building the school resides in is interesting. Can you give us a picture of its origin, and how it evolved over the turn of the century? Hope: Sure, Citizens’ Hall was built in 1870 as a schoolhouse with a community meeting room for the town of Stockbridge. In 1930 it was decommissioned and then remained (largely) vacant until the 1970’s when the neighbors formed an organization, Old Curtisville, to take over ownership of the building from the town. A summer stock theatre company leased the space for many years but had left by 1991 when Sam and Jane Kasten moved in down the street and started rallying support for a community art school. The Interlaken School of Art was founded in the summer of 1991. A few years later the name was changed to IS183 Art School. IS stands for Interlaken School and Citizens’ Hall is just off of route 183. I get a google alert every time IS183
(Above) Ben Evans, ceramist teacher
is mentioned online and, as it turns out, IS183 is not just an art school; it’s also an isotope! not sure that there’s any way to glean deeper meaning from that, though I’ve always thought there should be. Variants of chemical elements, various ways of engaging the community… hmmm.
What necessary changes to the interior/exterior of the building did you feel needed immediate attention? Hope: When I started at IS183, the school had just merged with the community, Old Curtisville, to assume ownership of Citizens’ Hall. This gave us the ability to fundraise for capital improvements, something that was sorely needed. You could poke your finger into the exterior woodwork. It took 3.5 years to complete the exterior restoration of Citizens’ Hall. What do you find in particular endearing about the school? Hope: There are so many things - my view of the art school has transformed over the years as my focus has changed. When I started it really was about Citizens’ Hall. The energy of the building, of the studios and the artists and aspiring artists coming through the doors was and remains truly special. It’s an inspired hub in our region for engaging directly in art making - a place to get your hands dirty. now that the hub is enhanced by so much more activity, we have programs in schools across the county and we’ve just launched a collaboration with the Southern Williamstown Community Association which brings adult studio programming to north County, in another historic schoolhouse! I love that IS183 is helping to create a community where opportunities to participate in, interact with and consider art have become part of everyday life, something you see, witness and attempt during your day-to-day. If every bank president, plumber and health worker in the region saw creative activity in the course of his or her day, every day, imagine what a rich dialogue and community life that would create!
Children at the Morningside School, Pittsfield, MA, creating paper mache sculptures thanks to IS183 Art School
IS183: A spacious room perfect for students and teachers. Oil, pastel, watercolor, drawing from the model, workshops, classes and private study. So, now I am wondering, what is a typical day like for you at work? Hope: Yesterday was pretty typical… (And apologies if this get a bit long)! I started the day at a meeting in Stockbridge to discuss collaboration with long-time art school friend, the red Lion Inn. They’ll be helping us plan the the faculty art exhibit. Following that meeting I returned to Citizens’ Hall and investigated a frozen pipe, luckily a member of the facilities committee was in the neighborhood and addressed the issue before any classes were disrupted. next I met with IS183 staff to review plans for summer in-school programs in Great Barrington and Pittsfield and to finalize an after-school program to be offered in collaboration with the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown this May. I then switched gears and proofread a press release on IS183’s new slate of Board members and some recent grant awards, did some work on the FY14 budget, confirmed a meeting in Dalton for Monday (we’re starting a program at Cranesville elementary this month), and did some preliminary outreach to faculty regarding Summer Studio programs. A prospective faculty member came by for an informational meeting, I reviewed ad sales for our summer catalog and by then it was late afternoon so I headed off to pick up my daughter at childcare, day done!
Have you become aware of any significant lesson you have learned from your experience at an art school? Hope: I’ve learned a lot about the responsibility of leadership, and how that relates to stewardship. I am the current steward of IS183 and its mandate to ensure the joy and benefits of the creative experience are available to everyone in our orbit. I’ve also gotten really comfortable with the reality that the work is never done. And that’s probably true for people working in most non-profits. Initially that can be frustrating, that lack of closure. But as I’ve grown accustomed to the cycle of development it’s really become liberating. We’re always in
process, if something doesn’t work in the moment, we can change it, and if something does work we still look for ways to improve it. nothing is static. Managing and monitoring change with humor rather than fear is a great lesson from work to apply to life generally!
