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Kate Knapp, Tower and Freight Depot in Housatonic

October 2019

Eleven Berkshire Artists FRONT STREET GALLERY Housatonic MA OCTOBER - NOVEMBER 2019




Contact Artist to see more... 413‐446‐3721




Send a message... ontrails13@gmail.com





Allow the new season to sink into our bones with new inspiration and warm socks.






4. / FICTION ...32

Contributing Writer: Richard Britell Photographers: Edward Acker, Tasja Keetman Publisher Harryet Candee Copy Editor

Marguerite Bride

Advertising and Graphic Design

Harryet Candee

CALENDAR LISTINGS and ADVERTISING RATES, please call 413 - 854 - 4400

artfulmind@yahoo.com issuu.com instagram FB 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. All commentaries by writers are not necessarily the opinion of the publisher and take no responsibility for their facts and opinions.




Andre Hajdu’s Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) for four cellos, narrated by star of film, stage and television Sam Waterston on Sunday, Oct 27, 5pm

510 WARREN STREET GALLERY 510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY 518-822-0510 510warrenstreetgallery@gmail.com /510warrenstreetgallery.com Destinations, paintings by Trevor Hunter, Oct 4 - Oct 27 Reception Oct 5, 3-6pm Fri & Sat 12 - 6, Sun 12 - 5 or by app

EVENTS 25TH ANNUAL PARADISE CITY ARTS FESTIVAL October 12, 13 & 14, inside three buildings at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton, MA. One of America’s top-ranked shows of fine craft, painting and sculpture, Paradise City features 225 outstanding artists and makers, sensational cuisine, creative activities, a silent art auction to benefit WGBY/PBS and an outdoor sculpture promenade. www.paradisecityarts.com or 800-5119725.

aMUSE GALLERY 7 RAILROAD AVE, CHATHAM, NY • 518-392-1060 / WWW.AMUSECHATHAM.COM “fABSTRACT”, Oct 3 - Dec 1 CHESTERWOOD 4 WILLIAMSVILLE RD, STOCKBRIDGE, MA Chesterwood • 298-3579 chesterwood.org Aug 28 - October 27, 2019: Woodland Light: Photographs of Chesterwood by Margaret Moulton CLARK ART INSTITUTE 225 SOUTH ST, WILLIAMSTOWN, MA WWW.CLARKART.EDU June 8 - Sept 22: RENOIR: The Body, The Senses; July 4-Oct14: Art's Biggest Stage: Collecting the Venice Biennale, 2007-2019 FRONT STREET GALLERY 129 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-6607 Kate Knapp oils and watercolors and classes open to all. Oct - Nov: The Artful Mind artists showcase of fine art. Eleven Berkshire artists on display. Next reception for artists is slated for Nov 9, 2019. HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE 1843 W. HOUSATONIC ST, PITTSFIELD, MA BLACKBAUDHOSTING.COM Thru Nov 11, 2019: Exhibition Opening: Borrowed Light: Barbara Ernst Prey. HESSEL MUSEUM OF ART & CCS BARD GALLERIES BARD COLLEGE, ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY • 845-758-7598 Thru Oct 13: "Nil Yalter: Exile is a Hard Job," the artist's first solo U.S. museum exhibition; Thru Oct 13: "Leidy Churchman:Crocodile," the artist's first solo US museum exhibition THE HOTCHKISS SCHOOl 11 INTERLAKEN RD., LAKEVILLE, CT • 860 435-2591 |http://www.hotchkiss.org Sept 30 - Oct 14; Hotchkiss Alumni Photographers:Class of '69 MASS MoCA 1040 MASSMOCA WAY, NORTH ADAMS, MA • 413-662-2111 Thru 2019: Laurie Anderson; Louise Bourgeois RIVER ART PROJECT 3 STOCKBRIDGE STATION GALLERY 2 DEPOT STREET, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-5163 / 413 563-4934 cell www.riverartproject.com Through Oct 14. SCHANTZ GALLERIES CONTEMPORARY GLASS 3 ELM STREET, STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-298-3044 / schantzgalleries.com Oct 4 - 27: Bertil Vallien, Recent works. 4 • OCTOBER 2019


FODfest DEWEY HALL, SHEFFIELD, MA Music in Common / Friends of Danny Sunday Oct 27@7pm.

TRUE DREAMS NEW PAINTINGS BY DOUGLASS TRUTH October 12, 4 - 7:00pm Lauren Clark Fine Art 684 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 413-528-0432 laurenclarkfineart.com

TURNPARK ART SPACE 2 MOSCOW RD, WEST STOCKBRIDGE, MA / TURNPARK.COM Aug28 - Oct 31, 2019: Kathleen Jacobs ECHOS Aug 28 - Oct 31, 2019: Liane Nouri & Jaanika Peerna FLOW/FLUX/FOLD THREE STONES GALLERY 10C MAIN ST, ROCKPORT MA THREESTONESGALLERY.COM Ghetta Hirsch now showing her outstanding art along with Betsy Silverman, Jonathan MacAdam and Emily Passman, Jewelry by Lyca Blume and Emily Rose Maultsby WORCESTER CENTER FOR CRAFTS KRIKORIAN GALLERY 25 SAGA RD, WORCESTER, MA New Glass England, curated by Jim Schantz, Sept 26-Nov 7

MUSIC HANCOCK SHAKER VILLAGE 1843 W HOUSATONIC ST., PITTSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS • 413-443-0188 / HANCOCKSHAKERVILLAGE.ORG Thru Nov 11: While Mighty Thunders Roll: Popular Artists Sing the Shaker. Video and audio exhibition features specially commissioned a cappella recordings of Shaker songs by artistic HiLo 55 UNION ST, NORTH ADAMS, MA HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/LADIES-AUXILIARYUKULELE-ORCHESTRA The 9th Annual Berkshire County Uke Festival Sun, Oct 13, 10am-4pm: Workshops take place from 10 am-noon. Concert begins at 1:00pm CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC POST OFFICE BOX 34, GREAT BARRINGTON, MA 01230. MAHAIWE BOX OFFICE: 413-528-0100;

LINDA KAYE-MOSES The unruly jewelry by Linda Kaye-Moses will be at Paradise City Arts Festival OCT 12 -14, Northampton, MA

WORKSHOPS DEB KOFFMAN’S ARTSPACE 137 FRONT ST, HOUSATONIC, MA • 413-274-1201 Sat: 10:30-12:45 class meets. No experience in drawing necessary, just a willingness to look deeply and watch your mind. This class is conducted in silence. Adult class. $10, please & call to register. First Tuesday of every month


THEATER COLONIAL THEATRE 111 SOUTH ST., PITTSFIELD, MA • 413-997-4444 thecolonialtheatre.org/ | Pittsfield Oct 12, 8pm: My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish & I’m In Therapy SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY 70 KEMBLE ST, LENOX, MA / SHAKESPEARE.ORG Present Time Stands Still, Sept 13 - Oct 13 UNICORN THEATRE 6 EAST ST., STOCKBRIDGE, MA • 413-997-4444 berkshiretheatregroup.org | Stockbridge Sept 26 - Oct 20, 2019: What The Jews Believe

Please send in your calendar listing the 10th of the month prior to publication artfulmind@yahoo.com





DESIGNS BY JENNIFER Awarded Best Of Houzz 2019 Designs by Jennifer Owen of Great Barrington, MA has won “Best Of Service Award” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The boutique interior design studio was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. Congrats! Recognized as a fabric guru with an eye for color, Jennifer has achieved accolades for her unique sense of style and vision. She has been featured on the cover of House to Home, Lifestyle Magazine of Fairfield County, featuring a home in Westport; East Coast Home Design Magazine; Shippan Designer Show House, (benefiting Stamford Museum and Nature Center); Weston Designer Show House benefiting Connecticut Humane Society. They feature her definitive style of design, transforming spaces to uplifting, functional environments, “simple elegance” at its best! A native of the West Midlands England, Jennifer grew up with a mother who was a passionate knitter and a talented seamstress, with a love to decorate and a relish for fabrics and yarns. This led to many inspiring visits with her to the fabric market. Hence Jennifer’s passion! Her client base extends to Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, New York City, Long Island, and Berkshire County. Jennifer has a showroom and office based on Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA. Jennifer is a member of IDS (Interior Design Society), with extensive training in interior design, IDPC (Interior Design Protection Council), member of Better Business Bureau, Metropolitan Museum, NYC, Museum of Natural History, NYC, Museum of Modern Art, NYC, member of Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, member of Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, and a member of A Women’s Creation Circle in Berkshire County. Designs by Jennifer, LLC - 6 Railroad Street, STE 17, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Office: 413-528-5200; Cell: 203-253-3647; www.designsbyjenniferowen.com

aMuse Gallery will be presenting an exciting new exhibition, fABSTRACT, on view from October 3 thru December 1, 2019. The artist reception will take place on Saturday October 5, 4 - 7pm. This coincides with Chatham's OctoberFeast celebration, so it should be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy art, food, music and more in the charming historic village of Chatham NY. fABSTRACT features abstract work in a variety of mediums. Participating artists include Catherine Hall, Holly Hughes, Laurie Miles, Bruce Panock, Charles Schweigert and Bettina Van De Water. Having spent school vacations in England working in her family’s Lancashire cotton mill, the dyeing of fabrics and other textile processes became ingrained in Catherine Hall’s memory. Her artwork today with silk, Japanese papers wax and dye continues to draw on these memories and influence her unique and elegant work. Laurie Miles’ “Earthworks” series came out of her experience building functional outdoor ovens made from “cob", a mixture of sand, clay and straw.The result is a series of strong minimalist compositions inspired by the earth itself. Laurie”s “Tectonic” series carries on with the natural environment, speaking to tidal marshes that were a part of her daily life in Ipswich MA, ritual movement, forces of nature…all reminders that our earth is a living creature. In the abstract paintings and sculptures of Charles Schweigert, an Oriental influence is apparent, with its subtle refinement and appreciation of understatement and sensitivity to nature. The awareness that "less is more", the responsiveness to suggestion rather than to literal depiction, and the gentle melancholy of wabi-sabi resonate in his work. Holly Hughes’ monotypes "reflect her sense that the borders between ceramics or textile design and painting are all permeable membranes”. Her delightful monotypes simultaneously exude humor for the present and respect for the past. The photographs of Bruce Panock were created during a period of serious illness. Confined to a single room for more than a year, and following lung transplant surgery, Bruce began closely observing everything around him in that limited space. He found beauty where there was previously a prison, and his images make us aware of the beauty of the ordinary that is so often overlooked. Tina Van De Water’s life as an organic farmer has strongly influenced her work. The forms, energy forces and processes of the natural world are powerful elements in her beautiful abstract paintings. aMuse Gallery is wheel chair accessible and is located just across the tracks from Main Street’s historic Clocktower. Be sure to come by and see the distant and wonderful work of these talented regional artists! aMuse Gallery, 7 Railroad Avenue, Chatham NY 12037. 518-392-1060. Hours: Thursday thru Saturday 11-5 and Sunday 12-4 amuse chatham.com


