THE ARTFUL MIND Promoting the Arts in the Berkshires Since 1994
Kevin Bartini, Stand-up Comedian / Actor Photography by Lee Everett
Commission a painting of your favorite scene by well-known Berkshire artist Stephen Filmus Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-528-1253
“Shore, Sea and Sky”
July 31 through August 30, 2015
Reception for Artist: Saturday, August 1, 3 - 6pm 510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY WWW.510WARRENSTREETGALLERY.COM 518-822-0510
Photograph by: Eileen Lawlor
Magical Realism Through August 24
Saint Francis Gallery 1370 Pleasant street. route 102
(next to fire dept.)
complete schedule: www.saintfrancisgallery.com 413.717. 5199 open fri-mon 10-5 pm
Gallery supports creative humanitarian work in Kenya
Denise B Chandler Fine Art Photography
Waves ÂŠ Denise B Chandler 2015
Home Studio & Gallery Visits by Appointment New Lenox Rd, Lenox MA 413.637.2344 (Home) 413.281.8461 (Cell) Denise B Chandler Fine Art Photography is represented by Sohn Fine Art Gallery
"THE JAZZ SINGER", OIL ON CANVAS, 36" X 36"
510 Warren St. Gallery
510 WARREN STREET, HUDSON, NY in July, September and November 2015 WWW.510WARRENSTREETGALLERY.COM WWW.ROBERTFORTE.COM
Now on view through August 24
St. FranciS Gallery
1370 Pleasant Street, route 102, lee, Ma (next to the fire dept.) 413. 717.5199 Open Friday - Monday 10 - 5pm www.saintfrancisgallery.com
OPENING THURSDAY AUGUST 6
POP-UP GALLERY RUNS JULY 23 THROUGH SEPTEMBER 15
"Sunset in the west" oil on canvas 12x24
Mary Carol Rudin
70 RAILROAD ST. #2
BEHIND THE TRIPLEX UP THE STAIRS
The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 • 1
The ArTful Mind ArTZine AuGuST 2015
“Is this the real life? Or is this just fantasy. Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality...” -Queen
The MuSiC STOre
Kevin and Jon Stewart
photo courtesy of The Daily Show
Kevin Bartini Stand-up Comedian / Actor Photography by Lee Everett Interview by Harryet Candee ... 5
larry Silk Documentary Editor Idols & Icons, New Marlborough Meeting House Interview by Harryet Candee ... 11 heather fisch Interview by Harryet Candee ... 13
fiCTiOn: The duck explains freud’s Theory of dreams Richard Britell ... 14
Planet Waves Astrology Eric Francis ... 15
Jeweler linda Kaye-Moses Photography by Evan Soldinger Interview by Harryet Candee ... 16
Simply Sasha ...returning in Sept Sasha Seymour Contributing Writers and Monthly Columnists Eunice Agar, Richard Britell, Eric Francis, Kris Galli, Sasha Seymour, Amy Tanner Photographers Edward Acker, Lee Everett, Jane Feldman Sabine von Falken, Alison Wedd Publisher Harryet Candee
Editorial proofreading Kris Galli Advertising and Graphic Design Harryet Candee
Mailing Address: Box 985, Great Barrington, MA 01230
email@example.com 413 854 4400 All MATeriAl due the 10th of the month prior to publication
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what better way to celebrate summer than to gift yourself and those you love with music? the Music Store’s fifteenth year in business in Great barrington has proven many things. we enjoy helping the community, near and far to make music which has been an enjoyable and productive enterprise for us. and we look forward to continuing this mission into the second half of our second decade. we offer wonderful musical instruments and accessories at competitive pricing. we have a good time serving our community, her musicians and music lovers. come see some of the fun . . . composite acoustic guitars (the forever guitar!) and their peerless travel guitar, the cargo, a favorite of our own dr. easy, david reed, made of carbon graphite and impervious to most changes of temperature and humidity. you can see it often in his hands in performance locally and abroad. Guild Guitars - light, powerful, affordable. terrific ukuleles! 60+ different models: Soprano, concert, tenor and baritone, acoustic and acoustic/electric, six string, resonator, the Maccaferri-like Makala waterman uke (made all of plastic for easy portability almost anywhere), the remarkable u-bass, and the new solid body uke bass by the Magic Fluke co. you might even hear dr. easy play a banuke! how about a cordoba cuatro? Or a west african djembe with a smashing carry bag? Or another dr. easy favorite, the klong yaw! try takamine for a guitar to suit almost any budget (the Pro Series at deep unpublished discounts). dr. easy can tell you about his. alverez guitars - celebrating their 50th year with beautiful limited editions! breedlove - beautiful, american, sustainable. and so many more brands and types, including luthier handmade instruments from $150-$5000 . ever heard of dr. easy’s drunk bay cigar boxes? acoustic/electric cigar box guitars, exquisitely made, which bring the past into the present with a delightful punch, acoustically and plugged in! you can even hear them on the patio and in action Saturday nights at Gb’s own aegean breeze restaurant! harmonicas, in (almost) every key (try a Suzuki hammond ‘Mouth Organ’). Picks (exotic, too), strings, sticks and reeds. Violins, Mandolins, dulcimers, banjos, and banjo ukes. handmade and international percussion instruments. dreamy native american and locally made bamboo and wooden flutes and walking stick flutes. and there is more to delight the eyes, intrigue the ears and bring warm joy to the heart! we remain your neighborhood music store, where advice and help are free and music is the universal language. working with local luthiers and repairmen we offer stringed and band instrument repair. and we just may have something you haven’t seen before (have you heard the electric cigar box Guitars?). we match (or beat) many on-line prices for the merchandise that we sell, and do so in person, for the most part cheerfully (though we reserve the right to glower a little when asked if we can ‘do better’ on the price of a pick!)! come and see us soon and help us celebrate our 15th year. your patronage helps the community and makes it a more tuneful, healthy and happy place! cheers! The Music Store, located at 87 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, is open Wednesdays through Saturdays and by appointment. Call us at 413-528-2460, visit us on line at www.themusicstoreplus.com , on Facebook as The Music Store Plus, or see our listings on reverb.com
august finds painter Jennifer Pazienza traveling to art & Psyche: layers and liminality an international conference dedicated to the life and work of carl Jung that takes place in Syracuse, Sicily. there she will deliver, beautiful dreamer: landscape and Memory, a critical written reflection on the meaning and value of her painting practice. “art is dream realized, and this why we value it—as an earnest that our dreams might be realized in life,” writes wendy Steiner in Venus in exile: the rejection of beauty in the 20th century. the opportunity for Jennifer to share her work in Sicily is indeed, a dream come true—the chance to have it seen and heard by artists, critics, historians and psychologists from all over the globe—but the real value of her dream begins a little closer to home. like the brick and mortar that were so fundamental to her immigrant Sicilian grandfather’s trade, in beautiful dreamer: landscape and Memory, images and words, canvas and computer are her tools. She invites conference participants to travel with her to explore her long time relationship with beauty and landscape imagery. with her they learn to question how it is that although she lived her early life surrounded by an urban environment, her artwork from childhood to the present recreates the stuff of the natural world. drawing from a range of cultural contexts Jennifer guides her audience deeper into her imagery where they get a glimpse of the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the spiritual and how art making can heal the soul. Jennifer Pazienza’s work is held in public, private and corporate collections in the uS, canada and italy. See her work currently in the Magical realism, Group Show at the St. Francis Gallery, South lee, Mass. (next to the Fire Station) which runs through august 4. Jennifer Pazienza - jenniferpazienza.com; firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-717-5199. For information on the Art & Psyche Conference and program, please visit the website at http://www.artandpsycheinsicily.org/index.php/en/
in The Artful Mind this/coming/season/and/watch/your popularity grow! email us at: email@example.com 413. 854. 4400
$19 in advance $25 day of show Box Office: 413.528.0100 www.mahaiwe.org www.operanouveau.com www.heatherfisch.com PHOTOS BY LISA VOLLMER
Red, oil on canvas, 36 x 36”
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24 x 24
oil on canvas
PAINTINGS / DRAWINGS LAUREN CLARK FINE ART