I remember when your little girl, nearly first born lying in her portable, cute, cozy cradle right on the top of your desk at work in your office. You were juggling many roles! Time sure flies. Did you have an arts education background that inspired you to take on such a huge business in the arts, not to mention, so far from the city? Hope: I’ve done a lot of different things over the years. I got my bachelor’s degree in film and photography at Ithaca College and my thesis was an original cell animated film, ”Carrot nose”. I dabbled in the industry after college - did some editing for work and travelled around the uS and overseas. I went back to school for an MFA in playwriting from Columbia and then attempted to make a feature film, “Muscle Car”, which shot for three weeks here in the Berkshires before wilting in the editing process. Although I’m not working on any side projects right now my background in artistic exploration plays a large role in my work at IS183. To succeed at my job, a lot of creativity is required. Being open to new possibilities, taking risks with programs and ideas and maintaining a willingness to take a leap of faith are all necessary. IS183 is my creative outlet and the more I approach the work from that perspective the more inspiring it is for me and for staff, faculty and collaborators. We’re working towards a shared vision, an inspiring picture of what our creative Berkshires is and what our community must provide to each citizen. This is your life, and you surround your life with the goals to educate through the arts. It’s very focused, Hope. What were
you doing prior to coming to the Berkshires? Hope: I was in new York City for about ten years before I moved to the Berkshires. I moved there for grad school (Columbia) and remained to pay it off! I worked at the off Broadway theatre Second Stage for a bit and then at Goldman Sachs for about two years while trying to make an independent feature. Goldman Sachs was not a great fit for me, though I appreciated the work ethic and the perks – dinner after 8pm, car service home after 9pm and free shoe shines by the trading floor! I decided to make a move and vacillated a bit. Was a scout for a literary agency on 5th Avenue and was offered a job in a detective agency before landing at a start-up web shop that over the course of 5 years turned into a boutique digital marketing agency. As the third employee I grew into the industry as the business grew and by the time I left was responsible for managing the intersection of technology and creative for a roster of Fortune 500 clients. I remember leaving a music band that crashed out in my Brooklyn loft one morning, off to make a pitch in another corporate boardroom, and when one of the musicians asked what exactly I did during the day, I hemmed, I hawed, and I left for work without answering. I had so much advertising glory, and was so embarrassed to be a part of it. When I moved to the Berkshires a large part of the decision to make that change was the desire to be more closely connected to artists and the community. Thinking about the world from a consumer influence perspective was soul draining. Hope, I can only imagine. Do you consider yourself to be an artist? Tell us what your favorite past-times might be. Hope: Well, the short answer of course, is that everyone is an artist. It becomes a question of degree. I studied film, photography and writing and still dabble with all of those. I paint Continued on next page....
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Lucie Castaldo, Amy Butterworth,Brielle Rizzotti, Hope Sullivan, Dina Noto, Ben Evans. Not present was Cecila Hirsch
Art school wools and tools
and draw on occasion and as a teen I played music, bassoon actually, for youth orchestras. That was a great way to travel – go on tour! I’ve also got a drum kit in the basement and can play a couple Pogues tunes on the harmonica. So… I’m conversational in many artistic media but not an expert. Makes me all the more appreciative of the talent I get to interact with every day!
When do you take a break? Do you like to travel? Hope: I get vacation time but since having my daughter (she’s two and a half now) I haven’t managed to figure out significant travel other than family visits. I love travelling so my wish list of places to go is pretty long… Top of mind at this moment, some cities I’d like to explore include: Buenos Aires, Stone City, Istanbul, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai. Closer to home beach time, ski time and woods time every year is really important. Day to day I try to find ways to just get outside, get fresh air, sunlight and MOVE. That’s the best way for me to recharge. In warm months I garden, swim and play with my daughter; hike and run with my dog; during the colder, darker days I turn to skiing and hot yoga.
What NEW thing would you consider getting involved in? Hope: Language! A longstanding ambition of mine is to be multi-lingual, but I’ve only managed to develop a facility with French. I’d love to find ways to immerse myself in other languages here at home. I’d also like to expose my daughter to
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different phonetic sounds – Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, and Hindi, as many as possible. The world is getting smaller in so many ways and being able to communicate with each other, to understand one another seems like a critical first step to being a member of the global community.
Communication in many languages is almost as important as knowing how to use a computer. Honestly, do you miss the city? Hope: I miss new York and other cities from time to time, the clutter and mess and noise and hubbub and accessibility of it all. But, I don’t have a lack of stimulation in the Berkshires, far from it. Instead, I feel like I don’t have anywhere near enough time to see and experience all the great things going on here, all year round. And, activities aside, I love the air and space and community in-it-togetherness of our region. The only thing I wish I could import from an urban area is the ability to live car-less most of the time. I still feel strange zooming back and forth all day - commuting by automobile to work and fun. I am one who does not miss public transportation, Hope! How has it been for you being a mother and director of an art school? It gets easier as our children get older, but I am wondering how you have managed balancing out these two huge responsibilities! Hope: Like most parents my schedule is pretty tight. I’m very
fortunate to have a job that is flexible and understanding if my daughter needs me and a childcare solution that she loves and that covers most of my work time. Day to day our schedule is pretty consistent - up toddlerearly, some time for play and rocking hugs before getting dressed and heading out. My daughter gets dropped off at childcare and I’m off to run the dog, ideally, and then get to work. At the end of the day we have a little more time but it’s pretty much the same schedule in reverse, less the dog run. At 8pm, when she’s asleep, that’s my daily moment to breathe out and just appreciate. On busy, stressful days that moment can feel amazingly luxurious. Balance has been easier for me as I get older and gain more perspective. I’ve learned some great lessons from my daughter actually, in particular that every single action or activity can be an adventure if you look at it from the right angle. That approach is amazingly liberating and joyous. Even tedious chores can transform into fun if you think/say/sing/shout “YES!”, “BLAST OFF!” or “rEADY FOr ACTIOn!” before getting started. Although… if I could get out for dog runs more frequently that would be great. And I’m still trying to make myself exercise more consistently! 6
WARNER FRIEDMAN FOrM & LIGHT
by Eunice Agar