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH MUSIC 2019-20 kicks off with the much anticipated American premiere of Andre Hajdu’s Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) for four cellos, narrated by star of film, stage and television Sam Waterston on Sunday, October 27 at 5 PM. "For every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” These famous words underscore some of the lessons of this sometimes perplexing and always intriguing volume of the Bible’s Wisdom Literature, which ushers us into the inner chambers of the author’s--traditionally said to be King Solomon--philosophical wrestlings with the deepest universal issues of life. Artistic Director Yehuda Hanani has led the series since its founding, providing entertaining, erudite commentary that puts the composers and their times in perspective to enrich and amplify the concert experience. Close Encounters With Music - Post Office Box 34, Great Barrington, MA 01230. Mahaiwe Box Office: 413-528-0100; www.mahawie.org CEWM: 800-843-0778; Web: www.cewm.org, CEWM e-mail: cewmusic@aol.com

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” -Leonardo Da Vinci



PAWNS Sunday, October 27th 2-4pm AT THE

Berkshire South Regional Community Center Come celebrate Jaane’s artistic vision in her directorial debut PAWNS is an enchanting MUSIC VIDEO captured in celluloid right here in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts


it updates vis d n a n o ti a form For more in oe.com www.Jaaned k.com/JaaneDoeMusic o www.facebo e.hearnow.com o www.jaaned 6 • OCTOBER 2019


This is a FREE event for the public! Wear a costume! Bring a friend! Refreshments and Music!




25th ANNUAL PARADISE CITY ARTS FESTIVAL Yankee Magazine writes “The Northampton visual arts scene explodes at the twice-yearly Paradise City Arts Festival, an extravaganza of 200-plus top-notch craftspeople and fine artists that’s been dazzling shoppers since 1995.” The Paradise City Arts Festival at the Three County Fairgrounds in Northampton, MA celebrates its Silver Anniversary on October 12-14. This award-winning showcase for the arts features three large, carpeted Exhibition Buildings, plus cuisine by Northampton's best chefs under the 12,000 square-foot Festival Dining Tent, craft demonstrations and creative workshops for children, themed exhibits, a benefit silent auction and an array of large-scale outdoor sculpture and garden pieces. Most importantly, it’s all about the 225 carefully curated artists from every corner of the country. Each one has a story to tell, a skill to share and a passion for their work that is inspiring and infectious. “The Circle Game” is the special exhibit in the center building at Paradise City. As the ultimate curvilinear shape, the circle embodies so many of the attributes that attract us: it is a safe, gentle, pleasant, graceful, dreamy, and even beautiful shape that evokes calmness, peacefulness, and relaxation. A circle is a shape with no beginning or end. It symbolizes the cycle of time, the perpetual motion of everything that moves, the planets' journey around the sun, the great rhythm of the universe. Circles can be playful, too – think of polka dots, bouncing balls, even lollypops! “The Circle Game”, explores circles through the shape of the submission or its surface decoration. Some artists communicate the philosophical symbolism of the circle through their art. The Festival Dining Tent at the Paradise City Arts Festival is a microcosm of Northampton’s vibrant restaurant scene, with music wafting through the air and recipes that span the globe. Expect lots of tasty surprises from the region’s restaurants at this fall’s show, using locally grown foods straight from the Valley’s farms. This sprawling, thrilling showcase for the arts is an experience like no other – beautiful, unique, festive and fun. Paradise City Arts Festival, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, October 12, 13 & 14, at Northampton’s 3 County Fairgrounds, on Old Ferry Road off Rt. 9. From the Mass Pike, take exit 4 to I-91 North to Exit 19. For show information, advance tickets and discount admission coupons, visit www.paradisecityarts.com or call 800-511-9725.

Marguerite Bride is a Berkshires-based watercolor artist. Besides painting local and regional scenes, Bride specializes in creating custom watercolors…..in particular, house portraits, and paintings of very personal and meaningful places. Is there is a wedding or anniversary in your future? Consider a painting of the reception venue as a very special remembrance of the occasion (as is “Wedding at the Mount”). Or perhaps a “wedding book alternative” …a special original painting (a painting of the scene of the proposal) on display at the wedding reception where guests sign the mat. See website for photos of the paintings and the signing events. Now is the time to commission a painting if you are thinking of a holiday gift…most popular…siblings getting together and providing their parents with a commissioned painting. That is always a treasured gift and fun as well. Where else can you catch Bride’s work? She will be offering many new small-sized original watercolors at the “Handmade Holiday” show at the stationary Factory in Dalton December 7-8. Also, an assortment of her watercolors - small matted originals (village scenes – all seasons), cards and fine art reproductions are available in the gift shop at Hancock Shaker Village. LOCAL, a lovely high-end craft and art gallery in Lenox (across from Chocolate Springs) carries framed originals, and matted reproductions and cards by the artist. Fine art repros and note cards of Berkshire images and others by the artist are also available at the Red Lion Inn Gift Shop (Stockbridge), Lenox Print & Mercantile (Lenox), Good Purpose Gallery (Lee) and also directly from the artist. Marguerite Bride – 413-841-1659 or 413-442-7718; margebride-paintings.com; margebride@aol.com; Facebook: Marguerite Bride Watercolors.


LINDA KAYE-MOSES JEWELS The unruly jewels of Linda Kaye-Moses reflect a delight in the body-embellished, adornment offering the possibility of intimate transformation. Implicit in her jewels is their narrative quality, allowing them to speak with her voice, while conversing with those who will wear them. Her work fuses jewelry techniques including: engraving, enameling, oxidation/patination, roll-printing, and cold connections, all integrated with precious metals, gemstones, found objects, organic materials, and occasional enclosures, reflecting her interest in archetypal chambers (caves, caches, treasure chests, reliquaries, etc.) while supporting and displaying the jewels. As she works at her bench, she has a sense of unearthing what lies buried in the materials. . . the jewels are present before her hands begin to manipulate the materials, and all she need do is remove the extraneous material for the jewel to appear. You can find Kaye-Moses’ jewels only at Paradise City Arts Festival Northampton, MA, October 12-14 (Booth 527).

Design is coming to grips with one's real lifestyle, one's real place in the world. Rooms should not be put together for show but to nourish one's wellbeing. — Albert Hadley


Luminous Sunflowers Susan Sabino


Susan, can you describe for me your work as a photographer? Susan Sabino: My vision as a photographer is to capture the essence of my subject in a unique way and inspire viewers to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, when light, texture, and movement converge to bring that special energy to the subject. That is what I am hoping to capture as an image. I feel the uniqueness of my work is that people are not sure that they are photographs and the subject is presented in a unique way. For example, I hear a lot of people say that my work has a luminous quality and a painterly look. How long have you been shooting? Susan: It’s hard to say. When I was a teenager, I 8 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

made a pinhole camera and took my first photograph. That’s when I really knew how much I loved photography. However, I think I first started really learning photography about twenty years ago. I was a single mom working and going to college and I needed an additional source of income that allowed me to spend the maximum amount of time with my daughter. I have always been interested in photography, so I went to the pawn shop and picked up a used Minolta SLR camera. Since my daughter was attending a lot of horse shows at the time, I learned how to photograph the horses and riders. This turned into a paying job which expanded into taking children’s portraits. I soon realized that I wanted to do black and white portraits in natural settings. I searched the

papers and found some used darkroom equipment and set up a makeshift darkroom in my bathroom. I took my daughter along as my assistant on the shoots and developed and printed the photos at night when she was asleep. And yes, I did manage to get sleep. I may have nodded out a few times in the dark room though. At this stage I was just learning the basics of photographing and printing. I did this for about two years and then put the camera down for about ten years while I focused on family and my career in the medical field. When did it all begin for you, and what brought you to having art as a best-friend in life? Susan: Using the camera as an artist’s tool came

Trees in Fog Susan Sabino

about 9 years ago when I bought my first digital camera to photograph my child’s sports events. Without the constraints of the cost of film and developing, I started photographing everything. The more I photographed the subjects that appealed to me and started capturing them with my own personal vision, the more I emerged as my own person. Before I was just Mom. The more my photos became expressive, the more I felt like an artist. I submitted my first photograph that I considered artistic to Sohn Fine Art’s call for art and it was accepted. That was really when it all began. Since then, art has become an essential part of life. I can spend hours photographing and become completely immersed. The rest of the world disappears and I am only aware of what I am seeing and what I want to capture. The art asks nothing of me. It just allows me a form of expression. On a professional level I have had the honor of being accepted into numerous shows and galleries, and also have had solo shows. I have also contributed work for fundraisers to support organizations and causes I believe in.

