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THE ARTFUL MIND Monthly Berkshire Artzine Since 1994

December 2012




Photography by Jane Feldman

“The universe is real but you can’t see it. You have to imagine it. Once you imagine it, you can be realistic about reproducing it.” -Alexander Calder


Kate Knapp, 189 East Road, 16” x 16”

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 FRONT STREET, downwtown HOUSATONIC, MA

Stephen Filmus Still-Lifes and Landscapes

The Lenox GaLLery oF Fine arT

69 Church Street, Lenox, Ma 413-637-2276 413-528-1253 Studio - by appointment

“Six Bobbers”, 11” x 14”, Oil

Happy Holidays!!!

THe arTful Mind december 2012 •1

THe arTful Mind artzine Happy, peaceful, joyous holidays to all!

December 2012

Cover photo: Carlton Maaia ii Photography by Jane Feldman

alexa saxton Thomas, artist Harryet Candee..... 7

Carlton Maaia ii, Muisc director Harryet Candee .....10

planet Waves december Eric Francis...... 15 feng shui Elisa Cashiola..... 18

simply sasha Sasha Seymour...... 18

architecture & arcadia Stephen Dietemann..... 19 Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Elisa Cashiola, Stephen Gerard Dietemann, Eric Francis, Sasha Seymour Photographers Jane Feldman, Julie McCarthy Sabine Vollmer von Falken, Cassandra Sohn Publisher Harryet Candee

Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee

Box 985, Great Barrington, Ma 01230 413-528-5628 deadline for the January :: december 10, 2012

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 • December 2012

The arTFUL MinD

THe MusiC sTore

Welcome to The Music Store’s 13th year of doing business in Great Barrington! We are fortunate to enjoy the most wonderful musical community around and the best customers any local store could hope for! Thank you all!! as we begin the season of light and giving, The Music Store continues to offer some extraordinary and unusual neW instruments. For travelers, the incomparable Composite acoustic Cargo guitar: made of 100% carbon graphite, in one piece, this pint sized guitar offers full-sized acoustic sound and professional grade electronics for the perfect gigging and traveling instrument in an almost indestructible body - aptly called the Forever Guitar! and for the performer, try some of its bigger cousins . . . . For Guitarists seeking unique handmade premium instruments, The Music Store offers guitars by american Luthier Dana Bourgeois and introducing Steel and classical guitars by irish Luthier John Beckett. For instrumentalists in search of the unusual, The Music Store offers the unique Dr. easy’s Sonic Boxes - cigar box guitars made from recycled ingredients and vintage cigar boxes, the Serenity Bamboo Flutes - cane and walking stick flutes which are handmade in Stockbridge, Fluke and Flea Ukuleles - handmade in Sheffield, Catania Thumb Pianos, Gourd Pianos, Fishtix and Catspaws handmade in Pennsylvania, and a host of other varied and exciting instruments for musicians of all ages and abilities. 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. 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! Music Store customers enjoy fine luthier handmade classical and steel string guitars as well as guitars from other fine lines including alvarez, avalon, Breedlove, Composite acoustic, Fender, Loar, Luna, rainsong, recording King and Takamine. acoustic and electric guitars from entry to professional level instruments are available. Famous named guitars and basses join less-well known brands which appeal to those seeking high quality but are on tight budgets, providing any guitarist a tempting cornucopia of playing possibilities. 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 hand made 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. For repair and restoration and maintenance of fine stringed instruments - guitars, banjos, mandolins and the like - The Music Store’s repair shop offers expert luthiery at reasonable prices on instruments of all levels, as well as authorized repairs on Lowden and Takamine guitars. 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. 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, MA, open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 to 6, and on Sundays from 12 to 5. Call 413-528-2460 or email us at

Karen CHase

JaMaLi-KaMaLi: a TaLe oF PaSSion in MUGhaL, inDia

Just off busy Mehrauli-Gurgaon road in Delhi, the 16th century Sufi poet Jamali is buried in a tomb next to Kamali, of whom the printed matter says “identity unknown,” but whom helpful guides say was the poet’s lover.  Little about the men is known.  Karen Chase envisions love and longing between the two, who according to Delhi’s oral tradition were homosexual lovers. The verse moves from Jamali’s longing to Kamali’s lament, recreating the interplay between these passionate men. “When i entered the tomb, its beauty stunned me… when i returned to my desk, i began to write as if i were Jamali speaking to Kamali.  i had nothing in mind.” Two years later, the epic poem was finished, to her surprise. Karen Chase is the author of three collections of poetry and a non-fiction book.  out of Breath, a book of non-fiction, is forthcoming in 2014. Jamali-Kamali was set into motion during a writing residency at the Sanskriti Foundation.  She spoke about Jamali and Kamali at the Jaipur Literary Festival.  “Who will see our monuments to love when we are gone? What will they say? You were my wife?” Chase’s next readings will be at the harvard University Kennedy School in Cambridge on March 6 and then at the Good Purpose Gallery in Lee on april 26 with the masterful graphic novelist howard Cruse. Karen Chase -


museums & galleries

arGazzi arT 22 Millerton rd, , rte 44, Lakeville, CT • 860-435-8222 Laura Schiff Bean, thru January 2012

BerKsHire MuseuM 39 South Street (route 7), Pittsfield, Ma Bryan nash Gill: Beyond the Landscape thru May 2013.

Carrie Haddad Gallery 622 Warren Street, hudson, ny Jane Bloodgood-abrams, harry orlyk, nanacy rutter, Stephen Brophy: november 1 - December 9. 510 Warren sTreeT Gallery hudson, ny • 518-822-0510 iska Kenney, Dec artist featured, opening Dec 1, 2-6pm

arT eT indusTrie 420 Park St, housatonic, Ma, 2nd fl. • 413-353-0037 reclaimed: reused: repurposed Furniture & Furnishings from Found objects BerKsHire arT Gallery 80 railroad St, Gt Barrington, Ma • 528-2690 19th and early 20th Century american & european art and sculpture, contemporary artists

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) Hudson Valley arTs CenTer 337 Warren St, hudson, ny • 800-456-0507 regional and nationally-known artisans. Classes.

JoHn daVis Gallery 362 1/2 Warren St., hudson, new york 518-828-5907 / (sculpture, painting, collage and installation). Main Galleries: Fran Shalom, Paintings; Garden: andrew Dunnill, Sculpture

lauren ClarK fine arT 402 Park St, housatonic, Ma • 274-1432 www.LaurenClarkFineart.comLauren Launching the anni Maliki Collection, an exclusive array of anni’s new, original signature jewelry designs patiently brought to light by her small team of brilliant Javanese silversmiths. Join anni as we kick off her dynamic jewelry collection with a festive evening of holiday shopping and good cheer, Saturday, December 8, from 4-7pm. (Business hours are Thursday-Mon, 11-5:30 and Sunday, 12-4)

MarGueriTe Bride sTudio Solo exhibition at Gallery 25, 25 Union St, Pittsfield. opening Dec 7, 5-8pm. neuMann fine arT 65 Cold Water St., hillsdale, ny •



Three Visions: h.M. Saffer, r. Goldfinger, and Jeffrey. L. neumann, inaugural group show, nov 24-Jan 26. sCHanTz Galleries 3 elm St, Stockbridge, Ma • 413-298-3044 • a destination for those seeking premier artists working in glass. (11 - 5 daily)

soHn fine arT Gallery & GiClee prinTinG 6 elm Street, 1B; Stockbridge, Ma • 413-298-1025;; The Proserpine Path (eric Korenman) exhibition nov 2– March 4, 2013. Meet the artist, eric Korenman, Saturday, February 9, 4:00 – 6:00 (Please rSVP to this event). Participant in iSha neLSon DeSiGn - WinTer WonDerLanD exhiBiTion oF arT & DeSiGn:open December 1 – 31, 2012. holiday reception Saturday, December 8, 4:00 – 8:00 pm (During Great Barrington holiday Stroll) 25 railroad Street (the old Gatsby’s), Great Barrington, Ma 413-329-7218. Sohn Fine art Gallery’s Participating artists: Cassandra Sohn, Martha archambault, John atchley, Bruce Checefsky, Martin Greene, Greg Gorman, yvette Lucas, irmari nacht, Savannah Spirit. sT. franCis Gallery 1370 Pleasant St, rte 102, Lee, Ma • 413-717-5199 established and emerging artist showcase.a new show of small works of art the beginning of December will highlight Steve Levine, John Townes, Sheri Steiner, along with selected works from previous shows. Saturday Dec. 8 opening from 3-6 pm. Well known story teller, Suse Wicks will entertain us with a creative, touching and human tale of Francis the man, whose name has been a part of this historic building for over 100 years.

THe Gallery aT r&f 84 Ten Broeck ave, in midtown Kingston, ny • 845-331-3112 2012 invitational. This exhibition celebrates the release of encaustic Works 2012: a Biennial exhibition in Print selected by Joanne Mattera. Monday - Saturday, 10 am - 5 pm. . THe Harrison Gallery 39 Spring Street, Williamstown, Ma Jane Bloodgood-abrams, Dec 1 - Dec 31

THe oxBoW Gallery 275 Pleasant St, northampton, Ma • 413-586-6300 Marion Miller: The arena Series Dec 6 - Jan 6 reception Fri Dec 7, -5-7.Back room: Small Works Show:'Winter Light' Dec 6, 2012 to Jan 6, 2013 opening: arts night out Dec 14 (M, T 10-7 pm W-F 1-5 pm) THe lenox Gallery of fine arT 69 Church St, Lenox, Ma • 413-637-1253 Two floors of fine art and sculpture by known artists from the Berkshires and beyond. THe sTerlinG and franCine ClarK arT insTiTuTe 225 South St, Williamstown, Ma • 413-458-2303 Clark remix, salon style installation, with two new interactive programs: uCurate, and uexplore, on view til 2013

music / theatre film

ClaVeraCK landinG Presbyterian Church, 4th St & Warren, hudson, ny •

Sat, Dec 22, 4pm annual Messiah Sing

Close enCounTers WiTH MusiC Mahaiwe Performing arts Center 14 Castle St, Gt Barrington, Ma• 800-843-0778; or by emailing Tragicomedia: a Baroque holiday Celebration, Dec 9, 2pm. proCTors THeaTre albany, ny, Mainstage a Christmas Story, Dec 14-23; Brighten Beach Memoires, Feb. 15-24; a Soldiers Play, apr 5-14; Doubt, May 31-June 9

sHaKespeare & Co. 70 Kimble St, Lenox, Ma • elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, adapted by Joe Mantello, directed by Tony Simotes, featuring David Josef hansen nov 30–December 30. elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

workshops & events

arTonnorTH 311 north St, Pittsfield, Ma Please join us next Fri, Dec. 7, 5-8pm. our members of 16 artists will open their studios ar artnorth and also be presenting an exhibit by Lennie Bernstein, entitled reD.