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25 Railroad St. Great Barrington, MA 413. 528. 0432 Lauren@LaurenClarkFineArt.com www.LaurenClarkFineArt.com
keVin bartini STAnd-uP COMediAn / ACTOr
interView by harryet
PhOtOGraPhy by lee eVerett Or OtherwiSe credited
your family must be proud of you. Are they starting to ask you for your autograph? Kevin Bartini: i imagine that my friends and family are proud of me, although i’d never ask them. i’m definitely not at the autograph level of success yet. i’m just starting to tip-toe into the getting my headshot hung at the dry cleaners level. the guy from the deli on my block took my picture and hung it near his register. he didn’t ask me to autograph it; he just took out a sharpie and wrote accePt nO PerSOnal checkS FrOM thiS Man. if people are proud of me then i think that’s great, and i hope i don’t disappoint them. it is definitely cool to have hometown pride in someone or something… lee, Massachusetts is an amazing town when it comes to that. celebrity has never been a goal of mine, but this hometown celebrity thing i relish, and i’ll tell you why. every time lee high wins another state title, fire trucks loaded up with athletes take a victory lap through town. we all celebrate their victories because we all have a feeling that we were a part of it, even though we weren’t each personally suited up. we are proud of their accomplishment. it can be hard to grow up in a town where youth athletics are celebrated to such an extent. i never got to ride on one of those fire trucks, didn’t get the trophies or the letterman jackets because i was a terrible athlete. the kids in lee who aren’t athletes can easily feel undervalued and under-appreciated. we parade the football team through town and cheer their accomplishment, but at the same time we didn’t even notice that at that same championship game the school band played flawlessly. where is their fire truck? So the local celebrity thing to me isn’t only about me. to me it is a victory lap for the drama club, the band kids, and those kids who draw and write. i want them to see my picture on the cover of this magazine or to hear people in town talk about how funny i am. i want them to see that athletics isn’t the only yardstick. did you know when you were a kid that one day you would be making a living on the stage? k: when i was little my dream was to be a stand-up comic and to work on Saturday night live. My dream came true almost exactly; just substitute the daily Show for Snl. i guess i was naïve, but i never thought about what my life would be offstage. and although, famously, every episode of Snl kicks off with “live From new york,” i never thought i’d live in nyc. i also never thought about the sacrifice that having this dream come true would entail. i never envisioned the heartbreak, the decade of poverty or the hassle of travel. i only thought about the good things, which i guess is par for the course. but i’m glad i didn’t know what i was in for because, knowing me back then, had i known, i may never have tried. What was the first joke you remember making up and telling everyone? Why do you think it’s hard for people to remember jokes and their punchlines? k: i’ve thought long and hard about it and i honestly can’t think of the first joke i ever wrote. i’ve never been much of a joke person. i remember reading a lot of joke books. anytime we went to the mall i’d spend most of my time with the dirty joke books at the bookstore. when it comes to having a sense of humor as opposed to being a great joke writer, my strength has come from a quick wit. the ability to react to a situation quickly with a funny line or a wise ass retort was always my strong suit. talk about not being appreciated in my time… that ability that used to get me in trouble at school and at home is literally the skill i use in tV audience warmup today. i don’t think that it’s particularly hard to remember jokes. i definitely don’t go out of my way to remember other people’s jokes or to have a canon of jokes ready on the quick. One thing that comics hate is to be put on the spot to tell a joke.
how good are you at memorizing those lines for Shakespeare? k: i am pretty good at memorizing lines of Shakespeare. the only difference between memorizing Shakespeare and memorizing lines of a more contemporary playwright is the extra step of translating the text. the first thing i do is to read the entire play a few times. i also read some critique and possibly some cliffs notes of the play. doing this helps me to truly understand the play, my character and my character’s role in the world. after that, memorizing lines is no different than with any other play. it becomes all about repetition. read the line, speak it, read the line, speak. again and again. with Shakespeare, it is translating and understanding, but at least he is writing in a form of the english language. i’m not sure i’d have the chops to do a play in chinese. did it take you a long or a short time to get comfortable living in nyC? k: transitioning from lee to nyc wasn’t all that difficult. crowds don’t intimidate me, and to tell you the truth i was so excited to get started on my new life and career that nothing was going to deter me. i had been living in new york for only two years on 9-11. if there was a time when i was going to pack it in and move back home, that would have been it. i had no money and i was living in a huge terrorist target. every day we were on high alert and there was a definite feeling of another shoe waiting to drop. but it was at that time that i realized that this is where i belonged and this was what i was going to do. i had just met the woman who would one day become my wife, and i was making inroads at a few clubs in town. i knew full well that any day someone could set off a dirty bomb in times Square and that would be the end of me. i also knew that if i moved back to lee i’d be safe. i chose to stay. if being a comic meant that i might die in a terrorist attack, then so be it. i realized that i would die to be a comedian. Once i realized that, i found a new level of commitment and a new focus. i will never quit. i will never retire. One day i will die. but i will die a comic.
you’re back at work, ready to go on, and you wonder how you ended up “here” and “now.” how do you answer this question? k: i don’t indulge in that too often. i’m not very nostalgic and i try not to dwell on the past. i don’t burn a lot of calories patting myself on the back too much either. but when it comes to where i am now and how i got here, to me i’m climbing a mountain, and i’m only above the foothills at this point. yeah, sure, i have climbed pretty high, but there is so much more mountain ahead of me that i don’t spend a lot of time enjoying the view. but if there is any credit to be given at this point it all goes to my Mom and dad. they made sure that throughout my climb that i had the proper gear and that i never had to worry about starving. i always knew that if there was trouble or danger, i could send a message back to base camp and they would be there to offer help and guidance, twenty-four hours a day. My parents also instilled a work ethic in me that has paid off handily. they both always had two jobs. when they weren’t working, my dad coached little league and my mom ran my sister’s Girl Scout troop. they never stopped working, and sacrificed constantly so that my brother, sister and i would have what we need. they taught us the value of a dollar and the value of a hard day’s work. i started mowing lawns when i was probably eight years old, and i have always had some sort of a job from that day on. What have you discovered, outside of formal education, that has proven to make an audience laugh? k: the secret is confidence. cOntinued On neXt PaGe...............
PhOTO By lee evereTT
The ArTful Mind AuGuST
when i take the stage i have only a second or two to make a first impression. i want the audience to pick up, on some level, that i know what i am doing. the audience needs to be comfortable in order to listen and laugh. if they sense that a comic is unsure of himself up there, they turn on him. when a young comic takes the stage and he doesn’t have that confidence, the audience senses it, and as a result his entire set will be an uphill climb. but that confidence needs to be earned. i need to know that i have seen it all and i have done it all and that i have acquired the skills necessary to merit my place on stage. i have confidence in my own sense of what is funny. i need to know that i can kill. i need to believe that i will kill. i need to believe that in a room full of people i’m the smartest, funniest, wittiest, most interesting person. that’s why they paid to see me, and why they gave only me a microphone.