What techniques do you use to fine tune your vision when working on an art piece? Equipment, etcetera… technique that you call your own? Susan: I love photographing. I loved working in the darkroom. However, I do not enjoy processing images on the computer, so I use techniques that allow me to capture what I want without having to spend a lot of time post processing. My equipment is pretty much limited to camera, tripod, and two main lenses. I use extension tubes and natural light to capture my soft color flower images. They are a little extra work but it really helps me to capture them in a unique way and convey the sensuousness that is part of all flowers. For my black and white flowers, I use a tripod, candlelight and sharp focus. This brings out the dramatic side of flowers. You have mentioned landscapes and flowers, are there other subjects that interest you? Susan: I enjoy photographing people just being who they are. Musicians are some of my favorite subjects to photograph. I love the emotion that comes through when they are playing their instruments. My other favorite portrait subject is photographing

families and children in their home environment. I just ask them to do what they normally do as if I wasn’t there. This creates more natural and intimate portraits. Sometimes I get some pretty funny photos though. For instance, I was photographing my grandchildren and just told them to be themselves and do what they wanted. I now have a portrait of my grandson with a lampshade on his head with only his little legs sticking out and my other grandchild dressed as a Pikachu! What are you working on now? Susan: My newest body of work is called ReVision. They will be a collection of photos that will be a visual representation of the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury, the injury people can’t see. I experienced such an injury a few years ago and the goal of the photographs is to visually represent the challenges survivors encounter. The community must feel so appreciative for your contributions to various shows you are in, and the meaning behind what you do. Can you discuss some of that with us? Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019 • 9

Grand Design Susan Sabino

There are a lot of serious issues in the world that we are constantly aware of, and art is an important way of bringing awareness. In some of my work such as my ReVision series I address these directly. But sometimes we just need a break from that and be reminded of beautiful moments. I look for hidden beauty that is often unseen by others and capture it as an image that I can share. My hope is that people will pause for a moment and just see something beautiful and feel inspired some way. How do you think people generally react to your photographs? Does their feedback you get generally make you more ambitious to delve into what you’re working on at a more in-depth scope and pace? Praise often leads us to look deeper, ya think? Susan: Yes, I do think that. When people share what they see in my photographs and how it makes them feel, it always helps me to see things about my work that I had not seen before. This helps me to appreciate unique qualities in my work and gives me a sense of direction. Sometimes the responses are what I expect and other times they are quite surprising. For example people say my landscapes have a painterly quality. I appreciate that since I try to capture the intangible qualities and the transitions of landscapes rather than just the physical appearance. 10 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

On the other hand, people seem to think my flowers are very sexual which is not my conscious intention. I do not see this when I am photographing. I am simply looking for light, line, and color to come together in a design that is striking to me. Do you find that you have a strong imagination? As a child, did you find yourself being a little artist? Susan: I have always had a strong imagination since I was a child but I wouldn’t have called myself artist when I was little. My mother always told me that I would be a late bloomer. I guess she was right about that one! Where did you grow up? Susan: I was born in the Berkshires and lived here until the age of twelve. After that we moved so frequently that there were some places that I only lived in for 3 weeks. I went to thirteen different schools. This was very hard, but it gave me the gift of seizing the moment. It was exciting to discover new places and learn about the culture of the different states. Every school offered something different and I always signed up for classes that were presented in an artistic way. For example, screenwriting for English, movie making and fencing. I took advantage of every unique opportunity that each place presented for however long it lasted.

I think if you went into a six-week intensive to study and learn from other photographers, would be ideal for you. Are you looking into anything like that? Susan: My work is based more on intuition than technical skills. Participating in an intensive study with other photographers could give me the opportunity to learn new skills that could help me expand my artistic vision. For instance, I am very interested in learning more about alternative processes. Do you find art to come easy for you, and does it help in other areas of your daily life? How so? Susan: Art does not comes easy to me but it brings me a lot of joy and personal fulfillment. I definitely feel like it is a part of who I am and is my way of connecting with the rest of the world. It gives me a beautiful and meaningful way to express myself. We shed our skins every so many years, and transform to the next plateau. Do you agree? How would this analogy be envisioned for you? Susan: Very true. Life shapes and transforms us. As a result our creative vision changes to reflect the knowledge and experiences we have in our life. A perfect example of this for me is the Van Gogh exhibit that was at the Clark. The exhibit took you on a journey from the beginning of his art to the end. You could see the transformation in his art and how it re-

Two Spirits Susan Sabino

lated to where he was in his life at the time. I can look back at my own work and see how my artwork was influenced by where I was emotionally at the time and how it has evolved over the years. As far as other interests, what do you love to do? Do you have much time for extracurricular projects, or travel, or museum and gallery visits? Susan: I live on a pond, so everyday gives me the opportunity to enjoy kayaking and wildlife. I also enjoy short hikes and generally being in the outdoors as much as possible. I enjoy having a lot of time to myself, but am fortunate to have my children nearby and spending time with them. Visiting museums and attending art receptions are also things I enjoy which are great opportunities to be inspired and meet lovely and interesting people. If there was an invite from a famous artist, to go to their studio, their home, enjoy lunch and talk.

Who would that be? (they don’t have to be living to qualify!) Susan: Well that one is easy. Georgia Okeeffe. I not only love her art but I think she is an amazing woman who was ahead of her time. How amazing would it be to be a guest in her home, eat with her and have the opportunity to have a conversation with her? I have admired her since I was a teenager. I recently took a trip to New Mexico to visit the areas where she lived and painted. I visited her home, walked paths that she walked and stood in spots where she painted. It was very spiritual and inspiring. All that was missing was her! Susan, what is your number one dream you wish to come true? Susan: There are many places in the world that I would like to travel to. But if I can only pick one, then my dream is to stay in Italy for a least a month and be completely immersed. Probably Tuscany. Having the

last name Sabino, I have long been obsessed with staying in Italy and finding my Italian roots. I even had a DNA test done to see if that would help me find some of my ancestors -- but the only ones I found were Irish! Apparently, I have very little Italian in me. I still love Italy though and I still want to go! And, where are you planning to go from here? Susan: I wish I had a plan. But I don’t. I am just staying open to new opportunities and where they lead me. Is there anything that rings truth to you that you have heard others say and you adhere to? Susan: Be true to yourself and follow your heart. Thank you, Susan! H



JAANE DOE Jaane Doe announces the release her new music single PAWNS. The embryonic journey for this musical creation began in the fall of 2017 and has now come to fruition! The theme of the piece is metamorphosis, transcendence and success through positive energy and hard work. As chess players know, the pawn can become a queen if the strategy of the game is just right. This anthemic song begins with a beautiful piano prelude and builds into a compelling musical statement in the folk rock genre. Written and produced by Jaane Doe, this is her first official release since BURNS LIKE FIRE in 2007. “The work of an artist, whether visual or musical is a snapshot of where they are in time, and shares the perception of what is inside, and their vision of the world around them.” Accompanying the music single is an enchanting music video captured in celluloid right here in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts currently being screened at various locations in the Tri-State area. (Most recent showing was August 4th, at the Historic Round Lake Auditorium in Round Lake NY). The next screening event will be held on Sunday, October 27 at the Berkshire South Regional Community Center from 2-4 pm. The event is free to the public For more information, and updates visit the website. To hear the new music single: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/pawnssingle/1470816179 Jaane Doe - www.jaanedoe.com; www.facebook.com/JaaneDoeMusic; https://issuu.com/theartfulmindartzine/docs/artful_mind_august_2019

“Music is a proud, temperamental mistress. Give her the time and attention she deserves, and she is yours. Slight her and there will come a day when you call and she will not answer. So I began sleeping less to give her the time she needed.” ― Patrick Rothfuss


CLAUDIA D’ALESSANDRO THE NATURE OF THINGS Like John Burroughs, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” Through my lens, I can capture moments otherwise gone in an instant -- in prints on canvas, aluminum and photo paper -- and keep close the scenes of the beauty and mystery that exist all around. "She sees with her eyes and feels with her heart." ~ DKAH The Berkshires is a changing, moving and exciting palette with a seasonal and topographical backdrop that has made this region a destination for generations of people seeking a beautiful place just to 'be.' In late Summer and early Autumn, nature rejoices in her maturity; her fruits are ripe and the depths of her dark greens, golds, russets, purples and reds preside over her landscape. Gathering for winter has begun. Afternoon shadows grow long, dusk is early. The first chill air creeps in. And the days grow shorter, reminding us of a long winter yet to come. “Since 1965 I have been a 'been, gone, and now back' resident here (back completely since 1993) and I have come to realize that there is no place that I would rather be. In hills and streams, lakes and brooks, valleys and woods, and from the tops of our mountains, there is everything I need to soothe my spirits and enliven my soul. And there is little that I enjoy as much as catching a tiny bit of that beauty and preserving it for all to see.” Autumn adorns the Berkshires with her majesty. And I enjoy trying to catch and preserve as many moments as I can, through my lens. To order prints or inquire about pricing, including SPECIAL PRICING for Artful Mind Readers, email me at cdalessandro26@gmail.com. "Claudia's photography touches our souls with deep joy!" ~ CHR Claudia D’Alessandro - website at https://www.dalessandrophotography.com, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cdalessandrophotography/and on Instagram as: dalessandronatura


FLYING HORSE OUTDOOR SCULPTURE BERKSHIRE ARTISTS IN EAST COAST SHOW 2019 When the tenth annual Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit opens September 1 on the 100acre campus of Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA, the Berkshires and environs will be well represented. A full eight artists from within 90 minutes of Great Barrington will be displaying their work at what has become the largest temporary exhibit of outdoor art in New England. Pieces by Peter Barrett of Great Barrington, MA; Joe Chirchirillo of North Bennington, VT; Steve Heller of Boiceville, NY; Peter Kirkiles of South Kent, CT; Robert Markey of Ashfield, MA; Binney Meigs of Sheffield, MA; James Meyer of Lakeville, CT; and Robert Wilk of Lenox, MA will be among the more than 50 works by regional and national artists working in a wide variety of media and styles Pingree is the only school in the country to sponsor and organize such a display of art. The Flying Horse Exhibit continues until November 30 and is open to the public seven days a week during daylight hours. There is no admission fee. The public is also invited to a reception with the artists on Sunday, September 15 when Honorary Chair Yarrow Thorne, founder and artistic director of The Avenue Concept, a public art initiative in Providence, Rhode Island, will speak. "Pingree is happy to offer the public this opportunity to enjoy art on the school's campus," says the show's curator, Judith Klein. "Head of School Dr. Tim Johnson believes art should be an integral part of every child's education, but it should also be a part of the lives of adults because it enriches us and encourages our creativity." Outdoor art, especially art that is accessible to all, says Klein, is a shared experience that can make a community grow closer too. Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture - more information is available at pingree.org/sculpture-show or jklein@jkconsult.net