THe liCHTensTein CenTer for THe arTs 28 renne, Pittsfield, Ma Drummer and singer aimee Gelinas M.ed in a dynamic, hands-on participatory class focusing on folkloric and contemporary afro-Caribbean and West african drumming, percussion and singing. Weekly MonDay classes 6pm ~ Beginner/intermediate Class 7pm ~ intermediate/advanced Class **int/adv level students should have a strong command of Tone/Slap/Bass, at least 2 years experience and an ability to hold drum & percussion parts independently. Classes are for adults/mature teens. norMan roCKWell MuseuM 9 route 183, Stockbridge, Ma • 413-298-4100 heroes and Vilains: The Comic Book art of alex ross, nov 10-Feb 24. norman rockwell: home for the holidays, nov 16 - Jan 21. spenCerToWn aCadeMy arTs CenTer 790 State route 203 in Spencertown, new york • or call 518-392-3693. handmade holiday Pop-up Shop opens on Saturday, november 24 with a festive holiday cookie contest from noon to 3:00pm and runs through December 23, Thursdays through Sundays from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

deadline for January issue issue is dec 10, 2012

arTfulMind@yaHoo.CoM read THe enTire issue on-line!

“There are a million people who can come up with little bits. The hard work is making those bits into something.” -Jeff Lynne

The arTFUL MinD December 2012 •3



November 24, 2012 - january 26, 2013


Asian and Western influences melded into a uniquely personal expression of landscape

BerKShire arT GaLLery


Iconic images of van is h in g 20 t h C e n t u r y r o a d s id e A m e r ic a n a


Evocative still life in the tradition of the Masters

65 Coldwater St., Hillsdale, New York T: 413-246-5776

4 • December 2012

The arTFUL MinD

haPPy hoLiDayS!

a Gloucester Pier, o/C, 24 x 30. J. J. enwright, 1911 - 2001, american.

80 railroad sTreeT, GreaT BarrinGTon, Ma 413. 528. 2690

oPen SaTUrDay anD SUnDay noon To 5PM, anD/or By aPPoinTMenT WWW.BerKShirearTGaLLery.CoM

neuMann fine arT h. M. SaFFer, CoTe D azUre

Three ViSionS

neumann Fine art is currently exhibiting work by a select group of nationally exhibiting artists in a show entitled Three Visions: h.M. Saffer, J.L. neumann, r. Goldfinger. in this inaugural group show neumann is featuring three painters with three very different styles. “While the show presents images of a disparate nature; the common denominator is accomplished artists who do exceptional work,” says neumann. h.M. Saffer, born 1942, Philadelphia, is showing a group of small paintings mostly from his popular Farm Series and another wall of medium sized work in his neo-pointillist style; a blend of asian and Western and influences reflecting his uniquely personal vision. Saffer is represented locally by The Berkshire art Gallery, Great Barrington, Ma and by 12 other galleries in the United States and internationally. ron Goldfinger , born 1946, new york City, is showing a selection of small plein-air oils along with the masterful and evocative still life subjects he is known for. Goldfinger is also represented by Christopher Queen Galleries of Sonoma, Ca and Banks Fine art, Dallas, Tx. Jeffrey L. neumann, born 1953, Cedar rapids, ia, paints realist oils and watercolors of the rapidly disappearing commercial landscape of the 20th Century. he is also represented by The Berkshire art Gallery, Great Barrington, Ma, art exchange Gallery in Santa Fe, nM and Jack Leustig Prints, arroyo Seco, nM. Neumann Fine Art, 65 Cold Water Street, Hillsdale, NY Gallery hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 - 5, Sundays 11 – 3.More info at

saBine pHoTo arT

Still young at twenty-something, Sabine’s studio has beiSKa Kenney, aUTUMn, PaSTeL come a brand for contemporary, unobtrusive, relaxed photography in the european style. Did you have a “Sabine” experience, yet? 510 Warren sTreeT Gallery a master of the subtleties of lighting and the nuance of background, her eye for detail provides imagery to be treasThe featured artist for December is iska Kenney. an opening ured for a lifetime. reception will be held on Saturday, December 1, from 2 – 6 pm. assignments are tailored to meet her client’s needs - a reThe Gallery will be open until 8pm, whilst hudson is celebrating “Winter Walk”. membrance for a special occasion or a logo image to create iska Kenney was born in Poland, grew up in austria, and for an authentic professional online presence. it is to no surprise many years has been a resident of the Berkshires. iska paints that she is a sought-after wedding photographer, as well. mainly in pastels, her works reflect the moods of the seasons. her editorial work includes book projects to photograph 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, NY - Gallery hours: all imagery for “WooDLanD STyLe” and “SheLL Fri & Sat 12-6pm, Sun 12-5pm, or by appointment; 510warrenChiC”, published by Storey Publishing, author Marlene h.; 518-822-0510. Marshall; they can be purchased from your nearby book stores. Signed fine art prints and books are directly available 510 MeMBerS inCLUDe: WiLL CLarK LinDa CLayTon’ Diana FeLBer through her studio. Joan GiUMMo iSKa Kenney KaTe KnaPP John LiPKoWiTz The artful Mind has showcased her work since 1994, the nina LiPKoWiTz eLeanor LorD hannah ManDeL very beginning of the monthly Berkshire artzine. PeGGy reeVeS Jeannine SChoeFFer DoriS SiMon MUSeUM QUaLiTy FUrniTUre By JoeL MarK Photo art Sale every weekend by appointment. Sabine is anTiQUe PrinTS & PoSTerS FroM MiLL riVer STUDio 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 510 Warren ST., hUDSon, ny for a portrait session and / or photographic art 518-822-0510 prints? Certificates can be made out in any amount and are good for seven months.

isKa Kenney

Sabine Vollmer von Falken Studio: 20 Glendale Road a.k.a. Route 183, Glendale, MA 01229;,; 413-298-4933.


Joel MarK

MuseuM QualiTy furniTure anD

Mill riVer sTudio prinTs and posTers

friday and saturday 12-6, sunday 12-5, or by appointment

laura sCHiff Bean LaUra SChiFF Bean

arGazzi arT

Laura Schiff Bean’s paintings will be on display at argazzi art through January 20 2013. Bean’s dresses reflect on identity as both journey and construct. her dynamic surfaces are endowed with the quality of flesh: sensual, raw and scarred, resonating with the critical moments and turning points that indelibly mark lives. Splashes, drips and brushed slashes of white bring these apparitional dresses to life in a powerful yet subdued manner. Some of the works include text and graffiti, referencing the human desire to render our presence tangible - to make our voices heard, to leave our individual mark in a world becoming increasingly cacophonous - the everyday distractions of smartphones, computers, media sound bites and texting. While Bean acknowledges the ever present intrusions we all do have, she attempts to take the viewer back into themselves to find the human presence that often gets lost in the constant chatter. Whether thinking of human presence as the elusive interior world of the subconscious, evidenced by some of the pieces with butterflies and lights, or the more material gritty visible text of graffiti, in the end, she wants the view to feel just a little bit exposed, vulnerable and naked. Argazzi Art, 22 Millerton Road, Lakeville CT, 860-4358222,,

6 • December 2012 The arTFUL MinD

sTepHen filMus

STePhen FiLMUS, “Six BoBBerS” 11” x 14”, oiL

Six fishing bobbers form patterns of light and dark in the morning sun. Shape, size and color all have their purpose. Stephen Filmus is exhibiting his still-life and landscape paintings at the Lenox Gallery of Fine art. Both subjects appeal to Filmus and challenge him in different ways. The still-life is designed with ordinary objects in a studied arrangement, yet conveys a sense of randomness, while in landscape paintings, a complex world must be simplified, dramatized, and composed to capture the essence of the scene. The two genres inform and enrich each other. Stephen Filmus has lived and worked in the Berkshires of Massachusetts for many years where he has established his reputation and following. his work is in numerous collections and he has exhibited widely including David Findlay Jr. Fine art in new york and the Berkshire Museum and the norman rockwell Museum. Filmus paints landscapes and still-lifes that reflect his artistic sensibilities, but also works on commissions for those who want paintings of a specific scene or a still-life composition. he develops an artwork that satisfies the integrity of his style while creating an image that his clients envision. Stephen Filmus’ work can be seen at the Lenox Gallery of Fine art, 69 Church Street, Lenox, Ma 413-637-2276 and at his studio in Great Barrington by appointment 413-528-1253. View the new website and sign up for the email newsletter. Receive studio news and events including invitations to openings and be the first to see Stephen Filmus’ newest artwork.

sT. franCis Gallery oPeninG CeLeBraTion DeCeMBer 8

a new gallery representing both the established and the emerging artist, St. Francis 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. a new show of small works of art the beginning of December will highlight Steve Levine, John Townes, Sheri Steiner, along with selected works from previous shows. on Saturday December 8 there will be an opening from 3-6 pm. During that time, well known story teller, Suse Wicks will entertain us with a creative, touching and human tale of Francis the man, whose name has been a part of this historic building for over 100 years. it is his name that continues the tradition with the gallery and its purpose of giving to many others. 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. art is an essential ingredient to life, even in the slums of nairobi where health, hunger, and shelter seem to be the most pressing issues. art work with the children has become a regular part of this outreach because of the energy, joy and creativity it sustains for all. help celebrate the season by buying affordable art works and sending the proceeds to the charitable foundation sponsored by the gallery. art is an especially beautiful gift to share at this time of year with the creative soul of the artist as a constant reminder of the joy of the human spirit. Please come and share this time with all of our artists and supporters in the community. The show will continue till the new year, then the gallery will close for the month of January and the reopen with an exciting mid Feb show that promises to delight the senses. St. Francis Gallery, 1370 Pleasant St., Route 102, Lee, MA. Gallery hours: Fri – Mon 11- 5:30. 413-717-5199.