Warner Friedman's original contemporary style combines two venerable traditions in American art -the luminist emphasis on an all-pervading light dating from nineteenth century painters like Fitz Hugh Lane and a precisionist mode exemplified by painters like Charles Sheeler. He was born in the Bronx and earned a degree at Clarkson College of Technology in 1957. Then he studied art at Pratt Institute and Cooper union. His work has evolved through several stages, starting with a brief foray into abstract expressionism that was typical of his generation. He was part of the Cedar Bar crowd. Friedman soon realized that an esthetic of clear, smoothly painted forms was more suited to his temperament than expressionism. Influenced by the work and the writing of Piet Mondrian. and by Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt. he developed a distinctive abstract style of black and later colored rectangular shapes on a white ground which he pursued for over fifteen years, producing more then four hundred paintings. In the seventies he became interested in the luminous quality of background colors, especially blue, and varied shapes, and developed a new imagery of three dimensional forms from exact scale drawings of objects in two point perspective. At this point the sense of light takes over. Although the individual forms are highlighted to reveal shape and form,
WArnEr FrIEDMAn (BELOW) THE BrIDGE, 2012, 90 x 66
the juxtaposition of shapes with background is so subtle, with closely calibrated values and colors that reflect off each other, and the paint so smooth - often done with an airbrush - that the entire canvas emits a subtle luminosity. They provide the same sensation as one gets looking into a Mark rothko, only more interesting because of the imagery. These painting are very large, ten feet of more. As the objects in his paintings became more specific, they had to be placed in real space, and he began to develop his signature mature style combining the two previous trends of form and light. The varied three dimensional shapes led to an exploration of simple architectural elements painted white and strongly lit to form distinct patterns of light and shade. These were initially painted on the front plane in front of a blue background which he then began to vary by introducing a horizon line, eventually developing
WArnEr FrIEDMAn, THE BLuE PIEr, 54 x 90, 2011
(ABOVE) THE MuSE, 43 x 62, A/C, 2013
landscapes with the same lighting as the architectural element. In l988 he had began to use contemporary geometric sculpture, actual pieces by Tony Smith and Sol Lewitt, to determine the shape of the canvas. He claims the traditional rectangular shape of landscape painting is not a given. From that sculpture source, he moved to the architectural forms to determine the shapes of his canvases which have become a cross between sculptural objects and painting. Then in 2005 he started replicating the work of modern masters, artists like Albers, Matisse, Modigliani, and combining that imagery with the architectural and landscape elements. At the same time he continued the landscapes seen through an architectural frame. When Friedman plans his canvases, he usually chooses the architectural model first and makes a perspective drawing to scale, using trigonometry to calculate the angles. He then builds precisely constructed wooden models painted white which he lights and photographs to obtain an absolutely accurate pattern of light and shade to transfer to the canvas. He builds and stretches all his canvases. In l969 Friedman moved to Sheffield where he has a large studio in an old church building. He has an extremely long list of shows, awards, articles on his work, private collectors, public collections. In 2012 he received a Mass. Cultural Council award for painting, along with four other artists. Currently he is represented by rehs Gallery in new York, Scott richards Gallery in San Francisco, and the Morrison Gallery in Kent, CT. This spring he is having an exhibition at Clark Gallery in Lincoln, MA: March 5 - April 9, opening March 9, 5-7 PM. For information, call 781-159-8303. ^ THE ArTFuL MInD MArCH 2013 â€˘ 13
Mercury is retrograde through March 17, just a few days before the equinox and change of season on March 20. Early in the month the emphasis of the sky is on creative, clairvoyant and egalitarian Pisces. We are experiencing a natural affinity for contact, healing and sharing. This is the first of three water sign Mercury retrogrades this year -- something that's pretty rare. As the month develops, though, planets move into fire sign Aries, and it's time to put all that idealism into action. That's the part that requires some initiative, guts and focus. Action is never quite as easy as the idea that precedes it, though it's necessary if you want to live for a purpose rather than getting lost in a concept. Good ideas are not enough. Being original is not enough.
Aries (March 20-April 19) One potential problem with acting on your ideals is that you face the prospect of having them proven wrong. And you face the possible discovery that you don't have the will power or energy to do something you believe that you value. Yet if you don't make the effort and take the risk, you will never know for sure. There is more to this than you may imagine, because to act on your ideals you must on some level let them go. They cease to be 'ideals' and become something more tangible and practical. So the issue is one of living with a question, or striving to answer that question, learning what you learn and proceeding from there. You have long been saying it's time to get out of your head. If you really mean that, you now have an awesome opportunity.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) You seem to want so many things that it's impossible for you to focus on one of them long enough to manifest it. Think of this time in your life as a moment to try on possibilities that you would not dare to consider in the past. You don't need to attach the qualification of permanence or commitment. What you're doing is experimenting with desire, trying on the different potential expressions of yourself for size. You may need to resist your tendency to immediately see things in their most solid or unchangeable form; I suggest you notice this tendency. You might also feel like even considering something new is challenging (particularly to an intimate relationship). If it turns out that exploring friendships with others in any way threatens someone you're attached to, the fit may be a little too snug. Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Hold off on making new professional commitments till later in the month. It's fair to expect things to slip and slide a little (or a lot) until then, though it looks like you will have a grip on things by the 22nd, after your ruling planet has returned to direct motion and the Sun has changed signs to Aries. until then, what you have is the perfect, and I do mean an extremely rare, stellar setup to explore and develop your talent. There is something, a topic or field of interest, that you are developing mastery over. I mean
JAnE FELDMAn Family Portraits
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that in the present tense -- you are on the way, growing, considering and feeling out your own potential. Consider yourself a work in progress and refrain from any notion of 'expertise' -- the thing you want is the mind of a beginner, as often as you can return there. If you stray, come back to that.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This is a fine moment to consider your medium- to long-term plans. By this I mean the rest of 2013, into next year and perhaps out to 2015. I don't usually advise considering the future this far in advance (especially with time moving in dog years, as it is). However you have an unusual perspective now, as if you're standing on a hilltop amidst the landscape of time. This is a three-dimensional model, rather than the usual tightrope that we think of time as being. You can see in all directions, from an elevated viewpoint. Look around; study the whole horizon. What do you see? How do you feel, looking out in different directions? This is a time in your life when the past has less bearing than ever, and your potential has more value than ever. Stop here for a moment and feel this lighting up your cells and filling your lungs.