all those early comedies, do you find them humorous? do you think neil Simon’s plays are funny? how about Woody Allen? how has comedy changed? do you have to go with the flow of what is going on in the world? Or can you regress to a simpler humor as seen between lucy and ricky? k: woody allen is hilarious. i am a huge fan of his stand-up, his writing and his movies. i have nothing but respect for neil Simon. i’m a huge fan of the Marx brothers and Mel brooks. i think lucille ball was a gifted performer and the same can be said for dick Van dyke. i’ve seen my share of the black and white sitcoms from the “Golden age” of tV. there is some funny stuff, but by and large there isn’t all that much that stands the test of time. i like comedy without restrictions. i don’t like comedy that aims right down the middle. how can you be funny if you have to pull your punches? we were so conservative sixty years ago that married couples in tV had to sleep in separate beds. you can’t be funny if you have to be so concerned with not offending people. you end up with contrived scenarios that don’t ring true. in your life, have you ever had a big promotion at the office hang on whether or not all goes well when the boss comes by for pot roast wednesday night? ever tip-toed around so the soufflé wouldn’t deflate? that is why, to me, as good as lucy and d.V.d. were, their stuff does not stand the test of time. i respect it, but there’s no way i am going to sit down for a night and watch a marathon of lucy.
broke on opening night, and the theater was stiflingly hot. by the time i hit the stage in the third act, the audience was drenched in sweat, and some were sleeping. i’m sure the only reason there were any people still in the room after intermission was because, this being opening night, most people in the house were friends and family of the cast who didn’t want to be rude. the ongoing ac problems were a major issue. On the one or two nights that the theater was comfortable, we killed. the show was great and the audience was laughing and applauding throughout. the energy that the cast had did not change from night to night no matter how hot it was. it is a shame that on most nights of that run the heat
like poetry, there must be a formula for comedy, yes? And, like a magician, you have to hone your skills. Through your formal years of training as an actor, what has been your life-long rule of thumb, that you always remember to act upon? k: i don’t know that there is a single tried-and-true formula. Some people find a formula that works for them and stick with it. but there is a danger in that: the danger of repetition. if you keep hitting the same button, eventually you will hit a point of diminishing returns. Fat guy falling down is funny. but after you have seen him fall a few times you stop laughing, and you start to wonder what’s next. i don’t want to be a one-trick pony. So i mix it up in my act.
how would you describe yourself when you are alone, contemplative, in the moment, just being there and thinking. do you ever encounter artistic moodiness, despite the fact that your time-consuming career is based on promoting laughter through humor? k: i definitely experience artistic moodiness. a lackluster set can put me in a funk for a week. My enemy is stasis. any time i feel like i’m not growing as a comic or that i am not working to my full potential, i get very moody. i do my best not to get jealous of other comics, and to focus on my own journey. i am very susceptible to depression when my career isn’t going the way i want it to go or isn’t advancing at a speed that i want. i have learned that giving in to that darkness and embracing the depression becomes a snake eating his own tail. Getting stoned, sitting on my couch watching tV for days at a time may be a way of selfsoothing, but it doesn’t make me happy and it definitely pisses away precious time. i am at my happiest when i am crafting a new bit. i’ve found that the best way to stave off the artistic moodiness is to force myself to create something––anything, even if i never show it to another living soul.
There are so many venues of making people laugh… slapstick, black humor, what else? What is your forte? k: Slapstick comedy is funny for a while. but again, it’s formulaic. i liked the three Stooges when i was a kid, but after a while i got the joke and i got bored. Personally, i just stick to whatever it is that i find funny at a particular time. i don’t like to pigeonhole myself. i don’t do as much stand-up as i used to because i’m enjoying finding other outlets for my comedy. i’ve gotten into sketch and improv, short films, essays. i’m finding that i may have a funny concept that does not lend itself to stand-up, so i’m experimenting and finding where and when i can use humor most effectively. Are you funnier when you pull things out of your daily life experiences? Things that others can relate to? k: everything i write is from my personal experience. the best way to be sure that my comedy is different from anyone else’s is to take from my own life, and experiences that happen to me. Tell us, Kevin, what does George Carlin mean to you? k: everything i have to say about George carlin is on public record a dozen times over. i won’t bore you too much on this one. to me, George carlin represents the epitome of quality and quantity. he was a guy who never stopped working. he never stopped asking questions and he never stopped writing. he pulled no punches and he stuck to what he thought was funny. George carlin’s influence on me is greater than any other comic’s.
i know you were in the off-broadway play, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare. What was it like backstage with other actors? What kind of energy did you feel, and did it differ from night to night? k: backstage at Much ado was a lot of fun. there was only one dressing room, which we all shared. if you were shy or had body image issues this probably wasn’t ideal. My character, dogberry, doesn’t make an appearance until after intermission, so i had a lot of downtime to kill backstage. i bonded with a few cast members particularly. we passed the time playing pranks on one another and telling filthy jokes. the energy each night varied based on the theater itself. the Soho Playhouse is a historic off-broadway theater. Mark twain and edwin booth are reported to have performed there. but the building is old. it needs either a ten-million-dollar renovation or a thirty-cent book of matches. the air conditioner
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Kevin Barti ni
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made the theater so miserable for the audience.
Photo: Lee Everett
do you wish to become a famous celebrity in the entertainment industry? you’re young enough to make it at this point. What are you willing or not willing to sacrifice if an opportunity came along? k: i definitely don’t wish for celebrity. i really hope to become as famous as it takes to be able to maintain a career as a comedian. anonymity is completely undervalued in this culture. i have known many famous people and i can tell you that celebrity is a prison. i want to cultivate a community of fans who will enjoy my work and will come out to see me when i play a club or theater in town. i would rather be loved by a small but dedicated fan base then simply known by everybody. remembering back to the dick van dyke Show, i love lucy,
how do you and your wife spend a day off? k: My wife and i have very similar careers in a lot of ways. She is a fitness professional who has climbed the ranks of her profession as proficiently as i have mine. we both focus on our careers twenty-four hours a day. it is important that we make downtime a priority. when we do get a precious day completely off, the main focus is on just being together. we’ll make a nice breakfast, then maybe head out for a yoga class. after that, if it’s nice out we love to walk through central Park or take a leisurely walk down broadway along the upper west Side. we will find a nice restaurant, occasionally see friends. we’re a very normal couple in many ways. we like to hang out at home with each other, binge-watch something on netflix and play with our cats. Pretty boring stuff.
What was a favorite memory of yours as you were growing up in the Berkshires? k: Oh wow! there are so many great memories of growing up in the berkshires. i think my favorite memories were of the countless school field trips to hancock Shaker Village. what kid doesn’t love a yearly pilgrimage to take a look at some old chairs? the berkshires may not have a Six Flags, but we do have a few stone buildings and some fields that were once inhabited by a group of asexual Jesus freaks. when i went to lee high, they would allow students three times to be late per semester without consequence. as the adage goes, you can get hung for stealing a piglet just as well as if you had stole a hog. and as far as the school was concerned one minute late marked down the same as if you came in an hour late. So i have great memories of my brother, my friends and i exploiting this loophole. we’d meet up at Joe’s diner for
breakfast, hang out a while and then make our way into school sometime just before lunch. Just so you know, none of us were truants, and cutting class didn’t have an adverse affect on any of our lives. One buddy, Joe nichols, is now a decorated war hero, and my buddy alan hebert went on to get his doctorate at harvard, whilst i tell dick jokes for a living. although those breakfasts are some of my happiest memories, my favorite memory came on class night of my senior year, when alan and i were honored as the only two members of our graduating class with perfect attendance. And what shows are you a warm-up comic? Which of those have the most potential for your future? k: i’m currently the warm-up comic for the nightly Show with larry wilmore on comedy central. Over the past few years, i was the warm-up comic for both the daily Show and the colbert report. One thing that i am very proud of is that i am the only person who’s been hired as a warm-up comic for all three of those shows. i have been a fan of the daily Show since it debuted in the 90’s, and i have never missed an episode. i’ve also been a fan of Jon Stewart since i first started to see him doing stand-up. i’m so in awe of the work that the daily Show has done and the impact that Jon Stewart has had. the fact that i’ve been able to play even a small part of all three of these shows is something that i will always be proud of. i may never have an hour-long special on hbO. this could all go away, and i may end up living at my parents’ house again. but Jon Stewart, Stephen colbert and larry wilmore all think i’m funny, and that’s good enough for me.