"The Observer, Jardin du Luxembourg", Mixed Media on Paper, 2012 22 x 30"

alexa saxTon THoMas arTisT Interview by Harryet Candee

Harryet Candee: Tell me, alexa, how much time do you give to painting? you seem to have a large body of work from what i have seen on your website. ( Alexa Saxton Thomas: i have three different bodies of work. one body is my oils, usually on the larger side, and i spend a longer period of time on these, depending on size, usually up to a month per oil painting. My works on paper, done in mixed media, such as a combination of watercolor, gouache, acrylic, watercolor pencil and ink are faster, around one to two weeks. i also make monoprints, which are immediate and come from memory; they are washy, emotionally driven, and expressionistic. My schedule is: studio full-time, surrounded by my yoga and exercise routine morning or night. Tell me where you mostly do your painting? Alexa: i paint wherever i am, whether at home, or in my studio, or when i am traveling.

What sets the stage for you to do a painting? your work involves still life, and others with an illustrative quality using the human form in various settings i find very interesting. Alexa: i paint from my life experiences, from my photography, documenting instances that i have been a part of, that have touched me. i rotate between landscapes, where i have been, to pieces with the human figure that bring the viewer back to a sense of community and reminding us that we are all mirrors for one another. do you photograph your still life settings before you set to sketching and canvas? Alexa: i work from photographs that i take during my travels, and am never without a sketchbook and a camera to document upon interest.

There are animals portrayed, as well. paintings i have seen often tell a story. do you create the story in your mind and alter what you see? or is it as is? Alexa: i do alter the portrayal of what i paint after having started painting. it strays from the photo almost immediately and is redefined as an unknown ending, to be discovered in the process.

you have a definite “alexa” style to your style of painting. explain how you have developed the particular skills that have worked their way into all your painting?

Alexa: i have developed my style over years and years of playing with technique and finding what works and how to manipulate paint to achieve an emotional / ethereal vision that can be adapted to each viewer’s experience in life.

and the medium your work with is? do you work in other mediums as well and find similar success? Alexa: i work in oils on canvas and panel, and then in water-based media on paper. i enjoy going back and forth from the two different mediums. Being a Berkshire native, and residing now part-time in Brooklyn, how has city lifestyle influenced your art work? What do you love about living in the city, particularly Brooklyn? Alexa: i love that i can return to the country at any time. i am deeply connected to the country in my soul from my childhood. City life is more intense; i enjoy Brooklyn’s calm atmosphere, almost like a town-feeling rather than the inundated craziness of Manhattan. The coffee shops and community-feel reminds me of Great Barrington. The biggest difference going from the country to the city is the space limitations of the city, and readjusting to this always proves difficult. however, a day back in the city is enough to be able to readjust. Then comes the excitement and comfort of having everything at your fingertips while being surrounded by culture.

Tell me what it was like to have the great opportunity of studying in rome and paris? Alexa: Living in rome was incredible, the energy is similar to new york; a certain crazy buzz that only dies down at night. The culture, food, history and beauty are mind-numbing. Living in Paris was the time of my life; i connected instantly with this city; the romance, architecture, people, the language. … i worked for a painter, Jin Meyerson, (first in Brooklyn, then in Paris), and i felt like i was part of the city being able to work there. it fed my life in all ways. i thrived and fell in love. describe to us the monologue in your mind when you, in the past, have found a great still-life to paint? What did you say to yourself about it that made you realize it needed to be translated through art-making. Alexa: There was a moment when i was lying on the grass at the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, one of my favorite spots in Paris

"Still", Oil on Canvas, 2000, 72 x 49"

to go and relax. i was behind a man who had his back to me, and he was still,—in what seemed to be complete observation—a kind of meditative trance and stance, and he was surrounded by strangers, young kids lounging around on the grass after a game of soccer. he was in an entirely different zone; a different time, as if these kids were not at his feet. yet, there were all forever linked by this instant in time. This “being at the same place at the same time”. i knew i had to paint this moment, and forever hold it still in time. This painting is “The observer, Jardin du Luxembourg”. is the selling and marketing of your art a strong focus for you? What ways do you go about getting your work into galleries? Alexa: The selling and marketing of any artist’s work has to be a focus. i constantly work to market my work through viewings, studio visits, etc. i have shown in Boston, new york, and the Berkshires.

Tell us a little about your life in the Berkshires while growing up? Alexa: i was fortunate enough to have grown up in the Berkshires which i loved. one of my favorite memories was playing soccer in the dewey fields and having endless landscapes to look out at, and smelling fresh air. i loved the country and growing up with animals all around me. you must be excited to have your paintings open to the public in Bazilion, the french café and market in Gt Barrington, right near The Big y, right now. it must be a good feeling to know your french influences are accentuated in this frenchamerican café! Alexa: i am very excited to have collaborated with Jean-François and helen as my passion for French culture and my experiences in France are so deeply important to me.

from a spiritual point of view, can you let us in on one of your most important affirmations? Alexa: i envision a calm and happiness for myself every day and wish this for everyone around the world. g

The arTFUL MinD DeCeMBer 2012 • 7

lauren ClarK fine arT FroM The anni MaLiKi CoLLeCTion "MarQUiSe earrinGS"

MarGueriTe Bride Gallery 25 MarGUeriTe BriDe, MarTinDaLe Diner

“Winter”, a solo show of Marguerite Bride’s new watercolors will be on exhibit at Gallery 25 during the month of December through mid January. The opening reception will be held on Friday, December 7 from 5-8 pm in conjunction with Pittsfield’s Frist Fridays artswalks. in addition to original paintings, a selection of Bride’s reproductions, cards and holiday ornaments will be available for holiday shopping. a new shipment of ornaments bearing Bride’s painting, Christmas on Park Square 1912 just arrived. These ornaments are in limited supply. During the winter the gallery has limited open hours (open Thursday, Friday and Saturdays from 12 – 5pm), however private viewings are always available by contacting the artist. Bride has long been a lover of winter and takes particular pleasure in painting wintery scenes. “it’s hard not to find a beautiful scene to paint living in the Berkshires, and winter is particularly special. nothing is worse than a winter without snow…i say, bring it on!” Bride’s winter scenes have graced the covers of multiple winter magazines, holiday ornaments, even Mary Verdi’s holiday CD. and new paintings have been added to her snowy collection. Pittsfield’s First Friday artswalks will be continuing year-round. Be sure to stop by her studio (#5) at 311 north Street for the January FFaW to be held on Friday, January 4. The studio artists will be holding a group exhibit called “Works in Progress”. Marguerite Bride, 311 North Street, Pittsfield, Studio #5. Open for First Fridays Artswalks, and by appointment. Call 413-442-7718, or 413-841-1659 (cell); website:, email:

8 • December 2012 The arTFUL MinD

Lauren Clark Fine art launches the anni Maliki Collection, an exclusive array of anni’s new, original signature jewelry designs patiently brought to light by her small team of brilliant Javanese silversmiths. Join anni as we kick off her dynamic jewelry collection with a festive evening of holiday shopping and good cheer, Saturday, December 8, from 4-7pm. anni Crofut grew up in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, and went on to spend many years in indonesia with her Javanese husband Mel and their two sons. During these years she designed high-end crafts, blending traditional indonesian arts with a western aesthetic. in 2007, anni drew on her connections to top international jewelry designers living in Bali by representing their collections to a US market. now, with the launching of anni Maliki, she rightfully claims her place as a designer to be recognized. anni enjoys skipping between ways and worlds. She seeks to translate her passion for a life that is eclectic and non-linear into vibrant jewelry for her Collection - designs that connect the dots, both within herself, and within those who wear them. Says anni of her work, “When an idea for a design arrives, i sketch it out. Soon i’m seated beside one of our beloved Javanese silversmiths, speaking indonesian, reading cultural cues, holding the piece up in front of me to see how it moves. each piece must dance, somehow, through its texture, color or pattern, the way it swings on a hinge, a joint or a link, or perhaps simply in the way it falls from the ear or contours the wrist. each piece must have a choreography to it – some echo of nature’s unbeatable shadows, swings, arcs, twists, light. Through design, i experience my love of nature, dance, language, cultures, color, breath, and beauty. Through design, i feel the dots of my life connect”. The Lauren Clark Fine Art Gallery is located at 402 Park Street (Route 183) in Housatonic, MA. Business hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11:00 to 5:30 and Sunday Noon to 4:00. Other days by appointment or by chance. For more information, call 413-274-1432. Or visit these websites:, and

a GLoUCeSTer Pier, o/C, 24 x 30. J. J. enWriGhT, 1911 - 2001, aMeriCan

BerKsHire arT Gallery

The Berkshire art Gallery is known for its diverse inventory of artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That diversity also includes works by contemporary painters such as Jeffrey neumann, Gary Fifer, Kerry hallam, Patricia Melvin, and h. M. Saffer. Fifer, who traces his artistic roots to the american impressionists who painted in Connecticut and new york, was a protégé of arthur F. Maynard (1920-1991) at the ridgewood (nJ) art institute and taught at the national academy School. his landscapes show the prismatic flow from light to shadow and the influence of weather and atmosphere. Born in the United Kingdom, Kerry hallam lives in Boston and nantucket where his paintings’ exuberant brushwork, tactile surface patterns, and opulence of light reflect an affinity with Cezanne and the Fauves. Jeffrey neumann, a realist who has the ability to instill the ordinary with a sense of the ordinary, works in the tradition of edward hopper. his painting of Railroad Street in Winter is an example. Patricia Melvin’s style is ashcan School realism. The Berkshires where she visits and the Lower eastside where she lives, inspires paintings found in public collections such as the Cahoon art Museum, John noble Museum and others. her Berkshire and Manhattan views are truly compelling. after living in Japan, h. M. Saffer developed a colorful style that melds oriental influences with a pointillism remindful of Gustav Klimt. Living in the Berkshires and exhibiting nationally and internationally, Saffer’s technique of small-scale, continuous brush stroke dashes, is unique and instantly recognizable. he has taught in several Berkshire institutions. The Berkshire Art Gallery, 80 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA. Gallery winter hours are noon to 5PM, Saturdays and noon to 4PM on Sundays, or by appointment or chance. Parking for customers is available in front of the gallery. For information, contact Jack Wood, 413-528-2690 or visit