by Eric Francis
your pleasure and your ability to make contact with people you care about, this is the most dependable way to open up communication. You can only be open and honest and relate to others, if you are in contact with what you feel and what you want. That information comes from inside of you, and becomes your most dependable mode of navigating the seemingly outer world. remember, this is also true of the people you want to connect with.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Sagittarius (nov. 22-Dec. 22) There is only so safe you can be, and most of that is in your mind. You may be encountering the paradox that the more you focus on security and things being predictable, the more chaotic they are. To those who are conditioned not to experience their emotions -- which pretty much counts for everyone these days, though increasing exponentially the younger you are -- any actual visceral sensation in your body can feel destabilizing, scary and even threatening. At a certain point it's necessary to question the validity of anything you consider fearful. I would encourage you to notice whether the term 'scary' has anything to do with the sensation of 'compelling' or 'makes me feel' or 'commands my attention and commitment'. If humankind can only bear so much reality, then this is the time to be superhuman.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You run the risk of over-thinking very nearly everything, and this may spook you out of what hard-won confidence you have earned. I would propose two courses of action, where significant decisions are concerned. One is, make up your mind and stick to what you decide, even if you get insecure. The second is, put any big decisions on hold until Mercury goes direct on March 17, or even until the Sun changes signs on March 22. When Mercury is retrograde, often we don't need to decide things or act on them as fast as we think we do, and this particular Mercury retrograde is a very strong candidate for allowing missing information to come to the surface. If you're writing something, this is the time to do a series of drafts, allowing your theme, message and key ideas to come into focus.
You may think that your life is complex right now, but you're probably a lot better off than you think. Busy is not complicated; I would save that word for commitments that compete, for obligations that you cannot fulfill or for the sensation that you have no control over your existence. Are any of these things true? The chances are you have enough of everything, though I suggest that you make some demands on your environment. If you have a need or a situation that is calling for energy, who is really involved, and where can that energy come from? There are possibilities; the more you depend on others' commitments to you, the more you will encourage a full exchange of energy. If you can do that, you will feel the abundance around you and nobody will feel exploited.
You have a lot of options open to you at the moment, so many that you may want to ignore them all. That, however, is proving to be a slim possibility, as there appear to be some attractive forces drawing you in beyond your ability to resist. The one thing you want to do right now is maintain your awareness of the possibilities you have, and your ability to make choices. nothing -and nobody -- is a foregone conclusion right now. You are still in a phase where you're learning a lot about where you stand in relationship to certain others and your total environment. Concentrated information will be forthcoming through the month, though watch for one particularly powerful revelation around the time when Mercury changes direction on the 17th. You'll encounter information you need, and which can change your life.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You've been through so much the past few weeks, and you may have the feeling that the tide is still coming in. Yes, you haven't reached the high water mark yet, though something else is true as well -- you're held and appreciated by the people around you. This is true despite any conflict that may have surfaced, and which may still be irritating you. I suggest you get over the idea that you have to constantly give without having any boundaries. Make the choice to offer yourself where you're truly appreciated, and where there is a high-quality mutual exchange. These things are available to you, though it would help if you see that potential. Make sure that everything you do has a role in nourishing you back. Look at every situation carefully and you will easily be able to identify that factor.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
All sexuality is inherently introspective, because it's an experience that happens inside of you, and confronts you with yourself. The same could be said of art and music; we usually project the experience with our minds onto the painting, photograph or concert stage, though what you are actually experiencing is something inside your brain and body. rather than this diminishing
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) You're doing a lot of sorting out right now. You seem to have many opinions, and this may be confusing you. Think of it as a process of building consensus with yourself. Consensus author C.T. Butler once shared the secret of this decision-making method. First, the people involved must agree on some fundamental values. Once they have done that, the specific issues they are trying to agree on will be a lot clearer. I suggest you take this process inward. Agree with yourself what deep, underlying principles are the most significant to you; which mean the most. These are known as values. Once you know that, you can contrast the details of any particular decision against your values. Give this some time to work out -- for the most important matters, three to six weeks from today. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
We're currently experiencing one of the most unusual Pisces alignments since the mid-1960s. You could be experiencing this one of many ways: as quite a lot (or perhaps a bit too much) happening, attention focused your way and quite a bit in the way of mixed emotions. I suggest that no matter how interesting your outer life is, you monitor carefully what is going on inside you. Experience your feelings consciously. There is plenty happening in the 'outer world' -- both personal relationships and professional developments -- though it's clear that these things will go a lot more productively if you are in harmony with yourself. You are on what I would describe as an 'inner mission'. It may be about creativity, it might involve working out emotional material, or it could be about making some deeper contact with your soul -probably all three. ~ Read Eric Francis daily at PlanetWaves.net
Simply Sasha by Sasha Seymour
We adopted a new four legged family member the first week in December of 2012. He was seven weeks old on the day he came into our lives (a newbie!), and I’m sure most of you know how much work it is training a new pup! Coinciding with our young addition was gift giving season, and we were thankful to be very busy at our shop in town, The Berkshire Gold & Silversmith! no matter how occupied we were, I wanted to start this doggie out correctly by feeding him only the most wholesome food and treats. My neighbor Charlene Palmer has been making homemade healthy treats for her pups and they devour them, so I asked her for the recipe. When our furry boy tried one he loved it so much, that I thought it would be fun to share this recipe with you fine folks! You can use a cookie cutter, but I prefer to cut the pieces into small brownie like squares which I then cut those into 1/4 inch size squares after they are done baking (they are mighty rich!). As always, check with your vet before introducing any new foods to your pets diet. Humans aren’t the only ones with food allergies! Peace and Love to you!