Jennifer Pazienza



PAINTING BY KATE KNAPP Painting classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1pm at the studio in Housatonic and Thursday mornings 10am - 1pm out in the field. Also available for private critiques. Open to all. Please come paint with us! Gallery hours: Open by chance and by appointment anytime 413. 274. 6607 (gallery) 413. 429. 7141 (cell) 413. 528. 9546 (home) www.kateknappartist.com

Front Street, Housatonic, MA

Anna Oliver

Anna Oliver, Bird of Paradise Oil on Canvas, 36 x 48”

The Artful Mind Gallery @ Front Street, 129 Housatonic, MA October —November 2019 510 WARREN STREET GALLERY, Warren St, Hudson,NY 14 •THE ARFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019


Eleanor Lord

Apparisions acrylic and collage on canvas 60 x 48”

The Artful Mind Gallery: OCT / NOV 2019 Reception for Artists: Oct 5 5-7pm Front Street Gallery Housatonic, MA 100 North St Pittsfield Painting - Collage - Construction 914. 260. 7413 markmellingerart.com markmellinger680@gmail.com

Eleanor Lord pastel






Photograph by Edward Acker - the train station wall at front street From the left: Sean McCusker: photo by Tasja Keetman, Anna Oliver, Mark Mellinger, Susan Geller, Bruce Shickmanter, Carolyn Newberger, Janet Pumphrey, me, Jennifer Pazienza, Carl Berg and Mary Carol Rudin


FRONT STREET GALLERY Harryet Candee’s introduction...

After 25 years of curating the The Artful Mind magazine, last year I fulfilled my dream of exhibiting a group of artists from those very pages onto the walls of a great bricks and mortar gallery space in Lenox, MA. It was success in every respect: the space, the artists, and the sales. With a schedule of artists and musicians speaking, demonstrating and performing, it was an all-around great experience for participants and visitors. This year I decided to install the artists in an equally beautiful space, and exhibit their fine art at the Front Street Gallery and Studio of Kate Knapp, located in the historic and eclectic town of Housatonic, MA, just outside Great Barrington, MA. I have been the promoter for artists for many years in the Berkshires, assisting artists lift off and connect to the greater art world, directing them to a multitude of resources geared to support their self-discovery and artist journey. Promoting artists on the pages of The Artful Mind magazine has been a fulfilling career for me that naturally led to the idea of giving artists an opportunity to show their art in a living, breathing space. For me, the sequence of events typically experienced by artists was my experience too; the thrill of adventure, the hard work and dedication that lead to sparks of creativity. I cherish my relationships with other artists that I have made and cultivated over the course of my own artistic career. Now, being a gallerist as well an artist and publisher, it’s truly hard work, but I love it. Our first upcoming show, REALITIES BEYOND THE SURFACE, opening October 5, artists Carl Berg, Susan Geller, Ghetta Hirsch, Sean McCusker, Mark Mellinger, Carolyn Newberger, Anna Oliver, Jennifer Pazienza, Janet Pumphrey, Mary Carol Rudin and Bruce Shickmanter ask you to journey with them beyond the superficial and everyday and celebrate the bounty of their art-making. Grown from a love for questioning the boundaries of their particular artistic fields, the works on exhibit reveal how each of these established artists responds to and translates their shared and individual environments. In these changing times we depend on our visionary artists to remind us that we reap what we sow. Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019 • 17

Carl Berg and Mark Mellinger

Bruce Shickmanter and Janet Pumphrey

Jennifer Pazienza Susan Geller and Ghetta Hirsch Photo shoot with Edward Acker then off to brunch at Pleasant and Main Cafe in Housatonic.

In oil, mixed media and photography we are asked to dig deep. To yield to what is before us, to look beyond the surface of what we see, in order to harvest the richest viewing experiences. Grounded in years of artistic practice and with a thirst for continual artistic renewal, the Berkshire 11 plant the seeds of genuine curiosity as they pose perennial questions about the roots of human Carolyn Newberger and Anna Oliver

and all other natures. Some history... Front St. Gallery was established in 1991. Seven Local artists found the space

and decided it would make a good cooperative gallery since the walls were high, the light was good and the view out the large windows facing east could not be beat. At the time there were almost eight full time galleries in Housatonic open to the public and having regular exhibits. Front St Gallery jumped right in and began having monthly openings where the founding artists, Peter Barret, Anthony Nordoff, Barbio Gizzie, Bleux Coyote Wagner, Kate Knapp, Sally Donnell and Patricia Hickey exhibited their new work. After a while they opened the space to new artists each month and they experienced tremendous success and popularity for about seven years. After that most of the original seven artists had disbanded as their lives changed and it was not possible to keep the doors open on a regular basis. Kate Knapp bought the space and has primarily kept it as her own studio, with it acting as a gallery on a by appointment only basis in the winter. It is open on weekends in the summer when she exhibits her own and her students work. Over the years she has had several one-person shows for local artists. In its history the space played a vital role in the 18 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

Visiting Front St. Gallery Nina (yellow sun hat) and John Lipkowitz enjoy the day with their friends

The Housatonic River by Kate Knapp

Interior of Front St Gallery and studio

community and has accommodated a wide range of needs and interests, including a meeting place for group therapy, theater workshops, summer art camps, concerts, poetry readings and AA meetings. There are art classes held every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday morning. Hundreds of paintings have been created in the studio/ gallery and hundreds have been seen on and sold from its walls. Once again, Front Street Gallery is generously opening its doors to yet another transformation as it hosts The Artful Mind Gallery and its October and November exhibitions. Come sit a spell at our bistro-like setting while the leaves change color and fall gracefully around our Nespresso filled cups. Throughout October and November come join us for artist talks and demonstrations meant to inspire and bring you to finding the art that speaks to you well into the starfilled night. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors into what promises to be a warm and inviting environment, where surrounded by many beautiful and exciting works they can meet, chat and maybe leave with a personal art treasure.

artfulmindgallery@yahoo.com for more info... Please readi about the artists on the following page... THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019 • 19





Janet Pumphrey began her photography explorations after college with a dark room in her closet and a short-lived plan to sell photographs from a kiosk in the French Quarter in New Orleans. For the next thirty years, she continued to photograph as she practiced law and raised her two daughters in Lenox, Massachusetts. Her hobby became serious with her first digital camera and first early version of Photoshop in 2004. Her photographs have been shown at The Artful Mind Gallery in Lenox, L’Atelier Berkshires in Great Barrington, the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Sohn Fine Arts in Lenox, the St. Francis Gallery in Lee, and other galleries and venues. Pumphrey has studied with such esteemed photographers as Fran Forman (Photoshop), Valda Bailey (in-camera multiple exposure), Sebastian Michaels (Photoshop), Hazel Meredith (textures and overlays), and Mollie Isaacs. Pumphrey photographs have been published in the British Nikon publication, Nphoto, The Artful Mind, the New York Times, and the Berkshire Eagle. Many of her photographs appear in the book Come Photograph: the Berkshires. While photography is a representational medium, Pumphrey moves beyond the inherent realism in traditional photography to see the world in a new and more creative way. She appreciates the ability to manipulate photographs through the artistic imagery available both in-camera and post-processing, turning what was a realistic photograph into a creative, often abstract work of art. Her favorite subjects have always been people, street photography, cityscapes, and landscapes. The impressionist photographs in the two Welles Gallery shows are of flower and trees. I interpret my environment by starting with a realistic photograph. Then, by using in-camera and post-processing techniques, I alter that realistic image to transform it into a creative work of fine art. My work is painterly, sometimes abstract, sometimes impressionistic. Each piece explores the realities beyond the surface as well as the moments beyond the usual because each piece is a unique, creative interpretation of a realistic image. Janet Pumphrey - www.JanetPumphrey.com 20 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

SEAN MCCUSKER Living in the quiet town of Becket, Massachusetts, Sean McCusker has developed a kinship with the solitude of the hilly landscape around him. Focusing this in his artwork he develops striking surreal landscapes full of color and mystery. The subjects of his paintings, although abstract, are reminiscent of the lone hero from film; confidently standing against the world yet yearning for the security of a home just over the horizon. Sean’s paintings are made up of roughly thirty thin, transparent layers, each one adding complexity. As the layers are carefully worked up the composition's forms and colors become more contrasted, more dramatic. The translucent layers create a glowing composition of dark shadows suspended in light. The landscapes he creates are surreal constructs -- a stage, rather than representations of a specific place. Like the masked actors in a Greek drama, the characters and objects in his work are emotional archetypes. Using intense oil colors in a layered technique suitable for objective realism, he has developed a painting style that attempts to depict emotion as a solid object. Many of Sean’s paintings center around a single figure set against a vast empty space. The light illuminating the darkness is always just out of the figure's reach. Sometimes the light source is the sun or moon, though most of the time it is ambiguous. The meaning of each element depends on the placement and interaction it has with the rest of the landscape. The sun and moon often stand as sentinels against the darkness. The figures sit, silently contemplating their situation. These meanings change from painting to painting. It is left to the viewer, if they choose, to imagine themselves sitting with the figure, determining what situation it finds itself in. Sean’s work can be seen in exhibits throughout Berkshire County. For more information about his work, and upcoming exhibits, visit his website. Sean McCusker - www.sean-mccusker.com