CUSToM rD STooL By BranDon PhiLLiPS For MiLeS & May FUrniTUre WorKS aT arT & inDUSTrie GaLLerie reCLaiMeD hearTPine, WenGe h:22” W:14.75” D14.75”

arT eT indusTrie Gallerie HousaToniC, Ma

art et industrie is pleased to announce the extension of their blockbuster inaugural exhibition, RECLAIMED. The stunningly restored 6000 SF gallery fills the entire 2nd floor of the former Waubeek Textile Mill in housatonic and features an enormous range of some 200 works by 20 regional artists, artisans & designers, all working in reclaimed materials. The event, titled “reCLaiMeD, reUSeD, rePUrPoSeD: FUrniTUre & FUrniShinGS FroM FoUnD MaTeriaLS” was originally scheduled to run from July 21st through oct. 8th. in light of the thrilled response from the enormously enthusiastic public, as well as the wonderful support & encouragement of the featured artists, we’ve decided to extend the installation through november, and to further develop this important event with replenished new additions. art et industrie is the largest & most ambitious new exhibition venue in the region. The expansive size of the breathtaking former industrial loft has encouraged several of our world-class artists to exhibit pieces of truly heroic scale, as well as extended groupings of more traditionally-sized pieces down to the intimate & hand-held, some even wearable. Find incredible live-edge dining & conference tables sliced from salvaged enormous trunks of wind-fallen ancient trees by hudson Valley stars Jessica Wickham & richard Johnson, spectacular Claro Walnut work as well as side-tables & benches from reclaimed old-growth lumber & steel by Dorset, VT great Dan Mosheim, stunning high-design in super-strong, gleaming Brazilian ipe reclaimed from the Coney island Boardwalk by the famous Miles & May, & one-of-a-kind wooden wizardry from Berkshire County’s own Michael P. King, and many, many others. Visit & view during our new autumn hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM or by appointment. ART et INDUSTRIE, 420 Park Street, 2nd Floor, Housatonic, MA 01236. 413-353-0037

KaTe KnaPP BirD FeeD in WinTer, 24” x 24”

fronT sTreeT Gallery

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!

Joel MarK

fine arT furniTure WiTH

Mill riVer sTudio anTiQue prinTs and posTers 510 Warren STreeT GaLLery

Museum quality furniture, uniquely designed and hand crafted by Joel Mark, is the featured exhibit for January at the 510 Warren Street Gallery, hudson, n.y. Joel’s furniture designs are at once both simple, yet elegant, incorporating many sculptural forms. his portfolio includes chairs, tables, credenzas, display cabinets and more. They are meticulously made using both modern and traditional woodworking techniques. exacting joinery and hand shaped elements are evident in every piece and may be customized to your specifications. Joel works from his studio in hillsdale, n.y. Come and meet Joel and enjoy his display at the opening reception, January 5, 2-6pm. Please view his web site at also featured at the gallery in January are Mill river Studio antique Prints and Posters. 510 members include Will Clark, Linda Clayton, Diana Felber, Joan Giummo, iska Kenny, Kate Knap, John Lipkowitz, nina Lipkowitz, eleanor Lord, hannah Mandel, Peggy reeves, Jeannine Schoeffer, and Doris Simon. 510 Warren Street Gallery, Hudson, NY – Gallery hours: Fri & Sat 12-6pm, Sun 12-5pm, or by appointment;; 518-822-0510.

haPPy hoLiDayS!

The arTFUL MinD DeCeMBer 2012 •9

CarLTon Maaia ii MUSiC DireCTor Interview by Harryet Candee Photography by Jane Feldman

Carlton Maaia II, photo: Jane Feldman

Harryet Candee: i had the pleasure to work with you during the summer of 2012 for BTG’s production of Oliver! i was one of many street Criers and had the experience to witness firsthand the professional way you taught the large cast how to manage all the technical vocal and instrumental aspects needed for this staged performance to take off successfully. from children to adults, you instructed all of us to work together towards feeling the mood and spirit of this 19th Century Charles dickens play. i am wondering, how did you get acquainted and able to interpret all the material needed to meet all your goals as music-director? Carlton Maaia II: Well first of all, whenever i sign on to musicdirect a production, the first thing i do is research the material as best i can. This means researching not only the show itself (past productions, the context in which it was written/conceived, the basis of the story) but also any historical or stylistic background that may deepen my own understanding of the piece. The more i know about how and why a work came into being, the better i can lead others into a deeper retelling of that story. in addition to that type of work, i spend the most amount of time dealing with the purely musical challenges. Learning the score is foremost. i must be able to play it, of course, as i am often also the rehearsal accompanist. But i must also know and understand how all of the vocal parts work together, knowing what challenges the actors are going to face, and look at the score from a purely vocal point of view is essential to teaching and coaching the singers in an efficient way. Much of this work is done even before auditions are

10 • December 2012 The arTFUL MinD

carried out. But you don’t know what specific challenges await the cast until they begin to work on the piece. The first two weeks of rehearsal, depending on the overall schedule, are spent teaching vocal parts, determining if anything needs to be adjusted (transpositions, cuts, edits, etc) and trying to put the work together as a musical piece. That has to happen first. Before a cast can move ahead towards putting a show “on its feet,” they must first work as a musical ensemble, and achieve some sense of the work as a complete piece of music. Many productions fail to achieve their full potential simply because folks try to “run before they can walk,” musically speaking, during those first two weeks. From the very beginning, i needed to understand the accompaniment from a conductor’s point of view: What is the instrumentation? What, and how many, instruments will i have? What are the challenges of keeping the instrumental ensemble together, as a unit, keeping in mind that they are there to accompany, enhance and otherwise highlight the overall production? even a small orchestra needs to rehearse separately before they can be incorporated into the bigger picture. on a show like “oliver!” (which had about a dozen musicians) i maintain an entirely separate rehearsal schedule for the orchestra until about two weeks before the show opens. During that time, i will communicate information about the vocal/staging rehearsals to the musicians, and will let the orchestra rehearsals inform my direction of the cast in any way that’s helpful to the actors (“There’s a big cymbal crash right when you fall down – be ready for it!”.)

How did everything mesh together while working along side Kathy–Jo Grover, choreographer, and creative director, Travis G. daly? Carlton: Working on “oliver!” was a pleasure for so many reasons. Travis Daly is really a visionary when it comes to teaching young people (and everybody else) how to tell stories. he’s like the Cupid of the Theatre: showing everyone how to fall in love over and over again. Kathy Jo Grover and i have been in the same theatre family since i was a kid. i grew up on stage at The Berkshire Public Theater working with Kathy Jo (and her son Michael, who is still one of my best and dearest friends.) The theater world is smaller than most people realize, and when you find people that inspire you, make work harder, and bring you joy, you work with them as much and as often as you can. of course, the director, the music-director and the choreographer need to be moving in the same direction at all times, and you can certainly achieve that momentum working with new people, but working with people you know well, and TrUST, is uniquely rewarding. did you work at all with Kate Maguire, Creative director and Ceo of Berkshire Theatre Group and Berkshire Theatre festival? Carlton: i work with Kate on every production that i’m a part of at BTG. it should go without saying that running an operation as big as BTG is an enormous responsibility, but what most people don’t realize is that Kate is also involved in every aspect of every production that BTG produces. once Kate decides on a show, and hires a team (which can be dozens of people on a show like “oliver!”) she then assists during the entire audition process. once rehearsals begin, she is updated every single day through stage management, and she even pops in to see how everything is progressing. once we enter our final stage of rehearsals, she is around even more - helping to see the original vision through, all the way to opening night. What’s mind-boggling is that she does this for every single production! During the season, at any given time, there are numerous productions all happening at once in various stages of preparation. What a job! What i appreciate most about Kate (besides her unwavering dedication) is her ability to be on top of everything without micromanaging. She finds people that she knows can do the job, and then she gives the freedom to work, and create, and succeed. i admire that very much about her.

First Church on Park Square, Pittsfield. Fundraiser concert to help with fuel assistance, Thanksgiving Eve, 2012. Music Director, Carlton Maaia on electronic piano. Photo: Jane Feldman

Carlton, you seem to have a very busy life with music. Many continuous engagements with theatre, the choir, not to mention your jazz music involvement. What regular positions do you hold? Carlton: Well first of all: i’m lucky. My musical background, and my interests allow for me to make a full-time living as a musicdirector and performer. if all i did was conduct choirs, or arrange music, or if i only played jazz, then i might not be able to support myself. There just might not be enough work. But i’ve made versatility a goal, and my musical interests are varied, so i’ve found (at least for the past 13 years) that there is enough work that i’m prepared to handle to keep me busy all the time. in terms of regular positions that i hold: i direct the music program at First Church on Park Square in Pittsfield; i oversee the musical aspects of an innovative jazz event that takes place each week in nashville Tn; i conduct the Berkshire Concert Choir. in terms of freelance work, i music-direct theatrical productions, play jazz (as a group leader and as a sideman), accompany auditions, coach singers, make arrangements and recordings (usually for vocalists and actors preparing for auditions) and i compose. honestly, i wish i had more time to do each and every one of those things, but i wouldn’t give up any one for another, so i’m happy to be able to do all of them at least some of the time. i only wish that i could play more concerts and recitals (as a pianist, and also as an organist) – i used to do that much more often but it’s not a reliable way to make a living, at least not for me. The same is true for composing. Composing music doesn’t really take anything but imagination, but notating it (either by hand or, as i do mostly nowadays, on the computer) takes a lot of time. and then you’ve got to get it performed, which means assembling musicians, holding rehearsals, concerts, tickets, money… – it’s next-to-impossible to make a living as a composer alone. i only know about three people who do it.