- 2 cups whole wheat flour - 1 cup rolled oats - 2 Tbsp fresh parsley (1 Tbsp. dried) - 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk - 2 large eggs - 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. water - 1 cup smooth peanut butter
-Preheat oven to 300 -In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients -In a smaller bowl, beat eggs and add the H2O and the peanut butter -Combine the wet and dry ingredients and knead until a ball of dough is formed -Flatten out dough and cut into 1 inch squares -Spread dough on nonstick baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until golden (If you want softer treats take them out after 20 minutes)
To all the four-legged furries, ENJOY!
510 WArrEn ST., HuDSOn, nY
JEANNINE R. SCHOEFFER “AFrICA” Opening Reception
3:00 - 6:00 P.M., Saturday, April 6. 510 Members include: WILL CLArK LInDA CLAYTOn DIAnA FELBEr JOAn GIuMMO ISKA KEnnEY KATE KnAPP JOHn LIPKOWITZ nInA LIPKOWITZ ELEAnOr LOrD HAnnAH MAnDEL JEAnnInE SCHOEFFEr PEGGY rEEVES DOrIS SIMOn MuSEuM QuALITY FurnITurE BY JOEL MArK AnTIQuE PrInTS & POSTErS FrOM MILL rIVEr STuDIO
Friday and Saturday 12-6, Sunday 12-5, or by appointment
THE ArTFuL MInD MArCH 2013 • 15
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC CLASSICAL GuITArIST, ELIOT FISK
Eliot Fisk demonstrates the versatility and appeal of the classical guitar in a Close Encounters With Music concert on Saturday, March 23 at 6 p.m. at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St. The diverse program, titled “Old, new, Borrowed and Blues,” features J.S. Bach, tango, Schubert lieder, American folk music, improvisations and the world premiere of a commissioned work by Grammy Awardnominated composer robert Beaser. Fisk is known worldwide for his adventurous repertoire and willingness to take music into unusual venues, such as schools, senior centers and even logging camps and prisons. Described by his mentor, guitar legend Andrés Segovia, as “at the top line of our artistic world,” Fisk has transformed the repertoire of the classical guitar through his groundbreaking transcriptions, including works by Bach, Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart and Paganini. A best-selling recording artist, Eliot Fisk has had numerous works dedicated to him and has collaborated with other musicians—including guitarist Angel romero, virtuoso clarinetist richard Stoltzman, and jazz guitar great Bill Frisell— in classical, flamenco, jazz and world-music styles. He is founder and director of Boston Guitar Fest, an annual event co-sponsored by northeastern university and the new England Conservatory, where he is a faculty member. upcoming Close Encounters with Music concerts include Grand Piano Trios I: Schubert & Schoenfield on April 20; Grand Piano II: Mozart, Beethoven and ravel on May 18; and nordic Lights: Grieg revival on June 8. Tickets for “An Evening with Eliot Fisk: Old, New, Borrowed and Blues”- $42 (orchestra and mezzanine) and $32 (balcony), are available at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 413-528-0100, or online at www.cewm.org or www.mahaiwe.org
16 • March 2013 THE ArTFuL MInD
ST. FRANCIS GALLERy DrAWInG BY JOHn HEnrY COx
The St. Francis Gallery supported trip to the HOrEC orphanage in Kenya was both productive and inspiring ...the children’s art work will add a new venue to the gallery ...plus an exciting addition of new artists highlights the spring show. The March 16 opening will begin a new season of fine work and inspiring creativity. The figure, executed in various media, in both traditional expression and abstract representation will be the theme of this group of artists. The pieces range from wonderfully detailed executions to works in water color, acrylics, and oils that are emotionally vibrant paintings expressing the vitality and energy of the human form, exposed. An opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday March 16 from 3-6pm. All are welcome. And we thank you for your support in the 2013 season. St. Francis Gallery opened last December; it is a unique space for enjoying the works by many local artists—both known and unknown. The gallery, in the former St Francis Chapel, captures the spirit of art….a setting with truly wonderful light and energy. True to its name sake, St. Francis, the gallery, supports the SAWA–AWA foundation which partners with energetic and creative Kenyans – working on their own to provide needed aid and care for those in their country who struggle. These partnerships use the proceeds from the sale of art to ship supplies to Kenya via container and coordinate local people to journey there – joining up to work side by side in these productive ventures. St. Francis Gallery, 1370 Pleasant St., Route 102, Lee, MA. Gallery hours: Fri – Mon 11- 5:30. 413-717-5199.