“When I paint I tune into the visual flow before me; reducing it to an arrangement of color waves in forms that evoke movement. As I concentrate I begin to internalize the painting process to where I am moving mentally within the space I am creating. Currently I am experimenting with larger canvases, a powerful visual and emotional experience for me as I feel that I react physically, mainly in a sensorial way, to the landscape I am creating." As a student, Ghetta Hirsch studied watercolor with an Italian master in France, continued to draw while raising a family, and picked up oil painting in later years. “I love painting with oils for the richness of the colors and the way the paint covers the canvas voluptuously. My work is inspired and nourished by my passion for the history of art and more precisely for how color, light and form are expressed in paintings." After growing up in Africa and France, Hirsch lived in England before moving to Washington, D.C., where she pursued a career as an educator. She settled in the Berkshires in 2008, shifting from a life focused on being school principal to making room for her long-neglected love of painting. In her paintings, Hirsch aims to translate to canvas the simple pleasures she observes - a fruit, a field of grass, or billowing clouds - in dynamic compositions and palpable textures. She sees a transition in her recent work from realism to a more interpretive expression of her subjects. Ms. Hirsch has exhibited at The Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT, The Whitney Center for the Arts, Pittsfield, MA, White Birch Wellness Center, North Adams, MA., the Milne Public Library, Gallery 4, Williamstown, MA., Copper Trout Gallery, Cambridge, N.Y., The Artful Mind Gallery, Lenox, MA, and in various Decorators Show Houses in York, Maine and Lexington, MA. Ghetta Hirsch - ghetta-hirsch.squarespace.com, Ghettagh@aol.com, (413) 884-6049 or (413) 2810626, Instagram @ghettahirschpaintings




MARY CAROL RUDIN As a painter I know I am a product of the time in which I live, my surroundings, my travels, and my life experiences. I am influenced by many artists from around the world. I love the work of figurative painter, George Tooker, the more abstract work of Georgia O'Keefe, the 19th century work of Gustave Caillebotte, the distinct work of Sculptor, Alberto Giacometti and many others. The differences between them energizes me to explore my own external and internal experiences. I have an insatiable curiosity and that propels me to try different things in art as well as life. Travel plays a large role for me; each place offers me something to learn and to reflect on. I know my art will reflects my discoveries. I move between oil paint and acrylic paint, canvas and panel and now aluminum composite panels; each one presents different challenges as well as pleasures. I grew up in Southern California and now live and work in New York City and the Southern Berkshires; I am grateful for the experience of both. Mary Carol Rudin - www.mcrudin .com


CAROLYN NEWBERGER I came to art after a long career in psychology, dedicated to the wellbeing of children and families. Two years in the Peace Corps in Africa from 19671969, the diversity of my extended family, the preciousness of the people I has served in my career, and a life in music have all found their ways into my art. Watercolor painting, mixed media and collage, and a practice of drawing from life form the body of my work. I draw in real time, in the natural world and as well in darkened performance halls. There the challenge is to keep a receptive ear and a loose hand in order to capture both performer and sound, with their rhythm, flow, and intensity. These works illustrate essays and music and dance reviews, some written in collaboration with my husband, Eli Newberger, in The Berkshire Edge, a publication of news, arts and ideas in Western Massachusetts. More recently, my work has focused on the life and beauty of the forest, a place filled with unexpected discoveries. Living on the edge of a deep forest, my dog, Lily and I have been exploring it together. While Lily leaps and sniffs out rodents under decaying logs, I, with folding stool, notebook and art supplies on my back, records in words and images the forest’s revelations. My artwork has received numerous awards, including Watercolor Artist Magazine, the Danforth Museum of Art, the Cambridge Art Association, and the New England Watercolor Society. I have widely exhibited in solo and group shows in New England and beyond. A signature member of the New England Watercolor Society, my work is represented by Galatea Fine Art in Boston, MA. To see more of my work as well as professional and personal publications please visit my website. Carolyn Newbergerwww.carolynnewberger.com

My artistic interests predate and have extended beyond my professional psychological activities. I have been a practicing Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist, now retired, for the past 35 years in New York City. I have taught at the City University of New York, New York University, Marymount Manhattan College and The New School for Social Research. My images have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York City, Spencertown, NY, Chatham, NY, Old Chatham, NY, Rye, NY, Hudson, NY, Albuquerque, NM, Scranton, PA, Wassaic, NY, Pittsfield, MA, and Sacramento, CA. Two abstract images can be found in” Direct Art”, Vol.15, Fall/Winter 2008. I was the cover and featured visual artist in “Hanging Loose Press”, issue #91, 2007, ISSN:0440-2316. I was the featured artist cover story in “The Artful Mind”, November, 2008. My photograph is the cover image for a book by Elizabeth Swados, “Waiting:Selected Non-Fiction” 2011, ISBN:9781-934909-21-8. I am currently collaborating in a monthly column, “Our Remains of the Day”, in The Artful Mind, Carl Berg photography, Judy Berg, writer, November 2017- present. My purpose is twofold. Through the digital representational and non-representational photographic image, I attempt to detail and illustrate the artful in the unnoticed, the depth and complexity in the ordinary and mundane. Also, by identifying and illustrating the tactile elements of expression in objects not ordinarily seen as communicative, I try to provoke the observer’s projections on these otherwise unexpressive screens. Additionally, through the visual diversity of the different images and their installation, I attempt to create a conversation amongst these individual elements, hopefully transforming the visual word into photographic phrases. All represented images are actual camera captures not computer constructions. Carl Berg - www.nonationimages.com

See more @ The Artful Mind Eleven Artists @ Front Street Gallery in Housatonic Gallery hours : Saturdays and Sunday 10 - 5, Thurs and Mondays 2 - 7pm THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019 • 21


JENNIFER PAZIENZA All things are meltable, and replaceable. Not at this moment, but soon enough, we are lambs and we are leaves, and we are stars, and the shining, mysterious pond water itself. Mary Oliver


ANNA CYPRA OLIVER Anna Cypra Oliver is a painter and writer, most notably of the critically acclaimed memoir Assembling My Father (Houghton Mifflin, Mariner Books). She is a member of 510 Warren Street Gallery in Hudson, N.Y., and her paintings have appeared on the cover of The Best American Poetry 2017 and alongside her essays in various literary journals. She lives with her husband Stephan in Great Barrington, MA. Though Anna’s paintings are representational, often depicting flowers, pools, beach towels and the like, her true subject is color—vivid, intense color—and the effects of light, whether in the form of shadows, reflections or the tangles of form created by shifts of value or tone. The Artful Mind Gallery at Front St. Gallery, Housatonic MA

Pixelated images appear in nanoseconds. Superhuman art installations challenge market economies. Still, Jennifer maintains an old-fashioned affair with oil paint. Drawn from traditions of the past, yet wholly rooted in the present, her paintings not only surprise and delight. They relieve us from the non-stop visual onslaught of contemporary life as they invite us to reflect on our place in it. Love, longing, and the fluidity of time shape Jennifer’s poetic landscapes. As does her 35-year exploration of working with a limited colourist palette. A student of the ephemeral; of truth and beauty, of light and place and home she paints to remember, to understand—to dissolve dualities and ease tensions. Jennifer Pazienza’s resume includes scholarly activities in art education, awards, accolades, and an extensive exhibition record. Her work is held in significant Public, Private and Corporate Collections in Canada, the United States, Britain and Italy. Her most recent art adventure, a group show in Bologna with 80 other artists! A Jersey girl from an Italian American family she has painted, for nearly 30 years from her beloved Keswick Ridge. Jennifer Pazienza - www.jenniferpazienza.com; www.instagram.com/jenniferpazienza


MARK MELLENGER I live in two separate worlds. One verbal and one visual. What they have in common is an attitude of pushing into the unknown; of allowing unconscious elements to take form within consciousness. I couldn’t live without both. Art came first, but after a while I began to feel self-indulgent and isolated. I wanted to address problems of mans’ impact on the environment. I went through careers in art, photography, carpentry, ecology and microbiology before landing in psychology at 30. 10 years ago, when we found a loft in Pittsfield, I returned to my first love, art. It’s not like riding a bicycle. I had to start from scratch. I feel I’m just now catching up to where I left off 50 years ago. I’m not satisfied with a piece for a long time. I’ll put it away and work on something else. I’ll look at it upside down and in a mirror, trying to get a handle on what’s wrong. It’s a very solitary meditation. I might gesso over everything except some small bits that are working; then start over from those. The viewer completes the process. It’s a collaboration. It’s a thrill when someone “gets” a piece, but I’m OK when they don’t. The connection with the viewer should be as rare and special as marriage. www.markmellingerart.com markmellinger680@gmail.com

See more @ The Artful Mind Eleven Artists @ Front Street Gallery in Housatonic Gallery hours : Saturdays and Sunday 10 - 5, Thurs and Mondays 2 - 7pm info: artfulmindgallery@yahoo.com 22 •THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019



SUSAN GELLER The four 2018 photos in ELEVEN, The Artful Mind exhibit are beautiful iconic images of Paris, and autumn reflections of water lilies in Monet’s Gardens in Giverny. Susan Geller has always followed her heart and her dreams: photography, writing and adventure. In 1971, during a journey to Japan, she bought a Nikkormat. She worked in Boston during the 1960’s, and returned to the Berkshires, where she originated the weekly children’s column, “Suzy,” for The Sunday Sampler, a supplement to the Berkshire Eagle. From 1974-78, she wrote her column and illustrated it with her own photographs. During this time, she published three children’s books—I Live In Stockbridge, a history of the town, illustrated by the late Susan Leroy Merrill. In collaboration with artist, Nan Bookless she wrote, The All About Apples Coloring Book for Bartlett’s Apple Orchard, Richmond, MA, and, My Tanglewood Summer for Tanglewood's Glass House. In the 1980’s, she worked as a Department of Defense Dependent School teacher in West Berlin, Germany. Ms. Geller graduated from Lesley College, Cambridge, MA with a BS in Education, a MA in Urban Education from Simmons College, and a MSW from the University of Maryland. She worked for 30 years as a teacher and guidance counselor. From 2009-2013, Ms. Geller was a freelance writer and photographer for “Berkshires Week,” the Thursday calendar section of The Berkshire Eagle. Her work has appeared in many group shows, magazines, websites, brochures, and two CD covers. She is a contributor to BTWBerkshires.com, and OLLI at Berkshire Community College. For 2019: Highlighted publications: *TEN SPOT Photography Show / Pittsfield’s Annual 8th 10x10 Upstreet Winter Arts Festival at the Lichtenstein Center For The Arts; * Cover of the spring OLLI catalog; * One of 15 photos: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Calendar. 66,000 households; * Far, Far Away exhibit. Colonial Theater; * Let’s Go Pink exhibit. Colonial Theater.