They are lucky! so, all your work takes place in pittsfield? Carlton: Well, yes and no. i moved back to the Berkshires about a year-and-a-half ago. Since that time, i’ve been able to make Pittsfield a home-base for all of my musical operations. one of the first things i did as the new artistic director of the Berkshire Concert Choir was to move the group from Lenox to Pittsfield. This was good for me, in terms of keeping all of my resources in one place, but also was also beneficial to the chorus. Pittsfield is a central location here in Berkshire County. now, our library, our meetings, our rehearsals, and sometimes even our concerts, are all under the same roof. and we have folks who travel from all directions to sing with us, so i’m happy to be centrally located,

fulfilling our name as a truly “Berkshire” Concert Choir. in addition, the work i do for the Scaritt-Bennett Center in nashville is done largely from Pittsfield. in 2010-2011, i was the first Musician-in-residence at SBC. i was brought there to initiate a Jazz Vespers service. That is, an evening prayer service, somewhat typical of what you might find at many anglican, Catholic or Protestant churches. only, at this vespers, all of the music is jazz. So, each week, i spend an hour or two on the phone, meeting with the others involved in the planning and presentation of this event. i then select music (from any and all imaginable sources – everything from Gregorian chant to the Great american Songbook) and arrange each piece to be played and improvised upon by a jazz trio. i’m also in charge of hiring the musicians. once in a while i’ll head back to nashville – most recently to help lead a workshop on liturgical jazz – but the majority of the work is done through phone calls and emails.

Carlton Maaia II, Hands on photo: Jane Feldman

pittsfield is a happening place these days! What do you think of it? Carlton: Pittsfield is indeed a happening place, and i believe that the future is untold and limitless. When i first moved away in 2005, it wasn’t specifically to run away from here – but if there had been enough going on maybe i wouldn’t have left. But certainly, to move back in 2011 and to observe the Pittsfield renaissance is very exciting for someone who makes a living in the arts.

Tell me, Carlton, how did you fall in love with music and the piano? Carlton: i can absolutely say that i fell in love with music through the piano, and not the other way around. i grew up listening to several different kinds of music. My father is into Motown, r&B and Soul and my mother loves all the great iconic singers (Streisand, Dion Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Luther Vandross). Both of my parents took us to Tanglewood on a regular basis, and we went to theaters and museums (locally and elsewhere) so much when i was a kid that i didn’t really appreciate until later in life, just how great of a cultural upbringing i received. Somewhere along the line, though, i heard jazz (nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Dr. John, Mel Torme) and classical music (Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Chopin, rachmaninoff) and that was it.

Can you tell me al little about growing up and your musical education? Carlton: i was born in Pittsfield on november 4, 1981. i lived there until i graduated from St. Joseph high School in 1999. i went to the oberlin Conservatory for about 10 seconds (maybe it was a year…) and then moved back to Berkshire County and got busy working. i stayed in the Berkshires from 2000 until 2005, moving around about a half-dozen times. i did some study at Berkshire Community College, won the Koussevitsky award for Music, and decided to move to new york. i moved to Manhattan in 2005, and then yonkers, White Plains, and finally West harrison, before moving back to Pittsfield at the beginning of 2010. i thought i was home for good, but then i got a call from nashville and moved there 6 months later. i’ve been back now for a yearand-a-half. The majority of what i know has come from books and study and practice. as far as formal training goes, i took about two years of piano lessons (beginning about age 12) from my middle school history teacher, Fred Talarico, who is a pianist and an organist. Then after a short break, i took two years of organ study

Continued on next page....

The arTFUL MinD DeCeMBer 2012 • 11

CarLTon Maaia ii--------------------

with Thomas Frost, who was the Music Director at St. Mark’s Church in Pittsfield – my home church. i was always playing the piano, long before i knew “how.” My parents tell me that whenever we went somewhere that had a piano (a church, a restaurant, a hotel lobby) i would always sit down and play. We used to visit my aunt and uncle in new hampshire a few times a year. They had an 1848 henry F. Miller coffin grand piano. it was a mess, but i played it the entire time we’d be there. That’s the first piano i remember playing. i feel like i learned more from both of them than just the mechanics of keyboard playing. Fred, being a historian, gave me a deep appreciation of the historical context of the music i was studying. even at that time, my tendencies were toward 19th- and early 20th-century music. Fred and i discovered the richness of style that pervades all of the arts of that time, and i am forever in his debt for his generosity and his experience. With Tom, under whom i sang, originally, i learned not only the pipe organ (an entirely new instrument to me at that time) and it’s history, and it’s literature, but i also spent a great deal of time with him learning about harmony, composition, musical analysis, choral music, sacred music, and the musical world that he grew up in, populated by some of the giants of 20th-century art music. his own teacher, Carl Weinrich (who he also assisted at Princeton University) was truly one of the legendary organists of the mid1900s. one day, Tom told me that i could trace my musical lineage directly back to Johann Sebastian Bach. So i went to the library the next day and spent about 3 hours with Grove’s Dictionary of Music & Musicians, and i did just that. he was right!

That explains where some of your talent came from! How did you turn music into a full-time career? Carlton: i figured out pretty early on that it was fairly unlikely that i would ever find a classified ad in the newspaper that read: “SeeKinG ProFiCienT PianiST/orGaniST; MUST haVe a LoVe oF TheaTer; reQUireS aBiLiTy To iMProViSe, CoMPoSe oriGinaL MUSiC anD arranGe The MUSiC oF oTherS; MUST haVe The hearT oF an aCTor; neeDS To UnDerSTanD The orGanizaTion anD hiSTory oF ChUrCh MUSiC anD LiTUrGy; ShoULD KnoW Jazz TUneS aS WeLL aS 16Th CenTUry ChoraL anTheMS anD eVeryThinG in BeTWeen; MUST Be aBLe To orGanize, rehearSe anD CoLLaBoraTe WiTh ProFeSSionaL SinGerS anD MUSiCianS, eLeMenTary SChooL ChiLDren, hiGh SChooL KiDS, CoLLeGe STUDenTS, aMaTeUr SinGerS, BroaDWay aCTorS, ChUrCh Choir MeMBerS; Pay iS CoMMenSUraTe WiTh WhaTeVer The BUDGeT haPPenS To Be ThaT Day; FUnDraiSinG aBiLiTy iS a PLUS; no DeGree neCeSSary.” Basically, i started doing all of the musical things that i wanted to do, and turned them into a career. i trusted my instincts as best i could and never once allowed the idea of FaiLinG aT iT to ever

12 December 2012 The arTFUL MinD

Thanksgiving Eve Concert at First Church. Rebecca Leigh sings

be even a possibility. if i had tried to make a career out of any one of those things, and not done the others, it either wouldn’t have worked or i’d have gotten so bored so quickly that i don’t know what i would have done. Plus, the beauty of it all is that every thing i do informs every other thing i do. i can take my experience as a choral conductor and put it to good use in the theater, even though they are different. and working with kids has helped me deal with a fair share of grown-ups, believe it or not…. What is your own music all about? Carlton: My music, as you put it, i take to mean original works of mine. i’ve written jazz tunes, songs (both of the Schumannand the elton John-variety), choral pieces, piano pieces, works for the organ, works for chamber ensembles, and more unfinished pieces of musical theater than i can even count. as i mentioned before, i spend my time mostly on what generates a living –because i have to. My dream is to succeed enough at what i’m doing now that someday i’ll have the luxury of working on my own projects for their own sake.

your dream is total valid! say you were to describe yourself, what would you say your temperament, attitude, and life style is like at this time of your life? Carlton: My temperament is: high-strung, moody, and inconsistent. My attitude is hopeful, optimistic, and inexcusably positive. My lifestyle is hectic, most of the time. i don’t stop and smell the roses as much as i used to, and i have lost something because of that. But, i’m my own best work-in-progress, so i’ll try again tomorrow.

Carlton, can you bring up a memory you have that goes back to your teen years of your relationship with music? Carlton: When i was in school we didn’t have uniforms, we had a dress code. i wore a tie. i didn’t wear it because it was in the dress code – i wore it because it wasn’t. But because i looked better dressed than most of the rest of the students, the teachers supported me. That sums up my teenage life, my style, and how i interacted with adults: subversive, but without a riot. Those years, i was almost exclusively preoccupied with 19th century piano music. i spent a great deal of time (to which my family will attest) with rachmaninoff, Scriabin, Liszt, Chopin, Schumann and Mendelssohn. i did not spend time on schoolwork – not in or out of class. i was studying the organ, learning a lot of vocal and orchestral music, sometimes playing jazz (not well, i’m sure) and, of course, exposed to the same pop culture and pop music as everyone else. i played in a good number of garage and basement bands and had a blast. Just for the record: i didn’t discover the Beatles until after high school, but better late than never.

Carlton Maaia II

photo: Jane Feldman

Those Beatles happen to be a great discovery at any age! Brings me to ask you, what’s it like to work with teenagers in the music world? How different are they now from how you were during those difficult and mysterious teen years? Carlton: as far as the projects go, one big issue that i find with young people is that they have no concept of doing something original. it’s not their fault: society and technology don’t encourage them to take the time to be original. Why learn a song from what the composer gave you when you can just YouTube it and repeat what you hear? i very strongly discourage young singers, actors and musicians from listening to recordings or watching videos in order to learn roles and music. it only guarantees that their contribution/interpretation will be left out… Teenagers today are busier that we were when i was a teenager, and that’s hard to believe. nowadays it’s preposterous how much these kids are expected to do. all the technology just makes it worse, in my opinion. There’s still only 24 hours in a day, and one still needs to sleep and rest. These kids are booked from morning until night. and if they don’t keep up, they look lazy – not college material, not career material. it’s really nuts. if i had to go back through high school today, my mind might not survive it. There are so many distractions, and even more abstractions, i really feel bad for this generation of teenagers. having said that, i love working with high school students – probably more than any other group. it’s very exciting to see them discover something artistic about themselves, find a show or a piece of music that will still be a favorite of theirs 20 or 30 years from now. They are the future, and we really need to take care of them.

What is the hardest age to work with? Carlton: The most challenging demographics to organize and work with are very young kids (younger than, say, 3rd grade) and retired adults. i hope i don’t offend anyone by saying that but that’s been my experience. Both suffer from the same problem: they tell themselves they can’t.