What kind of fashion sensibilities do you have? k: i guess i’ve grown as close to comfortable with my looks as i can. i don’t think i’m particularly fetching. i’m pretty sure that if i were into dudes i wouldn’t be my type. when it comes to personal style i do my best with the hand that i was dealt. i don’t dress to attract attention and i don’t concern myself with keeping up with the current trends. when dressing for the stage i want to remember that my words, my facial expressions and body language are what matters. So i dress pretty plainly to keep clothes from stealing focus. when offstage, i also keep it pretty simple. i hate funny tee shirts, won’t wear them. i also don’t wear a lot of corporate logos. i keep it simple. i don’t like to spend a lot of time thinking about what i am going to wear.
Tell us what you are working on now? k: right now i’m working on my new hour of stand-up. i’m also writing some sketches to film for my website. the high point of my week lately has been recording my podcast on Monday nights. it is called the Movie Preview review Podcast. accompanied by my wife and two buddies, i review movies based on only watching their previews. we have great guests on each week. Mostly my guests are stand-up comics and tV writers. i’ve had writers from Snl, bill Maher, the daily Show, the nightly Show. we are finding our niche and our audience is building. i’m having fun hanging out with so many talented people, and i have really high hopes for the show. beyond that, i don’t really have an all-encompassing project stealing all of my focus. So i’m pretty much a free agent at this moment. i’ll probably do another play this fall, but right now i am recharging the batteries… doing a lot of reading and waiting for something to really grab my interest.
do you find yourself very disciplined when it comes to creating and working on a project? k: i have what my wife calls a “laser-like focus.” when i am immersed in a project, it does get the lion’s share of my attention. i’ve never missed a deadline and i was the first person in the play to be off book. but that doesn’t necessarily mean that i have discipline. i can be very lazy and unfocused. it seems i do well under pressure, and that i’m at my best when i have only a day or two left before i have to turn something in. i think i could accomplish a lot more if i had more discipline and more focus.
from your past experiences in Show Business, what would you tell an emerging actor nOT to do? k: not to be a buzz kill, but i’d say don’t start. life is hard and there is nowhere near enough work to go around. we’ve got enough actors. the entertainment industry is at its saturation point
of losers with a dream. the odds of making it big or of even making a steady living are astronomically against you. there is so much sacrifice, so much rejection. don’t bother. Go to college, learn a trade, have a family and a nice house. if you have an itch to act, then find a community theater and indulge. but don’t torture yourself with this life. tenacity is a big factor in my success, and so is sacrifice. i am where i am in my mid thirties because i sacrificed in my twenties. i didn’t take vacations, didn’t have kids, didn’t buy a house and get mired in debt. i have heard no many more times than i have heard yes. i feel like oftentimes people get into the arts because they think it’s an easy path to celebrity, riches and happiness. the one thing that shows like American Idol have shown us is that there are way more delusional people who think they have a marketable talent then there are genuine talents. Statistically speaking, you aren’t going to make it. now i know that there are people who will read this and get annoyed at me for saying it. they will say, “well that’s not me. i have talent for days and it is just a matter of time until i win my Oscar.” to those people i will say what i always say: “i’ll have a Grande Mocha Frappuccino, hold the whipped cream.”
Tell us about your homecoming taping. it sounds like a big step up for you. k: any time i can perform at home is a treat. i recorded my first album at a comedy club in nyc, and for my second album i wanted to record it back home. because the material on my second album is more personal and more introspective, i opted against a large venue like the colonial theater in favor of the intimacy of a smaller room. i wanted it to feel like a comedy club. i found a venue in Pittsfield called J allen’s clubhouse. it’s an amazing restaurant on north Street with a room in the back that is built like a black box theater. J allen’s was the perfect venue; i couldn’t have designed it better if i had tried. i did three shows in a single night, the plan being that i do the first show to warm up, the second show for the taping and the third show for safety. the shows were great, and the night in and of itself was one of the highlights of my entire life. the plan had been to record the night as a tV special. the whole thing was self-produced and self-financed, with hopes that we could sell it to a comedy central or somebody. as great as the night was, and as amazing as the tV taping would have been, only the live audience ever got to see it. almost all of the footage was overexposed. basically everything lighter in color then my gray jacket was whited out. at the end of the day, i was only able to salvage the audio and to release my special as an audio-only album. i took a few screen grabs where i am whited out and over-exposed, and made them my album cover. i called it The Unintentionally White Album. it’s a nice night in the Berkshires. The end of a glorious day for you. how would you sum it all up?
Kevin, Central Park
photo by Rhoopa Bhopale
k: is anyone still reading? God, i’m so sick of me at this point. here’s a challenge, if you make it this far into the interview tweet me the code word winnebaGO. when i was little, i remember seeing bumper stickers that read “don’t blame Me, i’m From Massachusetts,” and that has been my worldview ever since. i’m from the berkshires, and everywhere else sucks by comparison. new york city is a close second but they don’t have teo’s. i am so lucky to have been raised in lee. i was lucky that so much culture was at my disposal. So much theater, so much music. i was lucky to be raised and still championed by such wonderful people. i love berkshire county. it will always be home. it was an amazing stroke of luck that i grew up in berkshire county, and as a result was able to take advantage of the educational program at Shakespeare and co., and to be a part of the Fall Festival. i joined the drama club in the fall of my freshman year at lee high. i wasn’t interested in acting, but i figured it would help me be comfortable on stage when i began my career as a stand-up comedian. My first play was that fall, and it was a part of Shakespeare and co.’s Fall Festival. if i stood out that year it was in a completely negative manner. i was undisciplined, brash, unfocused, unprofessional, overwhelmed and underprepared. i really was awful. i was young and immature, and sadly not nearly worthy of the opportunity given to me. but with the expert tutelage of everyone at Shakespeare and co., i was able to comprehend and enjoy william Shakespeare. beyond that, i learned invaluable skills that have helped my writing, my stand-up, my acting and virtually every other facet of my career. My experience at Shakespeare and co. and with the Fall Festival was almost exclusively with Jon croy. i think he directed me in seven or eight shows during my high school years. he was patient and professional and exactly the right man to snap me into shape. Jon turned me around in those four years, and led me on my way to be far more then merely comfortable on stage when my time came to be a stand-up. i am forever indebted to Shakespeare and co. what they do year-in and yearout with their education programs is nothing short of miraculous. while other summer-stock groups pack it up at the end of the summer, Shakespeare and co. has been coming into our schools for over twenty five years. the effect that they’ve had on the community is immeasurable. the effect that they had on me was immense. i’m lucky to be one of the thousands of students to take part in the Fall Festival. i am not saying that i wouldn’t have made it as a stand up had i not had the access that i had. but i can say that, having been lucky enough to be a part of Shakespeare & co., my career and life have been immeasurably more satisfying. J
The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 • 7
STePhen filMuS cOMMiSSiOnS
Several times recently, i have been asked to make a real and personal contribution to someone’s life and home by creating a painting of their favorite natural setting. the commission process is a collaboration between artist and client. whenever possible we visit the site together and discuss the elements of subject, color, form and the “feeling” of the scene. the next step for me is to create a detailed color sketch that reflects the client’s vision and gives them a good sense of how the finished artwork will look. at this point the commissioner can give input and suggestions as i work toward the final design. lastly, i simply do what i know how to do – i sit at my easel and paint. For me, it is joyous to feel i have captured an image of a special time and place and have been able through art to enhance and give new life to a memory that will give pleasure for years to come. Stephen Filmus is represented by J. todd Gallery in wellesley, Ma. he is presently exhibiting several landscapes at the bennington center for the arts and his work can also be seen at his studio in Great barrington by appointment. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-528-1253, www.stephenfilmus.com
eleAnOr lOrd ShOre, Sea and Sky
510 warren Street Gallery, hudson, ny is featuring the recent pastel paintings of berkshire county artist eleanor lord in a show titled “Shore, Sea and Sky.” her work will be on view from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, august 30 with a reception for the artists on Saturday, august 1 from 3 to 6 pm. a native new englander, Ms. lord has often traveled from the berkshire mountains of western Massachusetts to the atlantic coast of cape cod and block island to take in the sea and salt air. She is lured there by the color and the light and, no doubt the smells and sounds of these places. we too can go there vicariously when viewing her pastels which capture those sensations; the textures of sand and surf. through the stroke and texture of soft pastels on paper, lord paints the screeching of seagulls though there may be gone from within the picture plane. Our imagination is triggered and we can feel the breeze off the ocean as the light changes and the weather mutates the big sky. when the horizon is present as in “Sunset” and “dune Fence,” that line is an immediate calming force. the water may be choppy or tame but the horizon is broad and symbolic of the unknown, the rest of the world. though “Shore, Sea and Sky” shows us the unique quality of light that is only found at the edges of the ocean, we also sense the effect of that special radiance on architecture. in “block island lighthouse” mass and materials are given weight as the building reflects the offshore light. the building fills the frame; a much different point of view than the open expanse of ocean and shoreline. lord started painting with watercolor and oil but, in recent years, has concentrated on soft pastels which fit better into the more tactile process of drawing. For her, pastels offer an opportunity to punch up the color and the dynamism of the action. you may recognize the influence of the post-impressionists in some of lord’s paintings where movement, stroke, texture and color are deliberate and directional capturing the power and endless variety of the ocean. 510 Warren Street Gallery - 510 Warren St., Hudson, NY, (518) 822-0510; Fridays & Saturdays 12-6, Sundays 12-5.