BRUCE SHICKMANTER Bruce Shickmanter retired in 2012 from his work as a physician in Berkshire County. After retirement he decided to pursue a long-term interest in watercolor painting. In his paintings Bruce develops his use of pleasing shapes along with light and color to convey a sense of magic, mystery and movement. He uses the texture and matte finish of gouache to create a contrast with the transparent and ephemeral qualities of watercolors. The scenes he paints are often places he has come across while hiking or biking or are inspired by a photo that stimulates his creativity. Bruce’s paintings have been shown at St. Francis Gallery in Lee, MA, The Artful Mind Gallery in Lenox, MA, Chocolate Springs Café in Lenox, MA and in multiple group shows in various locations with the Guild of Berkshire Artists. Bruce Shickmanter413-446-3721, ontrails13@gmail.com

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…. join us and experience something different. Painting classes continue on Monday and Wednesday mornings 10-1:30pm at the studio and Thursday mornings out in the field. These classes are open to all...come to one or come again if it works for you. All levels and materials welcome. Private critiques available. Classes at Front Street are for those wishing to learn, those who just want to be involved in the pure enjoyment of art, and/or those who have some experience under their belt. Perfect if you are seeking fresh insight into watercolors, and other mediums. Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance anytime. 413-5289546 at home or 413-429-7141 (cell) www.kateknappartist.com



BILLY HAHN FILMMAKER Interview by Harryet Candee Photographs by Billy Hahn

Harryet: So you say, you like to be ‘behind the scenes’ in the filmmaking realm rather than in front of the camera. Are you just a shy fellow? Shouldn’t you also be an actor? Billy Hahn: The camera and I have a special relationship. The camera will only work when I’m the actual operator or if I’m directing the scene from behind the camera. This past year, I engaged in a number of acting and directing workshops in New York City. I want to keep improving as a director and storyteller. How did you first discover the interest in film making? What led up to that discovery? Billy: When I was a young’in, I used to take pictures with my Dad’s old 35mm camera. When we’d drop them off at the Fotomat, I couldn’t wait to see how they turned out. The pictures actually came out pretty good, showing a bit of promise. Except for the ones that contained my fingers in the frame. When I entered my terrible teens. I started shooting on an old VHS camera we bought at a tag sale. This thing was a monster, but it worked pretty well. One highlight of my teen film making years was a film called, “Shopping Carts from Hell.” It's about two teenage guys who decide to go on a rampage, destroying shopping carts in a Bradlees parking lot. It was fun! 24 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

What is it that makes you wake up every day with a thirst and passion for planning new adventures in the film arena? Billy: Working on a project keeps me sane! Many people never get the momentum, encouragement, drive, or any actual opportunity to take their dreams to fruition. But it looks like you have. Is that true? Can you explore this question with us in detail on how it all panned out for you, please? Has luck anything to do with it? Billy: It’s those darn negative thoughts that creep in and tell you can’t do it, saying, “it's too big of a project,” “There's not enough money or resources,” “I need more time.” I say: Go with what you have. Scale down the project or come up with an idea that is in your realm of resources. As far as luck goes, sometimes you’re graced with some good luck, but the rest of the time you make your own luck. For you, was attending the School of Visual Arts in NYC a good learning experience in what you were hoping to master? What are your overall thoughts about this private art school? Was SVA your choice school you were accepted into? Billy: SVA was the only school I wanted to attend be-

cause of their great film program. Plus, I knew living in NYC would really open my horizons about; art, music, poetry, experiencing people from all walks of life. I will never forget that time in my life. Now, here’s the thing...if a young student interested in film studies, asked me about going to film school or college, I would tell them it would be up to them. I would however suggest an alternative. Sign up for a yearly membership ($25 range) at their nearest public access television station and start learning about directing, filming, editing. CTSB-TV in Lee, Massachusetts, is a great place to check out. Many people don't know what incredible resources public access television has to offer. You must have worked alongside some notable actors during your time. Anyone in particular you can recall? Billy: Back when I was working as a property master on Independent films, I meet and worked with a good amount known actors. Two immediately come to mind. The first was Ed Asner. He was such a pro. Always ready to go on set. The other was Dom DeLuise. He was such a warm, kind-hearted human being. I find that people never have any clue of how much

Filming of Penny Land in Central Park, NYC with Laileela Hobby, David Joseph and Billy Hahn

work is involved and the hours it takes, literally, to do a project from start to finish, including all the in-betweens. When people know you have spent such a lengthy number of hours on a project, they are suddenly impressed, interested and no longer clueless to your endeavors. Can you relate to any of this so far? What was it that you can tell us that is reminiscent to time spent on Penny Land? Billy: From the time I started the rewrite of Penny Land, to the first shoot day in May 2015, to launching on Amazon this past August has been journey. Sometimes exhausting, but always fun. You're making a film! You do live it 24/7. Unless someone has gone through the process, it may be a little hard to understand it completely. What does indie mean in the film industry? Billy: Independent: free from outside control. There must be challenges to making a film, yes? Billy: There are always challenges when making a film. Some seen, some unforeseen. Coordinating is the really tough part. Especially on Penny Land. Because of the $5,000 budget, people are still working at their day jobs. So that's why we mainly shoot the film on the weekends. Can you tell us about the cast members in Penny Land? Billy: First, let me run down the entire cast, because they all need to be mentioned here: David Joseph, Michael Burnet, Jamie Greenland, Jeff Kent, Kaileela

Hobby, Kendal Lenihan, Ryan Marchione, Robert Lohbauer, Jennie Jadow, Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Zoe Laiz, Dana Harrison, Heidi Saupe, Sam Burnham & Melanie Ray. I am so thankful to the cast (and crew) of Penny Land, especially David Joseph. They are all incredible talents you will always find working on a stage production or a film project. Anything you can recall that was out of the ordinary or funny that happened while filming Penny Land? Billy: Well, there was this one time on the set... The scene we were shooting, was a highly charged scene with David, Michael and Jeff's characters. Literally, right after I said action, the scene went off the rails. A fist fight broke out with David, Michael and Jeff. I jumped in, trying to stop it, and was hit in the side of my head. More like the ear actually. It was starting to turn into a !! Luckily, Ryan Marchione who was my boom operator for the day (I only had a two-man crew while shooting the film, myself and the boom operator), jumped in and took control of the situation. …. That's actually not a true story, but it sounded interesting. What’s Penny Land about? Ha ha, you had me totally believing you there for a minute! Billy: Penny Land came a deep, dark place! Ha. Pretty simple answer really, I wrote the film based on pieces of my life experiences along the way. Losing family members? Yes! Gambling issues? A tad! You get the idea.

At some point, along the way of the making the film, did you ever find yourself ready to give up? Billy: Sometimes making a film can be like going into battle. When I was working as a prop guy, I saw it all. The good days when things ran smoothly and the bad days when everything went wrong; the actor shows up to the set drunk, lose a location hours before shooting there, lighting of the scene takes too long, the wardrobe for a particle scene is wrong, some of the craft service food is making people sick, instead of shooting the most important scene of the day first in full sunlight, it's shot that at the end of the day when you're losing the light (and maybe that scene is highly emotional for the actor). There are endless, something unimaginable things that can go wrong. But also, unexpected gems can happen; a scene where an actor does something so amazingly beautiful and organic. With Penny Land, like the films I've worked on, there always be times when things aren't going the way you want. You just have to keep going toward the finish line!! Tell us about the journey into the world of Film Festivals and your participation with them for Penny Land? Is it very competition these days to get your film accepted into one? What has been the Manhattan Film Festival experience like for you? Billy: Years ago, I wrote and directed a short film called, “Merwinsville.” I shot the film on actual film (16mm) and edited the film on video and transferred the final cut back to film, but to 35mm. Back then, Continued on next page... THE ARTFUL MIND OCTOBER 2019 • 25