What’s up on the calendar for you? Carlton: i’ve got work lined up through the end of 2013. That includes concerts, theatrical productions, workshops, classes and camps, in addition to my work at First Church, with Berkshire Concert Choir, and in nashville. Some of it involves travel and some of it is local. i don’t like to discuss things that are still in the works or are not yet contracted, so i can’t say much more than that. of course none of that includes the many gigs and last minute projects that i never see coming, but i expect the usual load of those as well. as far as my own projects are concerned, i’ve got enough to keep me busy for the rest of my life. if i did

nothing but my own work for all of next year i wouldn’t even put a dent in it – i’d probably get one thing completely finished. all of that kind of work is very long-term. i will say this: i have been writing the score for a musical for almost two years now (off and on) and i’d really like to finish that in the coming year.

What are your feelings of moving away from the traditional piano to the electronic piano you used in Oliver! i thought it was really a powerful instrument even if wasn’t the traditional upright or grand. does this kind of piano work for everything you do that is related to a chorus or musical? Carlton: i don’t like playing electronic keyboards or synthesizers. First of all, i’m a pianist (when i’m not being an organist). i’ve worked hard at it. i believe that i can realize music at a piano, even a bad one, in a way that moves people. When i have to play an electronic instrument (which, these days, for many reasons, is the majority of the time) i feel extremely limited – even distracted – by it. For one thing, advanced keyboard technique is an extremely subtle and refined discipline. Virtuous piano playing, in all its methods, is the result of 300 years of development, plus every minute and every hour that an individual practices. i’d say about 80% of what a proficient pianist is capable of goes out the window when he sits down at a plastic keyboard plugged into a sound system. For one thing, the technique is different. i can play a piano literally all day without getting tired, but playing keyboards (for instance, in rehearsals for a show) is exhausting to me. over the course of several weeks, playing a keyboard every day, my wrists, hands, back and shoulders ache. Whenever i have to play an electric keyboard for any extended period of time, i have to wear carpel tunnel wrist guards when i sleep. if you measure the height of a grand piano keyboard, the bench, the music rack – and then you compare it to most electric keyboards or digital pianos, you will see that they are basically not the same instrument. Piano technique is largely about balance: the give and take of weight – the weight of the arm, the hand, the key. none of that balance transfers to plastic keyboards. Though many of them have improved greatly – even in my lifetime – most of the improvements have to do with sound sampling and speaker clarity, not mechanical design. in addition to the physical differences, there are many other challenges to playing electronic instruments. if pianos have a dynamic range of “0 to 100,” even the best keyboards are about a “20 to 50.” The subtlety of an extremely quiet pianissimo, or the thunder of a great crescendo building to a giant fortissimo – all of the things in music that really pull at our hearts! – they are all but lost on a electronic piano. When you factor in the sound guy in the back of the room, adjusting your volume level during performance, you start to get an idea of how frustrating it is to be a pianist playing a non-piano. Most people have no idea how much is missing. Many people probably don’t hear an actual acoustic piano performed live and played well without amplification more than once or twice a year, if that. it’s a strange phenomenon, to work so diligently at one medium, and then to be expected to tacitly adjust to another medium, all the while losing so many of the features that inspired you to take up your instrument in the first place! People attend piano recitals, and not electronic keyboard recitals, for a reason. it’s like going to the best sushi restaurant you can find, and then ordering a hamburger… it will always be difficult adjusting between an ivory key, heavy wood-framed instrument to an electronic piano, but it seems you’re doing really well with both. We have to get use to a lot of new technology to make life run smooth these days. When you actually have some free-time to “play”, what do you find yourself busy with? Carlton: When i was a student i played baseball, which i still love the most, of any sport. i used to like traveling but it tires me out nowadays, and i really hate flying. i love to read and i love to draw. i also golf. For the past year-and-a-half i haven’t had time to do anything but work. i literally work at music every single day – no weekends, no holidays. i’ve had four days off in 2012, plus a week in June. it’s part of having a career where you basically are your own boss, needing to stay busy in order to make a living, and you’re so in love with what you do that even when you’re tired you wouldn’t rather do anything else.

How does your work affect your personal relationships? your girlfriend, rebecca, is also a singer and actor. i am wondering how you and rebecca balance aspects of work and personal time together. Carlton: Simply put, my musical work pervades my life. her mu-

sical work pervades her life. Do the math. We talk constantly about any project that we happen to be working on together. it’s just naturally that way. Seriously, if we’re both on the same project, we practically don’t talk about anything else. you probably inspire each other being that you share the same interests. Carlton: rebecca inspires me; i hope i inspire her as well. Luckily, we’ve never had to address a boundary issue. i think, without discussing it, we both can sense if we’ve had enough for one day or if there’s still more to process.

Have you two worked on music events together? Carlton: yes. Going back a few years, when i somehow had the time, i had a good jazz/soul group together that was starting to play out. rebecca was the vocalist/front leader – a job that she is awesome at, if i do say so myself. We played a gig here, a party there, a concert... Unfortunately, if you only do something like that when you have time, you’ll never have time. That’s what happened. i’m very interested in building that back into my regular schedule in 2013. not just for fun, either – rebecca is truly a world-class singer. People need to hear her more than just a couple times a year. Technical question… what is it like working with a professional group of musicians that formed into an orchestra, sim-

Carlton Maaia II

photo: Jane Feldman

ilar to group that was playing for Oliver!? Carlton: Specifically, the orchestra for “oliver!” was comprised of students and volunteer adults/professionals. Working with that type of orchestra is challenging because you have to deal with a variety of schedule conflicts. The students have commitments, the adults have jobs and families and the pros have other work (that pays). So it’s logistically tricky. But the folks who play for me in that setting are always very dedicated to making it good, so they make sacrifices. Working with professional musicians only is very different. i generally spend less time with them, but expect more (and get more) out of them. it’s simply a matter of proficiency. The real difference, for me, is between concert settings and theatrical settings. Conducting an orchestra or a chorus for a concert is a very focused endeavor: you listen and you lead. in most theater settings, however, i’m not only conducting the musicians and singers/actors – i’m also usually playing the score (or some part of it) at the same time. Whenever i feel overwhelmed with the job of Pianist/Conductor, i watch a video of Leonard Bernstein leading the new york Philharmonic in a performance of the ravel G major Piano Concerto. he conducts, he’s the piano soloist, and he does it all from memory. i usually stop feeling bad for myself

Continued on next page...

The arTFUL MinD DeCeMBer 2012 • 13

after that.

CarLTon Maaia ii--------------------

yes, i understand that! do you like working with new artists? Carlton: i love working with new people. Sometimes it’s a middle-aged person who’s stepping out onstage to perform for the first time in their life. Sometimes it’s a professional whose work i’ve known my whole life. other times it’s a kid. That kid may be new to performing or may be as seasoned and as experienced as someone three times their age. The very act of working with someone for the first time is enlivening to me. having said that, particularly as far as jazz goes, there are a handful of people who i love to play with, and with whom i will play as often as i can. and the great thing is, no matter how long i may go without playing with one of those cats, it’s always easy. once you know and trust someone musically, there isn’t much that can undo that –not even time. everybody in Berkshire County who knows anything about jazz knows saxophonist Charlie Tokarz and bassist Dan Broad. i’d have those two on every job, every night, if i could. i’ve played with both of them for years. not coincidentally, they are two very versatile musicians. i can bring them into a wide range of musical settings and they will always thrive.

if you had an opportunity to take your music on the road, anywhere in the world, where might that be? Carlton: i sometimes imagine just traveling all around the country for a few years, playing anywhere and everywhere i can, until i’ve played in every state and every capitol. The practical side of that doesn’t appeal to me, however, so i’ll probably never do it. Beyond that, i’d like to spend time in europe. For one thing, there are a great many places in europe that are dear to me for their musical history, but i also like the idea of bringing jazz and my own music to all the picturesque cities and villages of Germany, austria, italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. But again, i hate to fly, so i may have to take a boat. i find it interesting how people overlap their spiritual beliefs with their artistic and creative discoveries. it’s a personal matter, but i am curious if you can enlighten me on your thoughts on this subject.

Carlton: i am Catholic. i grew up Catholic and went to Catholic schools, K-12. i believe there is great mystery and importance in that tradition. That’s my “family.” if i have problems in my family, or if i disagree with someone in my family, i don’t disown them. i try to work with them; to dialogue and to stay connected. They are still my family, however screwed up they may be. i have big problems with Catholicism as a human institution. it’s still my family, same as “aunt edna” with her alzheimer’s. i still love her, i’m just not going to give her the keys to my car. i don’t agree with the Catholic position on gender equality or sexual equality. The state of music (close to my heart…) in the Catholic church remains disastrous. Politically, i’m left-of-center, because that’s where i’ve discovered social justice. Luckily, i’ve had great teachers throughout my life, who have helped me see what is and what is not important, as far as practical spirituality goes. Personally, religion for me is a discipline – just like music. if it’s easy, you’re not doing it right. and i’ve always felt the line about being “spiritual, but not religious” to be totally ridiculous. it’s like a musician saying “i play, i just don’t practice.” Who would you consider to be your most important mentor? My biggest and most important mentor has been Steve antil. he taught me what is true. i’ve learned more from him than anyone else – about myself, about others, about God, about love and about life. My second biggest mentor is my brother Justin, because he reminds me of Steve antil.

What would make you get to the point where you think –“ i’m getting out of the music Carlton Maaia II and Rebecca Leigh, Dunham Mall Place in downtown Pittsfield. thing – it’s too crazy”? photo: Jane Feldman Carlton: if i’ve made it through this much craziness, i don’t think anything is going to come along that i can’t handle. if there’s a war, and no one hires musiWhere do you see yourself, say, fifteen years from now? cians anymore, that might do it. if i get sick and can’t continue, Carlton: Doing everything i’m doing now, but being that much then so be it. Beyond that, i’m a musician and a composer and i better at it; reaching a wider audience; finishing a few of these rewill always write and play music. ally big projects; getting back on stage myself, as an actor. Carlton, we all have our vises. What is one vise that is not a secret to tell us? Carlton: i love Guinness, but i never overdo it. i don’t drink tequila anymore, and we’re all better off for that, i can assure you… i started smoking when i was 14, and smoked a pack to a packand-a-half of cigarettes every day since i was 16. i finally quit on october 1st this year and i haven’t looked back. i can thank my family and my girlfriend for supporting me through that. i am a Type-1 Diabetic (which is difficult enough) - i had to stop making it worse so i could start making it better.