GreAT BArrinGTOn POP uP GAllery rOn rOnan
rOn rOnan and Glen Martin
local artists ron ronan and Glen Martin have opened a Pop up art gallery at 70 railroad Street #2 (behind the triplex theater) in Great barrington. the exhibits run until September 15 with an official opening on thursday august 6 from 5:30 to 9:30pm. On display will be an assortment of art pieces made with materials such as ceramics, oil, acrylic, venetian plaster, and fresco. Glen Martin, born in trinidad and living in hillsdale, ny is primarily known for his beautifully rendered landscapes and sensual figurative paintings. his canvases and panels glow with a vibrancy, his post impressionistic style evokes romanticism and warmth which the viewer is immediately drawn to. “the figure and flow of a women as she moves is like poetry in motion to me and it is much the same with a beautiful landscape, this is what i try to capture and communicate in my paintings”, Glen said of his work. his art has been shown and purchased internationally and shows in various prestigious galleries around the world. ron ronan of egremont, Ma started out designing finishes for jewelry and picture frames with elements/Jill Schwartz. while sharing studio space with other artists in nyc, he learned the art of venetian plaster, eventually developing his own style, bringing to it technics used in fresco, mural painting and design, for a unique combination of rustic folk art, married to a more traditional fine art. “what i have been attempting to capture in my most recent series of fresco paintings on canvas is a raw and unadulterated depth of emotion. My larger work on wood panels, although still steeped in that rustic style, tend to tell a more contemporary story”. ron is also responsible for many decorative plaster finishes that adorn the walls of many local homes and restaurants in the Great barrington area, including Fuel, the coffee Shop, baba louie’s restaurant, and the former due and Verdura restaurants. this series is a manifestation of a personal journey of an artist going through a dark period culminating in raw honesty. “come join us on a wild visual journey and experience a range of madness and ecstasy never before seen!” Ron Ronan 413-854-4557 or email@example.com
Artists can color the sky red because they know it’s blue. Those of us who aren’t artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we’re stupid. 8 • auGuSt 2015 the artFul Mind
rOBerT SCheChTer GOOd PurPOSe Gallery
the Good Purpose Gallery is pleased to present a second exhibit of the work of artist, robert Schechter. this exhibit, featuring more of Schechter’s art, will open immediately following the first exhibit on July 30 and will be featured until august 25. living and working in both new york city and lenox Ma, robert Schechter has been creating unique works of art for most of his life. he is best known for his vivid watercolor monoprints and sculptures. Mr. Schechter states that he “strives to create art that contains both energy and emotion through dynamic composition.” robert Schechter has 75 permanent works on display in several locations in new york city as well berkshire county. his local pieces include two large monoprints currently on display at the entrance of the berkshire Medical arts building and a large, permanent sculpture displayed at Shakespeare & company in lenox Ma. Since his graduation from hunter college with an M.F.a. in the 1960’s, robert Schechter has been creating art in the South Street Seaport area of new york city, then Greenwich Village and now lenox. widely exhibited, his large monoprints were printed on a Monster press at a co-operative space in north adams, using a process of painting directly on plexi-glass plates. eighty of these magnificent splashes of color and brushstroke have been placed in new york, Montefiore, beth israel and columbia Presbyterian hospitals in new york, at the berkshire Medical arts building in Pittsfield and Fairview hospital in Great barrington. to learn more about his work and see it exhibited in the hospital settings, visit his website at www.robertschechter.com. Good Purpose Gallery and Spectrum Playhouse are professional venues that exist to offer students real-life training, experience and integration with the community. both venues host professional artists and events on a regular basis throughout the year, including student events such as plays, performances, art exhibits, and more. Good Purpose Gallery - 40 Main Street, Lee MA; Gallery hours: 9:00am to 4:00pm daily; www.goodpurpose.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-394-5045.
rObert FOrte, lOnG diStance SwiMMer, 40 X 30”
“although my paintings have a realistic context, my passion for painting is, somewhat paradoxically, a passion for the unknown that lies beneath the surface of perception. For me, the starting point is a need to talk through paint, a conversation, if you will, between something seen and something hidden. there is always a sense of the journey’s end, but it ultimately is the light, the color and even the brushstroke that reveals the intangible in the tangible. in effect, the object or scene is abstracted and reassembled as the painting progresses, in hopefully unpredictable ways; the conundrum that i call ‘abstract realism’. “ this is a departure from first-learned principles - observe keenly and paint accurately - but builds on them rather than discards them. this bedrock foundation robert Forte owes to two wonderful artists, Minerva durham and cornelia Foss, under whose tutelage he was lucky enough to find himself from the very start. “So often artists, or writers about artists, limn a body of work in ways that are recondite and ultimately unsatisfying. For me, art is an explosion of feeling expressed in an infinite variety of different ways to reflect divergent views of the world around us. even a painting of a wedge of apple pie can contain a subtext that probes beneath a flaky crust. ultimately, art should be accessible both visually and verbally. after all, it is the earliest extant form of communication.” Robert Forte’s paintings are in numerous collections throughout the country, and can be seen on a bi-monthly basis at the 510 Warren Street Gallery in Hudson, New York. Forte’s work can also be seen at the New Marlborough “Idols and Icons” show which runs from July 25 to August 23.