WHOLE PERSON MOVEMENT SHArOn TruE On PILATES APPArATuS
PILATES PLuS PFILATES – An ExCELLEnT PArTnErSHIP FOr COrE STrEnGTH
regular exercise is an essential component of optimal health and functioning. Conscious Exercise with Sharon True, owner of WholePerson Movement, takes exercise to a whole new level. In the personalized one-on-one workouts she creates in her Pilates studio, she guides her clients to become masters of their own body movement. They learn to become conscious of the inner experience and process of doing an exercise, as well as of its precise outer form. Conscious Exercise workouts stretch and strengthen muscles, promote concentration, reduce stress, and deepen understanding of the body. True has recently completed training in a variant of Pilates called Pfilates, (Pelvic Floor Pilates, pronounced Fih-lahtees) which focuses on conditioning the muscles of the pelvic floor. Pfilates helps with pelvic floor disorders such as incontinence, organ prolapse, sexual dysfunction, weakness as a result of abdominal surgery and more. As an added benefit it strengthens the lower body and improves posture. Pfilates is an excellent companion to the regular Pilates workout which has always focused on working “from the inside out.” True applies her Conscious Exercise approach to Pfilates work with clients, coaching them to gain mastery of these often-neglected muscles. Currently she teaches a homebased program of Pfilates exercises to students in 6-week workshops as well as to private clients. Pfilates is a handy “package” of 10 exercises that can usually be learned in 3— 6 lessons. It includes a kit that supports people in doing a home practice, containing a workout DVD, a booklet, and a Pfilates ball. To be added to an email contact list about the next Pfilates workshop, call or email Sharon True at the number below. True is a registered somatic movement therapist, certified Laban movement analyst, and a certified Pilates and Pfilates instructor. She has been teaching Pilates-based workouts for over 15 years, first at Canyon ranch in the Berkshires and then in her own fully-equipped Pilates studio in Great Barrington. These years of teaching, together with her commitment to continuing her own education, give clients the benefit of a vast array of experience to effectively address their goals and concerns. She is an expert partner and guide in the discovery of an exercise program that works and is a pleasure to do. Call to learn more about Pfilates, now a component of Conscious Exercise workouts with Sharon True. Contact her at email@example.com or phone 413-528-2465, 9 AM-9 PM.
FRONT STREET GALLERY
Kate Knapp, Winter Tree, 24 x 16 20”x 16” Kate Knapp, 189 East Road, Winter,
Painting classes continue on Mon & Wed mornings 10-1pm at the studio and Thursday mornings 10 - 1pm Out in the field and are open to all NEW OILS plus BLACK AND WHITE DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS 413-274-6607 413-429-7141 (cell) 413-528-9546 Gallery Hours: Sat. and Sun 12-5 or by appointment
downtown HOUSATONIC, MA
The St. Francis Gallery supported trip to the HOREC orphanage in Kenya was both productive and inspiring ...the children’s art work will add a new venue to the gallery ...plus an exciting addition of new artists highlights the spring show.
An opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday March 16 from 3-6pm.
1370 pleasant st., rte 102, lee, ma (NEXT TO LEE FIRE STATION) 413-717-5199 open Friday - Monday 11 - 5:30pm
THE ArTFuL MInD MArCH 2013 • 17
OPEn CALL FOr EnTrIES
The U Forge Gallery, Jamaica Plain, MA http://www.uforgegallery.com/assignments.html Deadline June 23, Pot Luck Assemblage, Painting, Photography, Graphic, Sculpture
The Fitchburg Art Museum, Fitchberg, MA is now accepting entries for their 78th regional Exhibition of Art and Craft. This year’s juror is nina Gara Bozicnik.Deadline: May 20, 2013. www.fitchburgartmuseum.org Art in the Park, Worcester, Ma 2013 Call for Sculpture. Juried Sculpture Exhibition at Elm Park, Worcester, MA. Deadline April 28, 2013. Exhibit dates July 27 to Oct 13, 2013. www.artsandbusinesscouncil.org
Slate Valley Museum, Granville, Ny “Slate as Muse”, national Juried exhibition June 6 - nov 1, 2013. Curator: Serena Kovalosky. Slate in a variety of artistic mediums and styles. UAG Upstate Artists Guild, Albany, Ny The Lay of the Land Show, featuring landscape artwork in all media. This is a national show. May 3 24. deadline: April 14, 2013. upstateartistsguild.org The EGG Performing Arts Center in Albany (Ny). Children’s Call for Performances of LA BAYADÈrE Ajkun Ballet Theatre is looking for enthusiastic young dancers (Pre-K to Young Teens) to perform alongside the Company in its summer production of La Bayadère.rehearsals and performances will run from July 29 throughout August 10, 2013 at Participation in new York City performance (August 16) is optional. Early registration Fee is $165 (including $65 registration Fee to cover insurance cost and tuition of $100) if children sign up by April 15, 2013. www.ajkunbt.org.
18 • March 2013 THE ArTFuL MInD
IS183 Art School of the Berkshires Seeking Intern Applicants Two to eight week internships are available for students age 15 and above in IS183’s Summer Young Artist Program, which will run from June 24 to August 16, on weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Application information is available at is183.org/interns, or by contacting Lucie Castaldo, Coordinator of Curriculum Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org. New England and Women in Photography Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston Linda K. Paresky Conference Center. 617-521-2480.Bring It to the Table: Portfolio Sharing & Conversation. Sunday, April 21, 2013, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Open to all photographers
A Tree Shirt Design Contest The Great Barrington Fairground redevelopment Project Kids k - 12. Deadline March 29. Download prospectus: gbfg.org/events. / email@example.com
The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation Grant American painters over the age 45. firstname.lastname@example.org
WOrKSHOPS and CLASSES
Learn Afro-Brazilian Drumming and perform with the Berkshire Bateria. Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. at Sambaland Studio, 40 rosseter St. downtown Great Barrington. All levels encouraged, authentic Samba instruments are provided, $7.00 per class. Website: www.Sambaland.com, for more info call: 413 528 6575
Acclaimed artist Nicole Peskin is now offering sculpture and welding classes in her Stephentown, nY Studio. Individual and groups welcome. Please call nicole @ 518 788-0204 for details.