On the set of Penny Land with Michael Burnet, David Joseph and Billy Hahn Outside of Pleasant and Main Cafe in Housatonic, MA

many of the festivals screened films on 35mm. “Merwinsville” went to be accepted to fifteen film festivals world-wide, winning several awards. And, ever festival I attended, I hustled to get the word out about the film. Also, during that time, I screened “Merwinsville” at a numbers of movie theatres in Massachusetts and Connecticut. These days, the film festival circuit is a bit more competitive with so many more people shooting films because of easier access. And many films are shot on 4K cameras, or the RED (makes your film look like film) In 2018, Penny Land has had two public screenings: The screening at the Manhattan Film Festival and the local screening at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA. The screening at the Mahaiwe was so great! We had a crowd size of over three hundred people. The staff at the Mahaiwe were so generous and helpful. Now, I am incredibly thankful to the Manhattan Film Festival for accepting Penny Land, but I was hoping it would have the similar feeling to film festivals I attended years before. It felt like more of a screening than a film festival. Again, I am very grateful to the Manhattan Film Festival for the opportunity. Penny Land has been turned down by a number of film festivals including the Berkshire International Film Festival. When do you know you are finished with a project 26 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

and free to move on to the planning of the next film in mind? Billy: In the case of Penny Land, I knew the version that screened at the Manhattan Film Festival at the Mahaiwe wasn't quite right. I had stepped away from the film for a little while to do another film. It's a short called, “Blue Hill.” It's about a young woman who goes on a paranormal investigation in search of a lost, little boy. I shot the film in one of the local forests. A few months later, I began to do the research on what it takes to add a film to Amazon. Adding close captioned and the poster image (with the right dimensions and with high resolution) are the two requirements. As I began the slow process of creating the closed-captioned titles, I clearly saw what needed to be changed in the film. Sometime stepping away from a long-term project is the best policy. When you were a young’in, did you have a ‘play field’ or a ‘theater’ going on in your mind. I believe to be an artist, in all venues, you must have a keen imagination to make things materialize. A penny for your thoughts. Billy: When I was a young-in, I imagined being in a baseball film. Our team made it to the World Series. It was game seven. The series is tied, three games apiece. And, I'm next to bat with two outs, bottom of

the ninth inning, down three runs, bases loaded. I was nervous, I hadn’t been playing well, and some of the other kids weren't being nice to me. I step into the batter's box, strike one (the home crowd is tense), strike two (the home crowd becomes really tense). The next pitch is a fast ball right down the middle of the plate. I swing at the ball with everything I have. The ball connects with the bat. Everything is in slow-motion. The ball begins to sail up into a blue sky. It takes flight. I stand at home plate watching the ball. The crowd goes crazy. The kids on my team are jumping up and down. The ball flies over the outfield fence and we win the World Series. I'm a hero! Love it, now what for you? Are you going into hiding? Traveling Spending time on something, yes? Billy: I've always been in hiding! I'd like to travel again, but sadly money doesn't grow on trees. It's been a very long while since I've traveled West of Pennsylvania, South of New Jersey, or flown over the Atlantic. So, in the meantime, I'll carry on. Time to get back to editing, “Blue Hill.” From a literary or film point of view, who and what titles and names are constantly a source of inspiration for you? Billy: From a literary point of view, I love to read

On set in Berkshire County with Billy Hahn

books written by Nick Hornby. I have some of his older books, his portrayal of the mid-thirties and midforties bloke, is spot. When you say film, you say Marty Scorsese! He continues to make high-quality films. Independent filmmaker, John Sayles, has long been an inspiration to me. He makes films without compromise. He is a true Independent filmmaker. The biggest inspiration for me right now, and beyond, is director Baran bo Odar. He is the co-creator and director of the German series, “DARK.” To me, his directing is top-notch. Check out the show on Netflix.

want to shoot in Vegas!). Anyway, in 2014 I rewrote the setting of the script to take place here in Berkshire County. I knew I could make the film happen by rewriting the script for this area. One of things that never changed in both versions of the script, was that it focused on two best friends from New York. Shooting in the Berkshires is amazing and has so much to offer. It's been a long time since a feature film made exclusively in this area.

What in your mind makes Penny Land a unique film? Billy: There has been several Wall Street type of films over the years, but as far as I know, there isn't one out there that exclusively deals with penny stocks. Now, in a few of these films, penny stocks have been given a bit of screen time, but ultimately, not as the main story in the film. Recently, I was speaking to someone about who had just watched Penny Land on Amazon Prime. I was so pleased to hear them say that they learned a lot about penny stocks because of the way I presented it in a clearly laid out fashion in the writing and direction.

How did you first get in touch and interested in casting David Joseph as your lead actor? Sounds like he ended up with many responsibilities in Penny Land. Billy: After I finished the rewriting of the script in the Spring of 2015. I knew finding the right actor to play the lead character of “Billy” was key. August of that year, a friend of mine put me in touch with David Joseph to play the part of “Billy.” I knew David had an amazing reputation in the area. We meet for about fifteen minutes and hit it off right away. Off we went! Everything really came together quickly, and we rolled camera in October 2015. David was fantastic. He was the film's co-producer, casting director, locations guru, and part, part, part-time boom operator.

Shooting the film in the Berkshires, was it a perfect fit? Or had you needed to make the location work according to the theme of the film? Billy: Years back, while I was in Los Angeles, I started writing the script for Penny Land. The first draft took place in Los Angeles and Las Vegas (Who wouldn't

If you had a budget of one million dollars for Penny Land, how would you change it? Billy: Hmm.... I would use a better camera. Pay everyone big salaries. Than I would use the rest to start a film scholarship or program for kids who want to be filmmakers, but who can't afford to go to college or art

school. If you had the chance to do a film/art project that did not involve a penny, what would that be? Billy: Make a feature film and call it, “Light & Sweet.” The readers will have to watch Penny Land to understand my answer. What is your one big dream in life? Billy: I fulfilled it! It's now streaming on Amazon. Penny Land! Any final thoughts you’d like to add? Don’t be shy! Billy: I want to thank the cast and crew of Penny Land so much!! Thank you Harryet for this interview. Penny Land has been a long journey. It put everything I am into the film. Mind, body and soul. You are welcome! Give us some links / contacts. pennylandfilm@gmail.com PENNY LAND AMAZON LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Penny-Land-DavidJoseph/dp/B07WXHX38Z/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=pen ny+land&qid=1568727019&sr=8-1 PENNY LAND FACEBOOK PAGE LINK: https://www.facebook.com/PENNYLANDmovie PENNY LAND IMDB LINK: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2069870/reference H



Carolyn Newberger Watercolor painting, mixed media and collage, and a practice of drawing from life form the body of my work. I draw in real time, in the natural world and as well in darkened performance halls. With dance especially, the challenge is to keepa receptive mind and a loose hand in order to capture the continuous unfolding of movement, sound, context and meaning that makes dance so rich and exciting. Many of these works illustrate essays and reviews, some written in collaboration with my husband, Eli Newberger, in The Berkshire Edge, a publication of news, arts and ideas in Western MA.

Sean McCusker will be demonstrating the techniques that make his work a unique fixture of the Berkshires arts scene. Landscapes full of contrast and color, his glazed oil paintings express a mysterious drama that is unmistakable.

Come join the interactive demonstration starting at 1:30pm on Saturday, October 19th at 129 Front Street Gallery in Housatonic.

Www.carolynnewberger.com Cnewberger@me.com PAPOOSE

Mary Carol Rudin www.mcrudin.com

Pearls and Pearlies

Acrylic on Board 18 x 18


Ghetta Hirsch Berkshire Oil Paintings

“Road to Winter” 201916” X 30” Oil on Canvas

website: ghetta-hirsch.squarespace.com instagram: @ghettahirschpaintings Text or call for STUDIO visits: 413. 281. 0626

Mary Carol Rudin www.mcrudin.com

Pearls Pearlies Acrylic on Board 18 x 18 About toand Speak Acrylic on Board 18 x 18


Eggplant and Onion

Our Remains of the Day Letting Go / Holding On Photography by Carl Berg and Text by Judith Berg

Letting go of Summer feels more bitter than sweet. Letting go of Summer is letting go of warm air on bare skin, fresh berries from right around the corner, all the nourishment you need either in your own back yard or a neighbor’s, stretching out your body in cool water on a hot day, bedroom windows open to the night sounds of crickets, cicadas and owls, and the thrill of the first firefly. We are turning a corner, right now, and heading towards winter. But, on the way, we’ll have a few weeks of crisp mornings and deceptively warm afternoons, apple cider and donuts, and our tastes will change, too. We’ll begin to crave warming soups and savory stews in place of fresh tomatoes, corn, and grilled whatever. This year, more than any other that I can remember, it feels like we’re also letting go of necessities that offer no taste to the tongue, or scent to the nose, yet, necessities that provide nourishment and comfort. I’m talking about even a very modest confidence in the good will and sound judgement of our public figures. The Greeks and Romans had their Gods. We have our celebrities and public figures. To be sure, the Gods were no paragons of perfection. They went berserk, had temper tantrums, and, at times, lost their way. But, we are living through a season when it’s almost surprising if one of our “Gods” turns out to deserve the admiration and trust we vest in them. In this season, we lost and mourned two, with a grateful appreciation that I believe owed to our gratitude that, while not perfect, they had not shamed themselves, or us, for our loving regard. I’m speaking of Aretha Franklin and John McCain. They had their low moments, McCain, certainly, in elevating Sarah Palin to a height where the Presidency would have been within her reach. As for Ms. Franklin’s missteps, I don’t know them. I do know that she gave us music that made our spirits soar and our bootys shake. And, I do know that McCain was a Republican who joined Democrats to try to limit the proliferation of big, dark money in our political campaigns, and who voted 30 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, saving the health insurance of many Americans. We mourn these two, who bridged our political and cultural divides. We must let go of their continuing presence in our public sphere, but we can hold on to the gifts they gave us of a soaring musical spirit, and the integrity of bipartisan workmanship for the common good. September 21 The last day of summer, and I find four slender eggplants in the garden, now ripe enough to eat after struggling through summer’s deluge and drought. They are as delicious as they are brave, simmered in a middle-eastern style lamb stew. They deserve their crown of yogurt and a spicy green sauce made with cilantro and parsley. To eat these fruit, for fruit they are, is to honor their fortitude for making it to adulthood against grave climatic odds. We savor this meal, full of the knowledge of the disastrous floods in North Carolina from Hurricane Florence. Destroyed homes, drowned chickens and baby pigs, coal ash, and hog manure have turned parts of the state into toxic cesspools. Yes, hurricanes happen, but warmer seas add to their destructive power. Meanwhile, our current administration in Washington turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to the common good, while hacking away at any protection that cuts corporate profits. And our mouthpiece in chief had the shameless audacity to fault Puerto Rico for giving a full accounting of its dead after Maria, while Florence was bearing down on North Carolina. This brings me to our latest shame: the spectacle of a fifteen year old girl being set upon by two drunken, horny seventeen year old boys. Leave aside for the moment of who’s telling the truth. Right now, I’m concerned about what it does to our civic psyche to behold this spectacle, knowing that one of those seventeen year olds is now a fortyseven year old man courting a lifetime appointment to the highest court of justice in our

WANTED! 60- second scripts for

the radio series “Third Act Minutes”

The Third Act Project is seeking short scripts for a radio series about experiences in later life. All scripts must be limited to one minute, or about 100 words. They can be informative, entertaining, irreverent, inspiring or anything else except dull. Selected scripts will be recorded by professional actors, posted to the Third Act Project website (www.thirdactproject.com) and promoted to public radio stations throughout the United States. Topics might include love, loss, mortality, sports, the arts, travel, humor, and third act surprises and accomplishments. So if you’re in the third of act of life, and have an experience to share, send it to sam@thirdactproject.com. TAP LOGO !