MArGueriTe Bride OriGinal watercOlOrS MarGuerite bride, JiMSOM weed. watercOlOr
Marguerite bride will be exhibiting at the Stockbridge art Show on aug 15-16 right on Main Street, her first time in this show. She is also now exhibiting newer originals plus matted reproductions at the underground Salon at christine’s home Furnishings on bridge Street in Great barrington. can’t get to the show? Fine art reproductions and note cards of her berkshire images and others are available at the red lion inn Gift Shop (Stockbridge), lenox Print and Mercantile (lenox), St. Francis Gallery (South lee), and hancock Shaker Village (hancock). Seasonal scenes of bride’s paintings are always on display in the public areas of the crowne Plaza and also at Mary’s carrot cake Shop, both in Pittsfield. recently Marguerite bride left her studio of about 6 years at nuarts Studios on north Street, Pittsfield to return to work out of her home studio. thinking that “change is good”, bride felt it was about time to shake things up and make some changes. hoping to experiment in some new and different artistic techniques, bride will also be formulating a plan for teaching some workshops in watercolor technique during the fall and winter as well creating a significant body of work for a major show scheduled for august 2016. now is a good time to “think art” for holiday gift giving, such as a house or business portrait, or just your favorite scene. and don’t forget, art is always a lovely gift for wedding, anniversary, retirement….virtually any occasion. commissions are always welcome. Marguerite Bride – Home Studio at 46 Glory Drive, Pittsfield, Mass.; 413-841-1659; margebride-paintings.com; email@example.com; Facebook: Marguerite bride watercolors
“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” ~Claude Monet
Comfortable lightweight Cotton Pants ~ Great fit for easy movement ~ Cotton Ripstop Fabric ~ Cell Phone Pocket
the artFul Mind auGuSt 2015 • 9
deniSe B ChAndler Fine art liMited editiOn PhOtOGraPhy
deniSe b. chandler, rOadSide PatriOtiSM, PhOtOGraPh, 2014
denise b chandler is a fine art photographer who has had her work exhibited at the berkshire Museum, Sohn Fine art Gallery, lichtenstein center for the arts, iS -183 art School of the berkshires, St. Francis Gallery, chesterwood, the hudson Opera house, Spencertown academy arts center, and tivoli artists Gallery. in 2012, chandler completed the Photography residency Program at Maine Media workshops & college. while in Maine, she was guided, encouraged and her work critiqued by renowned photographers: Michael wilson, andrea Monica, Peter ralston, arthur Meyerson, david turner, brenton hamilton, david wells, and Syl arena. chandler has continued her formal workshop training with master photographers, Seth resnick, Greg Gorman, and John Paul caponigro. later this month she will once more train with Seth resnick, John Paul caponigro and Jay Maisel. denise b chandler is represented by Sohn Fine art Gallery at 69 church St. in lenox, Massachusetts where various selections of her work can be seen throughout the year. chandler will be one of the featured artists in the upcoming exhibition "abstrakt" from July 30th through October 4th. chandler offers private gallery visits at her personal studio/gallery by appointment only...please call either number listed below. Denise B Chandler, Studio & Gallery visits by appointment only. 415 New Lenox Rd, Lenox, MA. Please call 413-6372344 or 413-281-8461 (cell). Website: denisebchandler.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GeOffrey MOSS/ neW WOrKS lauren clark Fine art
SkyliGht, 2014, 15” X 15”, dry PiGMent and waX On PaPer
as a working artist, Geoffrey Moss has “forever been inspired by the anatomy of most unlikely things;” certainly a provocative statement, though in Moss’s paintings and drawings he continues to astonish us, first exploring the sensual essence of Japanese erotica with his ongoing series, “inappropriate appropriations,” with solos here at lauren clark Fine art, later to be expanded by two downtown new york galleries simultaneously. erring on the practical side of what Moss acknowledges gratefully as a “professional attention deficit…” other works are concerned with Popsicles, cow barns, Water For Its Own Sake, Pools after 9/11, acrobats and their apparatus in living rooms, and a series of leaping dogs. this July Moss appeared with colleague’s painter warner Friedman, and sculptor Joe wheaten as part of lauren clark’s homage, 6 From SPAZI, speaking about the impact that former avant-garde Gallery had on their early work, firmly establishing their careers. Moss’s current series, Guadalupe Roses and Black &White Color are represented by lauren clark Fine art. Lauren Clark Fine Art - 25 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, Mass.; 413-528-0432, lauren@laurenclarkFineart.com, www.laurenclarkFineart.com
lAuren ClArK fine ArT nOVeliSt JOnathan bauMbach
Sunday, auGuSt 9, 2PM.
Please join us Sunday afternoon as lauren clark Fine art welcomes novelist Jonathan baumbach to the gallery for a reading and book signing. the author will be reading excerpts from two of his many novels-the opening section of dreams of Molly and the first chapter of you, or the invention of Memory. an unintentionally well-kept secret among contemporary american novelists, Mr. baumbach is the author of 17 books of fiction, including yOu, On the way to My Father’s Funeral: new and Selected Stories, b, a novel, d-tours, Separate hours, chez charlotte and emily, the life and times of Major Fiction, reruns, babble and a Man to conjure with. his latest collection, the Pavilion of Former wives will be out this fall. Film critic for Partisan review, he will see a collection of his film criticism published this december under the title, Shots in the dark. in addition over 90 stories have been published in such places as Esquire, American Review, Tri Quarterly, Partisan Review, Zoetrope, Antaeus, Iowa Review, Open City and Boulevard. anthologized in such places as Best American Short Stories, Byrnes Book of Great Pool Stories, All Our Secret Are the Same, O.Henry Prize Stories, Full Court: a Literary Anthology of Basketball, The Best of TriQuarterly, On The Couch: Great American Stories about Therapy. author of The Landscape of Nightmare: Studies in Contemporary American Fiction. Film critic for Partisan Review; two time chairman of the national Society of Film critics. Join us for refreshments and book signing following the reading.Lauren Clark Fine Art, 25 Railroad St.,Gt Barrington, MA, 413.528.0432 / lauren@laurenclarkFineart.com www.laurenclarkFineart.com
Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling. ~G.K. Chesterton
10 • AuGuST 2015
The ArTful Mind
artist Profile \ idols & icons \ invitational Mixed Media Show
Larry Silk, sometime between 1955-1960
Early photograph by Larry Silk, Biker
lArry SilK documentary editor
The British Lion icon
Both in new Marlborough exhibit
Early photography by Larry Silk
Teddy Roosevelt on Horseback
how do you express your freedom of expression through your art in the Berkshires? Larry Silk: as a documentary film editor, retired some twelve years, i have enjoyed taking stills, not digital, of whatever catches my eye. that kind of freedom of expression is part of what life in the berkshires is for me. has the theme for this show, idols & icons, been easy for you to work with? Larry: i’m not usually thinking in terms of icons visually, so this theme is a challenge that i find difficult to meet.