Congrats to you, Carlton. Quiting cigarettes is a big step in the right direction. Who is your favorite musician or group of musicians? Carlton: My favorite pianist is Vladimir horowitz. My favorite jazz musicians are Bill evans, oscar Peterson, John Coltrane and Dizzy Gillespie. Bill evans album “Since We Met” is my favorite album. i think “John Coltrane & Johnny hartmann” is the best jazz album ever made. i’d say Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue” is the most important jazz album ever made. My favorite bands are The Beatles and Queen. My favorite musician, or musical figure, is Franz Liszt (1811-1886). he was a true original: unimaginably equipped as a musician, generous with his time and his fortune, always looking forward in musical development and a true man of the world. The late tenor Jon Vickers is probably my favorite vocalist (next to Freddie Mercury, of course). as for conductors, i don’t like any of them.

14 • December 2012 The arTFUL MinD

Queen is top of my list, too. Who might be your favorite actor? Movie, or TV show? Carlton: al Pacino might be the only true actor i’ve ever seen. everyone else seems like they’re acting. … i will say that i think “Law & order” is the best thing ever put on television.

What kind of motivation do you provide that is totally “Carlton-esque” and seems to work really well for your choir? Carlton: The real answer would have to come from other people, not me. But i will say that i try to be honest in every artistic venture. anything less will come back to bite you. also, i treat people respectfully, but i don’t “beat around the bush” in terms i what i expect from them. i think i can be a taskmaster sometimes. i’m like that with myself; i’m like that with others. When it comes to young people, what i’ve found is that, if you treat them like adults, they act like adults. if you treat them like professionals, and you’re upfront about it, they’ll respond accordingly. What is it about the Berkshires that you love in regards to living here and your career? Carlton: i love that we are less than three hours from all of the places that i love the most: Cape Cod, new york City, Boston, Providence, mountains, beaches, city restaurants and country cottages. i also love that (things being the way they are these days) i can stay connected to friends and colleagues all over the world without ever leaving what might be the most beautiful place of all. if you had three wishes, what would they be? Carlton: i’d wish for peace – but not world peace, inner peace – for everyone. if we had that, world peace would follow almost instantly. Then i’d wish to go back in time and meet all those great artists – that would really be the best. Can you imagine hearing Beethoven improvise? or seeing Mozart conduct one of his operas? Two 9-foot Steinways, a 50-rank Fisk pipe organ and a house big enough to hold them.

Planet Waves December 2012

With lots of other astrology behind us this year (many inner planet retrogrades, the Venus transit of the Sun and two Uranus square Pluto events), one remaining item is the fabled winter solstice of 2012. That’s the one that thousands of articles, countless books and a diversity of New Age cults have arisen around — the supposed ‘end’ of the Mayan calendar. (It’s not the end of the calendar, just the end of the 13th baktun.) This event falls on a Friday. What have you got planned for that evening? Share your ideas with me if you want (email to with ‘Winter Solstice’ as the subject header). Mercury stationed direct in late November. The Gemini Full Moon is Nov. 28. The Sagittarius New Moon is Dec. 13. The Cancer Full Moon is Dec. 28.

aries (March 20-April 19)

everything is not true, though the power of belief can be persuasive. yours is especially so right now. Make sure you believe what is true, and in order to do that, you must subject your perceptions to some scrutiny. There’s an intricate relationship between what you believe, what you believe is possible and what you want. as you filter out what is not true for you, you will make room for what is. That will help you focus a vision for the next year of your life. i suggest that you use an unusual celestial alignment to reach for your biggest, most significant, or most dearly held aspirations. as you clear the little stuff out of the way, and let go of outdated plans, you’ll become aware of the gems. These are the ones to develop; they are fertile seeds.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)

you seem to be invested in a relationship as if your life depended on it, yet with the feeling that you don’t really have a choice. The thing to be careful of is rooting your self-esteem in the feelings of another person (whether positive or negative). in an intimate relationship this will almost always happen — relating closely to another person changes us, and there is always some overlay of self-image. yet whatever may be happening in the relationship aspect of your life, it would be wise of you to draw your self-esteem from a diversity of sources, including and especially from your own sense of who you are rather than who anyone reminds you that you are. This is a delicate balance for you right now, and i suggest you take your steps consciously.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)

i suggest you do an inventory of what you have said and committed to in the recent past. you’re about to experience a surge of what looks like crusading energy — and now is your chance to keep all your promises. or at least it’s your chance to keep the ones that you want to keep, though i suggest that you politely acknowledge the ones you don’t want to keep. The idea is to focus your energy on a few projects rather than many. it would be asking too much of a Gemini to get your ambitions down to one thing. Therefore, do what you must to condense your energy and rid yourself of unnecessary distractions. i suggest you do this as a conscious project. one clue for where to focus may arrive in the form of an unusual creative collaboration.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

The year ends on a passionate note — with an aura of finality and transition. Use this energy to bring to a close what is ready to end, and to rise to the occasion of what you want to create. once again the story of your life is finding your confidence in the presence of those who seem to outshine you, or have more power. yet you possess something that is all your own, which is authentic sensitivity. Don’t hide this under any veils of denial — keep your feelings where you can access them. remember above all that you’re driven by the desire to nourish and care for the world. in that same spirit, make room for others to take care of you. receive their gifts graciously. remain open and you will start to see all of the good things in store for you.

leo (July 22-Aug. 23)

Life is part camping trip, part adventure story and part art project. For you lately, the art project is the most meaningful aspect of ex-

istence, and you’re what is being created. or rather, you and existence are on a co-creative adventure. For the past couple of months, your life has been about preparation, arranging yourself and sorting out the past. now that you’re feeling more solid on your foundations, i suggest you take advantage of the energy and move onto greater adventures. once you get started, you won’t want to stop, and this is the moment to allow your whole life to be consumed by creative process. Leave no exceptions: supermarket shopping, taking the kids to school, planning a holiday party — tap into inspiration and pour it into everything that you do. May there be no such thing as boredom.


(Aug. 23-Sep. 22) There is an awesome idea from A Course in Miracles: When i am healed, i am not healed alone. in many ways this is the story of your life, though it’s especially true now. healing is a collective experience, though when we’re in human form, it begins with the commitment of an individual to heal themselves. you’ve likely been feeling many forms of inspiration to do precisely this — mainly in the form of your life force energy coming to a boil, and the desire to crack open your shell and crawl out into the daylight. you know that at a certain point you will want to share this experience. Keep an eye out for people who are aspiring to live consciously rather than merely in survival or recreation mode. Don’t let others dilute your energy — notice what you offer them and what they have to offer you, and remember your core purpose.


(Sep. 22-Oct. 23) The direction of your life and your love is into yourself. yes, this raises many issues, from your investment in relationships, to your fear of abandonment, to your ongoing quest for self-esteem. remember, this is subtle — it’s easy to forget, especially if you get distracted by projects or adventures. Try to maintain self-awareness of what you’re learning about yourself on the deepest levels, and bring this into everything you do. you have a truly unusual opportunity to build emotional confidence, as well as to experience yourself directly outside of the context of close personal relationships. Being your own person — emotionally, sexually, creatively and every other way you can imagine — takes practice, and it’s the kind of learning you must apply to every aspect of your life. There’s an irresistible pull drawing you inward. honor that and anything is possible.


(Oct. 23-Nov. 22) you can afford to be generous with yourself — that is, generous offering who you are and what you have. among the life lessons i would actually file under the category ‘spiritual’ is the one about not knowing how much you have until you share it, and this is what your charts have developed into as 2012 draws to a close. Challenge the feeling that you must withhold from others, or keep what you have to yourself. Listen to the voices of your parents instructing you in this particular way of life. you have many examples of how this does not work, though few dare to draw from the well of their soul and offer themselves to others in the spirit of something bigger than we think the world has to offer. This will teach you how abundant you are — and how much life has to offer you and everyone.

remember by applying yourself to what you want with your full devotion.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)

at least you’re not expecting everyone — or anyone — to do it for you. you may be in the most self-determined moment of your life, with more options than you’ve ever had. i suggest you make a point of noticing them, especially if you’re feeling limited. yet far from feeling hemmed in, you might be feeling like you have way too much energy and you don’t know how to contain yourself. you may have the feeling that you’ll never live up to your potential. That is a feeling — not the reality. yet no matter how much energy you have now, i suggest you remember, and trust, the fact that real progress takes time. Be content with the fact that your life is going in the right direction, and do yourself a huge favor: avoid unnecessary conflict like it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. in actual fact, it is.


(Jan. 20-Feb. 19) The beautiful thing about paranoia is that the things we fear so rarely turn out to be true. indeed, you could use those spontaneous, shocking moments of panic as a map to what’s the least likely to happen. yet one thing we can say for sure is that fear is a huge waste of creative energy. often i think that’s its purpose. negative self-talk, that endless chatter of why you’re not perfect enough (sometimes disguised as how you’re going to be a better person) can turn a truly creative person into a neurotic mess. if you or anyone needs any self-improvement, the first step would be about not reminding yourself of that fact all the time. This will allow your creative flow to be what guides your life. remember that everything that happens on earth happens in a community of some kind, and it influences that community. if you need a code to live by — that’s the one.