Ten retired Spanish porcelain figurines. Made by Ilardo. Perfect condition. Bought between 1978-1983. Call: 413-822-3026 2 windows for sale. Brand new. Valued at $800. Make me an offer. High quality. Double glazed. High efficiency. (413) 348-4505
Web Site Design. Have you always wanted a beautiful website to help spread the word of your wonderful talents? Here is a great opportunity! neat, clean, affordable arts and entertainment websites starting at $300. For more information, please visit artsindie.com and/or contact Leo Mazzeo at email@example.com. Scott Harrington Home, Tree and yard Care Service Personal. Creative. Professional. Call today for a free estimate! National Arbor Day. Friday April 26. Seeking volunteers and donations for tree planting ceremony and tree seedling give away to area school children Contact Scott Harrington Landscape Service at 413-348-4505 or firstname.lastname@example.org 17 Tucker Street, Lenox, MA 01240, email@example.com www.scottharrington.vpweb.com
Someone who can professionally stretch canvases. Great Barrington area. 413-854-4400.
Message Board: Deadline for submission is up to the 15th of the month prior to publication.
If you drive around the wealthy areas of Dallas, Texas, you will soon discover a special breed of extremely large, new houses located on relatively small sites. These houses are the phenomenon known universally as ‘McMansions’. Most of these houses are variations on seventeenth century French architect Louis Le Vau’s most famous chateau, ‘Vaux-le-Vicomte’. If you can pleasantly imagine this massive French mansion on a two acre parcel surrounded by traditional Texas ranch houses (soon, undoubtedly, to be razed themselves and rebuilt as yet more McMansions) you would probably feel at home in Dallas. Interestingly, McMansions are much in demand in Dallas and — despite the Great recession — elsewhere throughout the country. Of course the particular pilfered architectural style varies from region to region; newly constructed residential variations on palaces, manors, villas, etc. can be found throughout the country, including the Berkshires. regardless of location or assumed pedigree, they all share in common unabashed and largely unadulterated European ancestry, high construction cost, and an ‘in-your-face’ opulence; ‘kitsch’ is not unfairly descriptive of most of them. In general each of these houses, like their European progenitors, provide spectacularly more than needed in terms of room and size; vast amounts of the house exist only to demonstrate that the house is vast. More often than not these houses are clustered together, often in private, walled communities. These developments creates a fascinating menagerie of styles verging often on the surreal. These communities have names like ‘Brentwood’; locally we have not yet seen the arrival of ‘gated communities’ so common in Miami, Florida, and Greenwich, Connecticut, but we do have districts like ‘Prospect Hill’ in Stockbridge; Lenox, Great Barrington, and other Berkshire towns have their equivalent. The largely egalitarian residential landscape of my childhood is breaking down quickly. A while back the New York Times ran an article noting that the quiet enjoyment of wealth in affluent towns like Greenwich,
Architecture & Arcadia Stephen Gerard Dietemann
Connecticut is a thing of the past. The sentiment there now is, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. The beautiful and the adorned have replaced the useful and this represents a seismic shift in the American psyche. I use ‘beautiful’ cautiously in the context of the McMansions because I personally find them pretentious with ridiculous a close second, but “Isn’t that house beautiful!” was the unsolicited opinion of people walking by me as I studied the previously mentioned variation of ‘Vauxle-Vicomte’ under construction in Dallas. Were he alive today, Alexis de Tocqueville would certainly be interested. “Democratic nations … cultivate the arts which serve to render life easy, in preference to those whose object is to adorn it. They will habitually prefer the useful to the beautiful.” De Tocqueville wrote these words in his seminal study of life in the united States, Democracy in America. He was struck by the, “general equality of condition among the people. He continued, “I readily discovered the prodigious influence which this primary fact exercises on the whole course of a society…” I do not believe I am romanticizing my childhood in the nineteen-sixties by noting that there was far greater “equality of condition”, at least within the context of upstate new York where I lived. The difference between the people we thought of as ‘rich’ and those we described as ‘poor’ was largely confined to the age of the automobile parked in front on the house. The houses were all remarkably similar – ‘ranch’ variations and even the one family that really was much more affluent than the rest of us – on par with Bill Gates today — did not demonstrate this with much vigor. none of this is to suggest that there was not real poverty in America then; a trip through the Appalachian Mountains revealed pockets of grinding poverty, and Black Americans were even more marginalized economically than is the case today. Still, at that time a house like Bill Gate’s current mansion would have been seen by virtually everyone, including our own local wealthy family as a
grotesque violation of some unwritten societal compact, a brazen affront to de Tocqueville’s, “general condition of equality.” Today, however, it is likely that this same family does have a home to rival Mr. Gate’s residential palace. Like the other McMansions, Mr. Gate’s new house is, in my opinion, a symptom of a disease that threatens our concept of democracy itself. Democracy is a far more fragile structure than we care to imagine. But, as has always been the case, it is not so much the sudden and massive assault – we have, after all, survived and even thrived through several wars — but rather the slow, inexorable depletion of our sense of ‘fairness’, de Tocqueville’s “general condition of equality” – that most threaten democracy’s vitality, its very existence. The suburban architecture of the post-war era was decried by the architectural academy and sociologists alike as dangerously conformist and stylistically lacking. In hindsight, however, the first houses of Levitown or my own Big Flats might have been viewed by de Tocqueville as a healthy sign for a democracy like ours. On the other hand, I believe he would have seen the persistence of McMansions as a clear sign of trouble. t