how did you come up with the icon photographs that are in the show? Larry: Fifty or so years ago, on my first trip to europe, armed with a used leica while walking past the british Parliament building, i confronted a carving of the british lion (with tongue hanging out), on the side of the building. i couldn’t resist! Snap. it seemed perfect for idols and icons. looking for a contemporary image to partner with it, i took several shots of the statue of teddy roosevelt on horseback flanked by an indian and negro man, each on foot. it stands at the central Park west entrance of the american Museum of natural history in new york city. What might have been your first intriguing moment of inspiration, as an introduction to your film career? Was there a
interview by Harryet Candee
connection between photography and filmmaking for you? Larry: to connect photography with my documentary film-editing career, i think of watching two epic documentaries at the u.S. Pavilion of the 1939 world’s Fair. the films were “the river” and “the city.” i was ten years old and overwhelmed by the power of these films. Subsequently, these films were shown over and over and over at my elementary and junior high schools. My buddies were bored stiff, but i was thrilled. the imagery, the sound track, the rhythm and the intensity of the builders of the new dams enthralled me. the moving pictures of the water coursing over the farmland of the tennessee Valley, washing away livelihoods, dismayed me. i responded to the power of the filmmaking as well as to the message of hydroelectric power being used to help people. “the city” was equally evocative in dramatizing solutions to urban slums. First, there was strong black and white photography documenting the misery of life in the slums. then, solutions were displayed in the form of new towns, communities planned for healthier, more pleasing lives. these two films were directed by Pare lorenz and shot by willard Van dyke. thirty years later, i worked as Van dyke’s assistant editor. larry Silk has received many awards throughout his career as a documentary editor. The organization ACe (American Cinema editors), honored larry with the prestigious lifetime Career Achievement Award in 2013. he is a lifetime
member of the editors Guild, with over four decades of experience. larry has edited memorable and prolific documentaries in cinematic history including, “One Survivor Remembers,” “Marjoe,” and “American Dream,” all of which won Oscars. Among his other credits are the 1977 hit that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a household name, “Pumping Iron,” and “Woody Allen: Wild Man Blues,” which was named Best documentary of the year by the national Board of review and the Broadcast film Critics Association in 1997. Other credits include “Johnny Cash! The Man, His Music, His World”, “Stripper,” which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize in the 1986 Sundance film festival; “The Burning Wall,” which examined life and dissent in the east Germany from 1949-1989; and “Toots” which was named Best documentary by the national Board of review in 2007. larry resides in the Berkshires, where he is happily enjoying his retirement and the freedom to snap photos of anything that pleases him. The show runs through August 23 at the new Marlborough Meeting house Gallery, rte 57, new Marlborough, MA. The gallery is open daily from 11am to 4pm. Following the Idols & Icons show will be the New Marlborough Artists Show, opening August 29 and running through September 27. The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 • 11
enSeMBle fOr The rOMAnTiC CenTury
hailed recently by the new york times as “ingenious,” new york city’s ensemble for the romantic century (erc) returns to the berkshires for the third consecutive summer with the regional premiere of the theatrical concert Van Gogh’s ear. in partnership with the american institute for economic research and the clark art institute, the 10-day, 12-performance series of Van Gogh’s ear complements clark’s art exhibition Van Gogh and nature and features a special pre-performance discussion august 25th led by the clark’s curator at large, richard kendall. written by eve wolf (former Stockbridge resident and tanglewood Fellow) and directed by donald t. Sanders (director of Massachusetts international Festival of the arts), Van Gogh’s ear takes the audience on a journey through the artist’s final years in the south of France. based on Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother theo, the fully staged production interweaves an original script that dramatizes Van Gogh (played by Simon Fortin) with live performances of vocal and instrumental works by French composers. celebrating its 14th season, the ensemble for the romantic century (erc) transforms the classical music concert experience by fusing fully staged dramas with live chamber and vocal music. the combination of scripts – all drawn from historical materials such as memoirs, letters, diaries and literature – with chamber music, brings the past to life with an immediacy that has transported and captivated audiences worldwide. Van Gogh’s ear shows will be august 20-30 (no performance august 24), tuesdays-thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 4:00 p.m. the performances will take place at the Stone house at american institute for economic research, 250 division Street, Great barrington, Massachusetts. Tickets: $85 Concert Only. $99 Concert + Clark Admission. To purchase, contact The Clark at 413-528-0524 or visit clarkart.edu. For more info, visit romanticcentury.org
frOnT ST. GAllery art wOrk by kate knaPP
hOuSATOniC….The Mill TOWn & river PAinTinGS By KATe KnAPP. OPeninG reCePTiOn SATurdAy AuGuST 22, 3-6PM. July 6 ThrOuGh SePTeMBer 7.
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. 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. a teacher for many years, kate knapp has a keen sense of each student’s artistic needs to take a step beyond. Perfect setting for setting up still lifes; lighting and space are excellent. kate knapp’s paintings are also on display at 510 warren St. Gallery in hudson, ny. Please stop by to see all the many works of art by exceptional artists. Front Street Gallery – Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery open by appointment or chance. 413-528-9546 or 413-4297141 (cell).
ST. frAnCiS GAllery r. GOldFinGer
the St. Francis Gallery show Magical realism will continue through the month of august. these exciting artists have created visions that are bound to capture your attention. and because of their astounding ability the eye is fooled into thinking that you are not looking at something done with the hand. this is a collection of the most amazing realism artists in the berkshires. besides capturing feeling, energy, and mood they also explore light, color, and texture and thereby enable you to experience their vision of the world. these meditative, contemplative, and calm but not static paintings come thru as simple and sincere conversations with the eyes. they seem to posses a luminous stillness that is full of symbol. the viewer is easily drawn in to merge with the canvas, an experience that can only be had in person at the gallery. what is also amazing are the variety of vantage points and diverse styles of realism. these paintings often go beyond realism and evoke a strong personal reaction of private moments captured, or endowed with a measure of the eternal. Many of our painters achieve brilliance by returning to the skill set and techniques of old masters, yet not old fashioned but alive in the present. it is a pleasure to know these artists and also to see their mastery and inspiration evolve into these beautiful creations. they are remarkable people as well as remarkable painters, entwined in this vitality. this show is a summer destination. it will close to august 24. Our next show, a berkshire collection will open august 28. the galleries support of our artists combined with the generous support to our nonprofit operating in kenya makes us unique as a gallery as well as voted best private gallery in the berkshires. Please come and enjoy this wonderful celebration of life thru art. St. Francis Gallery - Rte. 102, South Lee just 2 miles east from the Red Lion Inn. Gallery hours: Friday thru Monday 10-5pm.
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12 • AuGuST 2015 The ArTful Mind
Harryet Candee: You’ve been busy with an extraordinary theatre project these past few months - or even longer. What has fed you the energy and inspiration to come up with this magical mystery tour de force? Could it be a mental culmination of experiences? Heather Fisch: The inspiration for this show came at me like a mac truck around the time that I finished my last production. And once I got hit, there was no turning back. Knowing very little about the tarot deck when I began my research for the show, I was completely naïve to the fact that even scratching the surface of the occult sciences would involve over a year of intensive study. By day I’m eating sandwiches at Rubi’s, and by night I’m swimming around in ancient symbols from the Kabbalah, the Emerald Tablet, alchemy, western astrology, Freemasonry, the Bible, numerology… A good friend of mine said to me recently that I was “earning my witch stripes.” And inadvertently, she’s not too far off. The tarot deals a lot with imagery and symbols that speak to our subconscious minds, so the main part of my work has been identifying and understanding these symbols enough to be able to recreate them through my own artistic lens, for use in the theater piece. I saw the trailer, by Opera Nouveau, (Is that you? Explain the connection.) of Tarot Show, a few months ago. It explores themes of serendipity and entropy. Can you explain a little of your thinking on this? Yes, Opera Nouveau is the name of my theater company. And as for the themes of the piece, in essence we are using a tarot deck to negotiate the interaction between structure and chaos. At the beginning of each show we are shuffling the deck and choosing seven cards at random. Those cards will then dictate both the story arc and characters that show up during the performance; this is the chaos element. The structure element of the show refers to the narrative structure that we are using and the concrete scene elements that we have created, such as characters, visual symbols and music, that correspond to each tarot card. By randomly selecting content that is inherently rich in subconscious meaning, I’m hoping to harness, in an artistic format, the concept of serendipity. If we are able to derive some cohesive meaning from the piece after each performance then serendipity is surely in our court. For me personally, the piece is a bit of a war game between faith and science. But with all postulating aside, we are designing the show to be consistently entertaining, despite the inherent risks with the content. Your imagination alone is to be admired, really. You have a vision, and then you proceed to Make It Happen. Nothing gets in your way. In doing such a project as you are now, can you reveal what blood, sweat and tears (and laughs of course) went into the hustling and bustling of having these performances become a reality? Heather: In short, this type of work requires a hearty combination of stupidity, optimism and faith. Fortunately, I am blessed with all three of these qualities. And honestly, that’s what allows me to push these visions through the seemingly impossible crevices of reality.