(Feb. 19-March 20) Current aspects suggest that this is a moment when your career could really take off. Make sure you focus on your longterm goals, particularly ones on your mind around the time of last month’s total solar eclipse (around nov. 13). Focus on these goals, and as the month develops, point your mind and your daily activities directly into the vortex. it’s true that you’ve got a lot on your plate right now, as you often do this time of year, though you always rise to the occasion. now is the time to work with precision, because you’re about to encounter a powerful wellspring of energy that will be difficult to contain otherwise. When in doubt, slow down, even if that means pausing for five minutes to reassess the course of your day, your week or a particular professional commitment. ~ Read Eric Francis daily at


(Nov. 22-Dec. 22) you may finally be feeling like you have your life in order. Many questions that lurked beneath the surface of your existence have resolved themselves, or are now out in the open as more practical issues about what to do with what you learned. i suggest you keep this as your focus — focusing on the things that mean the most to you, in a disciplined way. you have so much energy that working with it consciously is imperative. it’s too easy for you to get distracted by socializing, popularity and various other shades of glamor that you can forget your purpose. The truth is, it’s taken you long enough to remember — and forgetting is the last thing you want to do. it’s time to remember, and it’s time to

by Eric Francis

CLASS SCHEDULE Mon-Fri 8:30 - 9;45am - Uma M-W-F 10:00 - 11:15am - Uma Tues. 6:00 - 7:15pm - Uma

Thurs. 6:00 - 7:15pm ... Jenna O’Brien Sat. 10:00 - 11:15am ... Jenna O’Brien

413.528.YOGA (9642) 274 Main Street, Great Barrington Located in back of Main St., adjacent to the Triplex Theater


$15.00 per Class $120.00 for a 10 class card (good for 8 weeks)

$75.00 month unlimited (Uma only)

Owner - Uma McNeill

The arTFUL MinD December 2012 • 15

desiGninG saCred spaCe

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;

soHn fine arT Gallery PhoToGraPher eriC KorenMan

GreaT BarrinGTon anD SToCKBriDGe

This holiday season, Sohn Fine art Gallery will be featured in isha nelson Design’s Winter Wonderland exhibition of art & Design in downtown Great Barrington, Ma. The exhibition is located at 25 railroad Street (in the old Gatsby’s space), and is open to the public December 1 – 31. a holiday reception will be held on Saturday, December 8, from 4:00 – 8:00, during the Great Barrington holiday Stroll. More than a just a holiday market, the exhibition will include artwork and jewelry by renowned artists. Sohn Fine art Gallery is popping up a group show of contemporary photography and mixed media by Cassandra Sohn, John atchley, Bruce Checefsky, Martin Greene, Greg Gorman, yvette Lucas, irmari nacht and Savannah Spirit as well as unique jewelry by Mna (Martha archambault). From rothko-like abstracts by John atchley, to celebrity portraits and nudes by iconic, master photographer Greg Gorman, a wide range of work will be on view. So join us in the festivities and tickle your fancies. Whether you’re an art collector, designer, or looking for that perfect gift, this event is not to be missed! Currently on view at Sohn Fine art’s Main Gallery in Stockbridge, Ma, is Berkshire based photographer, eric Korenman’s solo exhibition, The Proserpine Path. The show will be up through March 4, 2013. Meet the artist, , Saturday, February 9, 4:00 – 6:00 (please rSVP for this event). eric Korenman, holds a Ba from Dartmouth College and a MD from Cornell University. a radiologist by day, he began his professional photography career in 2004. his recent exhibitions have been at the hudson opera house, hudson, ny and the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Ma. he was a semi-finalist in the 2012 annual international Philadelphia Print Center competition curated by Guggenheim Curator Jennifer Blessing. his editorial work includes publication in art in america. he is represented by Sohn Fine art Gallery in Stockbridge, Ma. Sohn Fine Art Gallery, 6 Elm Street, 1B; Stock-

bridge, MA. 413-298-1025; /

Elisa Cashiola Placement Designer

pilaes plus pfilaTes

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 Filah-tees) 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, or phone 413-528-2465, 9 AM-9 PM.

Specializing in the Art of Feng Shui and Color

413.717.5559 (text only - deaf)

16 • Decemberr 2012 The arTFUL MinD

Lauren Clark Fine Art hosts a

Launch Party for the

Anni Maliki Collection

We invite you to join Anni as we kick off her dynamic jewelry collection with a festive evening of holiday shopping and good cheer

Saturday, December 8, from 4-7pm 402 Park Street, Housatonic, MA 413.274.1432

The arTFUL MinD December 2012 • 17

fenG sHui

The Christmas holidays are one of the best times of the year to implement placement design and the balance of the 5 elements – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood! it certainly is a festive time to celebrate and with the new year’s Day close by, the holidays can be exciting with some stress thrown in the mix! That’s why feng shui can help the holidays be less stressful! having the big christmas tree and the right colors can certainly bring in abundance and cheer (think end-of-year bonus checks, the gift you always wanted, great deals on airfare/traveling, and more!). The ideal christmas tree often includes all of the elements, which is why it makes such great feng shui!

The Holidays and placement design

here is a breakdown of all 5 elements in the Christmas tree and decorations: Christmas tree (wood) Tree holder (water) Christmas lights and candles (fire) Garlands/ribbons (water - draping, wavy, spiral-like) Angel topper (earth -the female essence) OR Star topper (fire) Wrapping paper/gift boxes (wood) Ornament hooks (metal) Colorful ornaments (any combination of metal, earth, water, fire and wood)

Does the placement of the christmas tree in the home make a difference? you bet it does! The christmas tree’s ideal position for optimal feng shui should be placed in the left

Simply Sasha

section of your home, when standing in your front doorway/foyer, and that left section of your home takes up 3 areas of the placement grid – the self-knowledge, family, and wealth areas. all 3 of those areas represent the wood element. it is best to keep the christmas tree in either the family or wealth area of your house/living room since the tree represents abundance, and make sure the water is fresh and added daily to keep the tree from losing its needles. Decorate the tree with a balance of all colors - gold, red, orange, yellow, blue, green, and purple shades - and steer clear of loading up the tree and house with white and silver colored ornaments and decorations. White and silver represent the metal element, which means metal can chop wood down

(think it of chopping away abundance) and create a cold ambiance. Best to keep the metal colors and element to a minimum – to the ornamental hooks and wires to hold decorations together, and let Mother nature blanket your surroundings outside with the white snow, where it is more appropriate! Pine tree branches and wreaths are perfectly all right to include in your Christmas decorations with red or other colored ribbons and ornaments as they generally last quite a long while and smell great, but as soon as they start to fall apart or shed needles, toss it or replace it as soon as possible. Don’t use sparse branches or wreaths that look like sticks and bare twigs – that is certainly not the embodiment of abundance! Make sure they are full and lush! Some other symbols of abundance to have at the holidays are the Three Wise Men bearing gifts, Santa and Mrs. Claus bringing toys, and hotei, the golden laughing Buddha! The laughing buddha has a big round belly and it is known to be rubbed for good luck and abundance! Cookies and milk for Santa Claus is a great way of expressing gratitude for all the blessings and abundance poured forth! even if you don’t have children, it is a great tradition to keep. What other Christmas symbols and traditions do you have that symbolize abundance? Please share your thoughts by emailing me at! Have a merry christmas and a happy new year!

by Sasha Seymour

i love pumpkins!

i know i’ve written a lot of soup recipes in the past, but soup is so easy, and so versatile, how can i not share these wonderful dishes with you fine folks? Wasn’t there an entire national best selling book series reminding us that a certain soup is for the soul? That being said, december is a magical month for soup. i found this recipe on the internet, and it has since become one of my favorites! The great thing about this satisfying meal is that you can use either vegetable or chicken stock, and for all you meat lovers out there, the bacon is added afTer the soup is ladled, so you can please everybody! (Vegetarians probably won’t want to add the bacon).    ... peace, love and Mojo! 2 cans of pumpkin 1 quart of chicken or vege stock 1 cup of half and half 1 minced shallot 1/4 cup of molasses 1 Tbsp of butter 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper 6 slices of bacon 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1. Stir together the pumpkin, stock, half and half, shallot, molasses, butter, spice, salt, and cayenne in a large stock pot over low heat 2. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crispy, and crumble 3. Ladle soup into bowls, and top with bacon and cheese

p.s. it’s freezable! so make a bunch!

18 • Decemberr 2012 The arTFUL MinD

How easy was that? Enjoy!

Elisa Cashiola

architecture & arcadia stephen Gerard dietemann

A House in Beckett Part 1

For a bit of a change, i am going to try to convey my message primarily with visual images in this set of monthly columns. Frankly, this makes sense as architecture is principally a visual, sculptural medium. of course, words have their place in the process of constructing a building – specifications, identification of parts, labels, notes — but most of the heavy lifting is done with sketches and drawings. now, as i start the design of a new ‘weekend’ house for a couple from Cape Cod in Beckett, i will describe my process, step by step, using sketches and drawings as often as possible.

Conceptual design: Since my job as the architect requires understanding as clearly as possible the house (this is true for any building type) that the client would like to live in, i need to find a way to read their minds. as i am not an actual, certified mind-reader, i need to rely on an extensive questionnaire i have developed to help them – and thus me – clearly understand what they are looking for as regards the new house. if i am dealing with a couple (as is usually the case), i ask them to fill out the many questions separately and then discuss with each other their respective answers until they reach consensus. The questions range from the ordinary: “describe your anticipate storage needs�, to the sublime: “Does your house want to be a part of nature, or apart from it?� This process minimizes my role as ‘marriage counselor’ since they then already agree on the broad outline of what they want before they meet with me. after several visits to the site and receipt of a good plot plan/survey, i then develop several conceptual designs; for this project, three of these conceptual designs are shown below.


These are the first images shown the client and from these sketches either one design is selected, or, more likely, a new schematic design is created from the best aspects of all the ideas presented. That is what happened here. Below is a CaD rendering of the ‘composite’ conceptual design. of course, it will be changed – perhaps even significantly – over the course of the continuing design process. next month we’ll see what actually happened as work with the clients continues.









“A lot of hogwash is talked about acting. It’s not all that fancy! You laugh, you cry, you pick up a little bit, and then you’re a working actor.� -Katharine Hepburn


                      The arTFUL MinD December 2012 • 19

1370 pleasant st., rte 102, lee, ma (NEXT TO LEE FIRE STATION)

Sat. December 8 Artists’ Opening 3-6pm Small Works

Steve Levine John Townes Sheri Steiner and selected works from previous shows

Laura Schiff Bean paintings

through january 20 2013

argazzi art

22 millerton Road Rte 44 Lakeville CT 860.435.8222 SAVE THE WALTZ 56”h x 40”w acrylic on canvas

510 Warren ST., hUDSon, ny 518-822-0510

isKa Kenney December artist

Block island, iska Kenney

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

20 • Decemberr 2012 The arTFUL MinD

Joining us for the opening is Suse Wicks, storyteller also representing... bob plant scott taylor theodore pryjma mary carol rudin john townes sheri steiner

Open friday ~ monday 11-5:30pm


The Artful Mind Artzine december issue  
The Artful Mind Artzine december issue  

December issue, 2012, featuring Music Director Carlton MAaia II