Basil and Lemon by Carl Berg

land. We take sides, but we can’t look away, and are polluted by the spectacle. September 24 Already, the 90 degree days are barely a memory, and the morning’s chill to the mark where Summer’s basil checks out put me in a mood for roast pork loin with root vegetables spiked with Fall’s persistent rosemary. This had to be shared with a friend, and one graciously obliged. While apple cider would have been perfect with this meal, we had to fortify ourselves with something stronger to digest the morning’s news. Another woman has come forward to accuse our Supreme Court nominee of grossly bullying behavior, and there are rumors of yet another. One wonders, are they standing in line, stacked up like planes on a runway waiting to take off, or the hurricanes that blow in one after the other this time of year. And what, precisely, is the destructive force of these stormy (no pun, honest) deeds? How do they affect us as citizens, and what is our role as citizens? We could be made apathetic, even nihilistic, incapacitating our civic will. The game is rigged, it’s all corrupt, no public figure is what he or she purports to be, so I’ll just create my own little island of sanity and not concern myself with the rest of the world. Or, this can be a wakeup call that it’s up to us. Good citizens search for the truth, and don’t take sides until that truth can be known. As a progressive person, I don’t want this nominee to receive a lifetime confirmation to the highest court in the land, but I would not forfeit the truth to that cause. Talk about a slippery slope. I also believe that what we have to let go of in these times, is any illusion that we can count on our public figures working for the common good, that we can coast along and leave it to them. Full disclosure: not so long ago I actually believed that the EPA offered me some protection from environmental toxins. In this season of letting go, we need to wake up and take hold of our role as citizens fully vested in producing the policy outcomes that affect us all. And, whatever truth may see the light, Judge Kavanaugh, you are no Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

—Chosen to reprint from the best of 2018 series by Judith and Carl Berg


Jason And His Grandmother CHAPTER 4

The Three Penny Wrench Richard Britell There was an older man, a friend of Jason’s family that he called “Uncle Bluto.” Bluto was his nickname; his real name was Bruno. Jason called him Uncle Bluto because he looked like the cartoon character. He had the same beard and hairy chest, the same hairy arms and tattoos. Uncle Bluto had a profound effect on Jason, and later, after I got to know him, he had a similar effect on me. Bluto drove a truck for a moving van company, and when he wasn’t on the road he lived near Jason and his grandmother in a rented room. He was often on the road, but when he was home his truck would be parked out in the street. Sometimes Jason would travel down south with him and visit his actual mother for a few days. Whenever Bluto had anything to say he used profanities as his punctuation - you know the type. He had certain one or two-word generic profanities that he often inserted, as many as three times in a single sentence. Jason spoke with the same sentence structure, using the same expressions as Bluto. He was a walking carbon copy of Bluto, but with this difference: Jason was stupid, and Bluto was intelligent in a very peculiar way. Bluto knew a great deal about various countries and their governments. He was tremendously opinionated, and questions of a political nature seemed to set his mind on fire and bring out an angry, almost violent streak in him. During the time I was getting to know Jason, I kept hoping the two of them would go on a trip, so that I could visit Jason’s grandmother by myself. I had been thinking about this all along, ever since the time I had been in her house. I can’t say exactly why I wanted to visit Mrs. Sweet, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Furthermore, I knew exactly what I would do if Jason went away; I would ride by her house on my bicycle over and over again all day long, but as if by accident each time. Jason and Bluto went to Alabama the last week of May, and as a consequence something happened. I’m going to tell you about it and you’re going to think, ‘That’s nothing, nothing happened.’ It was nothing, and 32 • OCTOBER 2019 THE ARTFUL MIND

yet it was a very important event for me. This is what it was like. About ten o’clock that Saturday morning, I rode my bike over to Jason’s apartment house. I was riding down the sidewalk in front of her apartment, and she must have seen me through her window because she came out and shouted to me. I went over to her door and parked my bicycle. I was very nervous, but I don’t think she took any notice. I stood at the door on pins and needles to hear what she was going to say to me. “Albert, come in here. I want you to help with something. Jason and Bluto are away this weekend.” I expected her to go into the kitchen, or perhaps the living room but she didn’t. She started up the stairs to the bedrooms and I followed behind her. At this point I must attempt to describe Mrs. Sweet a little, because if you have the idea that she was just somebody’s grandmother you could never begin to understand my nervousness. She may have been a grandmother, but she was hardly forty years old. She was not pretty, and she was a little fat, and yet all of that is the exact opposite of what I am trying to say. She may not have been pretty, but she was very attractive in an inexplicable way. Her hair was curly and jet black. Her face was very round, her skin very white. She always had on bright red lipstick, and with her hair so black she looked like one of those Japanese dolls with the interchangeable wigs. But now, when I think about it, none of that explains why Mrs. Sweet was so attractive. She was attractive because she always had a mischievous look, like she was just about to pull a trick on you and laugh in your face. It was this expression of hers that frightened and fascinated me at the same time. This was a very big contrast to my mom’s friends, who all looked like they suffered from hemorrhoids and couldn’t wait for their lives to be over so they could lie down and die. Grandma Sweet was wearing the same black dress she always had on that buttoned up the front, except that she never bothered to button any of the top buttons. You may have realized this already. When I got to the top of the stairs she was standing at the door of her bedroom, and gave me this explanation. She said she wanted me to help her put together a new bed frame she had bought, and that she had tried to do it herself but it was impossible. “It takes these screws in the corners and there is no way to do it,” she said. “If you hold the bars in place you can’t stick the screws in the holes, and if you have the screws in your fingers you can’t line up the bars.” I went into the bedroom and saw exactly what I expected to see. Against the wall there was an old, stained, double-bed mattress. In the corner was a heap of gray sheets, blankets and pillows. The bed frame was not new; it was from the street like the rest of her furniture. But the nuts and screws to put it together were from the store, and were spread out on the floor next to their little cardboard box. Even though it was obvious what had to be done, and even though you could see it would take two people to do it, the first thing I did was to say something very stupid, which was, “Where’s the screwdriver?” People like Mrs. Sweet do not have screwdrivers or wrenches. I should have realized this, because right next to the screws was a butter knife. A butter knife is the sort of thing a person like Mrs. Sweet would automatically use as a screwdriver. When I said, “Where’s the screwdriver?” she said she couldn’t find it and pointed to the butter knife with her foot. So there was nothing to do but to sit down on the floor together and start putting the thing together. They were those cheap screws that always catch and bind when you start them and then the screw and the nut turn around together so it can’t pull tight. You try to hold the

nut still with your fingers but it just goes around anyway. Mrs. Sweet knew absolutely nothing about nuts and bolts. It was as if attaching nuts and screws to each other was a complete mystery to her, but as I said before, she was very childishly excitable, and she listened to me with strict attention as I explained to her what to do. We had to each hold one of the supports with one hand. Then I would slip the screw through the slots, and she would line up the bolt on the other side. We had to keep trying it over and over, because you know how it is with those things, you think it is started, but it jams, and you have to back it out again. I don’t think I have ever seen a person so intensely interested in this process as Mrs. Sweet was. All I could see was the top of her head, because she was looking down at her fingers, but when the frame started to pull together she looked up with a look on her face like a person who finds twenty dollars in the street, and has to look at it three times to believe it. Every time we’d get a nut and bolt started she would start laughing like it was the most enjoyable thing she could imagine. Actually it was fun, but I was too nervous to laugh, and our fingers kept touching, and I had this strange feeling in my stomach from looking down her dress the entire time. At first I tried to look away, but then I gave up and just looked. I couldn’t help myself. She kept looking at me right in the eyes, and after a while I thought my head would explode from confusion and excitement. I explained to her that we couldn’t pull the screws up really tight because when you are assembling something like that it has to be able to move slightly or else some screws will not pass through their slots. But finally we had it all put together, although we couldn’t get it really tight because we didn’t have a wrench to pull it down really snug. We needed a wrench, or even just a pair of pliers, but I didn’t mention it to her. I had once thought a wrench was the one tool you couldn’t make out of ordinary stuff, but it turns out you can. I had figured this out one day while taking the fenders off my bicycle. Here is what you have to do. You wedge some metal object between the nut and something rigid, like the bicycle frame. Then, when you turn the screw, the bolt becomes trapped and can’t move, and after that it either comes together or the screw becomes stripped. I showed her how all we had to do was to stack up three pennies, and wedge them between the flat part of the nut and the bed frame. The pennies take up about a quarter of an inch, just the space between the nut and the frame. Then, when you turn the screw, the nut becomes trapped, and the screw can tighten up. Using pennies for a wrench was just amazing to Mrs. Sweet; she seemed to think I was a genius because of it. She kept saying, “That’s so, that’s just so...” she wanted to say, ‘smart,’ but was looking for an even better word. For me that was extremely strange. After thirteen years of everyone thinking I was stupid, to have somebody think I was smart was a novel experience. Once the bed frame was finished we put the wood slats in, and put the box spring and the mattress on. Then there was a very strange minute when Mrs. Sweet sat on the bed looking at me, and I decided I had to leave immediately. I practically ran out of her house. When I got outside, my bicycle was waiting for me on the ground where I had left it. I rode away from her house, but for the longest time all I could think about was how I might manage to go back again.



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the artful mind artzine OCTOBER 2019  

Promoting Artists in all venues since 1994. The Berkshires, Massachusetts ++++.

the artful mind artzine OCTOBER 2019  

Promoting Artists in all venues since 1994. The Berkshires, Massachusetts ++++.