THE ArTFuL MInD MArCH 2013 • 19
The 2CV in Love PArT I
by Richard Britell
The first 18 years of the 2CV’s life were rather uneventful: a series of owners at two-or three-year intervals. Hers was the usual story of a Paris car, five months with a hairdresser, then two years with a high school teacher. She had rather fond memories of seven years spent in the countryside at a vineyard where she only had to go into town once a week. The defining event of her life happened only two years ago when she was 18, and was for sale at a used car lot in the 20th Arrondissement. “nani” was purchased by an American college student who was studying Fashion Design at the Sorbonne. From that day her life was completely transformed. She had a garage to herself for the first time in her life, and the American student was completely infatuated with her. The owner, Sarah Meyers, felt that the car was as French as it was possible to be, and being a Francophile, she loved the vehicle to distraction. If Sarah met anyone, the first thing they were subjected to was a ride in the countryside in her old 2CV, and on these rides nani heard herself described in the most glowing and adoring terms. Sarah would even pick up hitchhikers on the road to share with them her purely American love for the car,
20 • March 2013 THE ArTFuL MInD
a love not easily understood by the French, for whom the car is not a curiosity. Sarah decided to do all the routine maintenance to nani herself, and as a start she purchased the repair manual and read it from cover to cover. Sarah was not too mechanical, but she tried to picture to herself removing the transmission and taking it apart. First of all the oil had to be changed, and after that she would learn about a tune up, and how it is done. She read the passage about changing the oil and discovered there was also an oil filter to be removed and replaced. The directions were not clear to her however, and it took long time trying to find the filter in the engine compartment. One Saturday morning, Ms. Myers put on some overalls, opened the bonnet of her 2CV, and attempted to remove the oil filter. never having worked on a car in her life she made three mistakes: first, she did not remove the drain plug at the bottom of the engine; second she tried to remove it by hand; and third, she did not wait for the engine to cool off. This was not a disaster however. She removed her hands from the filter the very instant she felt its heat. She shut the bonnet, went into her apartment, and put Vaseline on her fingertips. The tragic thing about this little event was that nani saw it coming. She understood that her new owner was going to do the service herself and she was moved to the depths of her transmission gears with anticipation. She had dreamed of what it would be like and now, instead of the sublime experience she was anticipating, she had injured her owner instead. She was devastated. On the following Saturday nani was delighted to find that Sarah returned to her garage for another attempt at her maintenance. The oil change was put off at first and instead a much simpler operation was attempted, the cleaning of the battery terminals. This also resulted in instant failure because as she unscrewed the bolt holding the clamp of the battery cable, she accidentally let the wrench touch both polls of the battery. The wrench produced a huge spark and flew out of her hands onto the garage floor. This, like burning her fingers on the oil filter, was completely unanticipated, but nani saw it coming also and now considered the situation hopeless. But Sarah overcame her fears, completed the cleaning of the battery, and by the end of her Saturday session with her car had changed the oil and the filter according to more detailed instructions obtained from the boy at the service station
where she bought gasoline. According to her manual the thing she had to do next was a mystery to her. She had to check the level of oil in the transmission. There were no details given in her manual and she couldn’t figure out how to go about it. not knowing what to do she drove down to the service station and, accosting the manager’s son asked, “Can you show me what part of my car is the transmission and can you tell me how its oil level gets checked?” The mechanic pointed out the transmission to her and wiped the dirt from the filler screw. He said, “unscrew this and put your finger in there, the oil should be just below the opening.” Sarah ignored the very suggestive leer the boy gave her as he explained this very mechanical operation to her but nani, who was listening to all this, did not. The suggestive looks of the auto mechanic produced in nani her first experience of jealous rage, and as a result Sarah had great difficulty in getting her started later that morning. These feelings of jealousy were new to the 2CV, and were to persist and cause problems in the future. What was going on, is that our 2CV, back just two years ago, was falling in love with her owner. This is not an unheard of occurrence, although it is rare. The 2CV was simply responding in kind to the affection her owner was showing her. This business of constantly checking the oil and looking to see if the transmission oil is topped up has a sexual aspect to it and there was no way that this sort of constant automotive petting could not have led to serious sexual responses in the 2CV, and so, at the end of a few months of this treatment nani was a car hopelessly and passionately in love with her owner. And you have to keep in mind that this passionate involvement was taking place in Paris, a city that exacerbates and inflames passionate feelings. There were late night drives, picnics in the countryside, and cool evenings driving down the Champs-Elysees with the canvas top rolled back. ... ( Part II next month )
From: “No Cure For The Medieval Mind”, by Richard Britell nocureforthemedievalmind.blogspot.com
Cover feature interview: Hope Sulivan, Exec. Director of IS183 Art School of the Berkshires...Warner Friedman, Artist...and more
Published on Mar 13, 2013
Cover feature interview: Hope Sulivan, Exec. Director of IS183 Art School of the Berkshires...Warner Friedman, Artist...and more