stay productive in the face of overwhelm by keeping calm, open and present in an extremist kind of way. How do you balance the artistic and logistical end of making a huge body of work like this? You cannot just be artistic, but must also be, lets say, very left-brained as well, yes? You must have some good helpers on board, too. Well, if you want to get astrological, my moon is in Capricorn, which means that I’ve got some deep-rooted and closeted organizational skills. Logistics and pragmatics are some of my secret loves but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy for me to keep things balanced. I usually end up spending way more time on logistics than I would like to. I am working to change that in upcoming seasons by assembling a really solid team of production and administrative support staff. And yes, I’m blessed this season with some great conspirators. Claudia Crane, a business maven and wizard in her own right, is helping me figure out a lot of the business stuff that is making Opera Nouveau function in a more legitimate way. Paul Rapp, Karin Watkins and Lori Fisch, who are all on my advisory board, have also been big helpers over the past year as I figure out how to make my work viable in the big bad world. What for you is the reward in all of this theater-creating? This is going to sound really cheesy, but truthfully, I love the feeling of lots of people in the same room, experiencing the same thing together. I love creating fun and fantasy for people to swim around in. I think the world is full of a lot of heavy stuff and I want to add some lightness to the mix. I also love getting to connect with the people that I’m working with on the productions. It’s amazing how supportive our community here in the Berkshires is for the arts. How have people responded to the developmental steps of this show so far? I’ve experienced an incredible amount of community support for my shows in past seasons and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the Mahaiwe on Aug 22nd for the world premiere of Tarot Show. This year, we’ll be pushing off from the Mahaiwe out onto our very first performance tour! (So excited.) We will be performing up in rural Maine, Providence, RI and for a week in downtown Manhattan. Berkshire people, please help spread the word about our show to your loved ones in Providence and/or NYC.
Heather, what makes you really happy? Hot air balloon rides. Good sex. Puppies. Swimming. Bon fires. Bare feet. Climbing trees. Group hugs. Ice cream with sprinkles, etc… Your daily life must be extremely jet packed with so many things needing to get done. What does a day of yours look like? Do you stop to eat? I usually don’t wake up til the sun is good and warm in the sky. Then I typically eat oatmeal for breakfast with PB & J on it and get to checking emails, writing press materials and coordinating different aspects of the production, from fundraising and PR to rehearsing with different groups of actors, writing music, contracting technicians and musical acts to perform with the show, coordinating insurance and tour logistics. You name it, I’m doin’ it. And yes, I always make time to sit down to eat, to do some good stretching and I even occasionally take showers. WORLD PREMIERE // Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center Great Barrington, MA Saturday, August 22, 8pm Buy Tickets http://www.mahaiwe.org/HouseOfTarot TOUR // Denmark Arts Center Denmark, ME Saturday, August 29th, 8pm http://www.denmarkarts.org/ HERE Arts Center 145 6th Avenue (Enter on Dominick, 1 Block South of Spring) Manhattan, NY September 1st - 5th, 8:30pm Sunday, September 6th, 4:00pm http://here.org/ Columbus Theatre
Providence, RI Saturday, September 12th, 8pm http://columbustheatre.com/
What will make this production different than previous performances of yours? Heather: I’ve got some really exciting performers coming from New Orleans, New York City and the Pioneer Valley to work on the show. These people are exceptionally magical and I’m very pleased to be working with them. In fact, the cast that I’m working with is made up of many new-to-me performers who have shaped the piece in ways that I never could’ve dreamed up if I had tried. Every new group of collaborators brings a completely new flavor, and this show is no exception.
heather FiSch What were the toughest challenges, and what are the upcoming ones you still have to tackle? After all you have accomplished so far, you should be prepared for a smooth ride home, yes? Or wait… are you thinking there will always be something that happens that is not intended or planned? How much control do artists really have over their projects, I wonder. Thoughts? Heather: Our projects are always big weird children that look just like our insides, scrawled out in colorful life-sized sketches. I personally don’t feel like I control my projects as much as I create a flawed and beautiful container for them to come through. This Tarot Show child of mine has certainly required me to grow stronger and more open in order to hold it. I spent a lot of time this spring getting anxious, worried and doubtful about my ability to pull this production off. I feel that through that process, I’ve really learned how to
Heather, who, what, where and when have your inspirations originated from? I’ve been inspired by the works of Lucille Ball, Joseph Campbell, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Charlie Chaplin, C.G. Jung, Pee Wee Herman, Dorothea Tanning, and the American Vaudeville era as a whole. Dates, times and locations of particular inspirations are eluding me at the moment.
The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 • 13
The duCK exPlAinS freud'S TheOry Of dreAMS From no cure For the Medieval Mind by richard
the duck claimed to have unknown information about Freud's theories, here is what he said to the doctor. Freud speculated that if you know enough of the circumstances of a person's life combined with salient details of the day preceding the dream, you could construct with almost mathematical certainty the content of a dream, its arc, and its contradictions. in describing Otis' dream, i am just using the principals established by Freud, in his works on the subject. his treatise on dreams was full of the most fascinating ideas and information. it was an argument in the usual Freudian manner. as you know he would often establish a theory, support it with numerous arguments and observations, and then demolish it altogether. his usual approach was to set up several arguments in a series, defend them, and then destroy them one at a time ending up with his quintessential theory, which he would let stand. as for dreams, he thought they were very important, more important than anyone realizes. what do you suppose are the purpose of dreams? he felt it was obvious, they are blueprints of analysis of human behavior. what do they analyze? three things: first they attempt to figure out why the things that have happened to a person in the past, happened. the analysis in our dreams about the past often has certain reliable recurring props like the second-grade school desk your knees do not fit under, the naked rides on the bus, or the college
14 • AuGuST 2015 The ArTful Mind
where one cannot find a classroom in which an important exam is taking place. you return home to your wife, who is an old girlfriend who rejected you years ago. now everything is fine, and you get along perfectly, but you can't figure out where all the extra rooms in your apartment came from. the dreams analyzing the past are not as important as the second category: dreams that try to figure out why things going on in your present life are happening, despite your relentless efforts to keep them from happening. these dreams involve flooded basements, new clothes with stains and tears showing up at embarrassing moments, landlords who live upstairs now, instead of out of state, and cars made of cardboard that go ninety miles an hour but have no brakes. the third category, and the most important are the dreams that map out a future course of action in either your social, or your business affairs. these dreams include tax papers that are endless and of which several pages are lost, trips to the bank where you safe deposit box has other peoples old cloths in it, visits from out of state in-laws who are very angry but you don't know why, and positive pregnancy tests combined with high cholesterol readings on impossible to read fax printouts. but the purpose of dreams simply pales in comparison to what Freud had to say about how dreams are produced in the brain. you simply will not believe the outlandish concepts he came up with, over time, on this subject. he begins this topic, as he so often does, with an offhand discussion of the development of the camera. consider that Freud was born in 1856, and photography was still in its infancy when Sigmund was still in his diapers. it goes without saying therefore that there is a connection between the development of photography, and the evolution of the Freud's theories concerning dreams. Freud was often heard to say, "in the middle of the night with my eyes closed i can see views of mountains, ships in flames sinking in a sea of ink, my father dancing in drag and talking ashtrays. where, i ask you, where are these images coming from." Just as it took the invention of the steam locomotive before einstein could dream up his theory of relativity, so it took the invention of photography for Freud to dream up his theory of dream production. einstein boarded a train bound for detroit, and found himself arriving in cincinnati because the train was traveling in the opposite direction he thought it was going in. hence the theory of relativity was born. So also with Freud's theory of dream production, it wasn't until the day he sat down at his desk with his cigar and was turning the pages of the first collection of the photographs of charles negre that it suddenly dawned on him. Just as the book was a collection of photographs, so his mind was making a collection of the images he was at that moment looking at. he conceived of his entire life as one long accumulation of black and white badly printed, scratched and granny images stored in the brain by the millions. these stored images must simply be the raw materials from which his dreams were constructed. anyone who has a collection of photographs knows for a fact that they all become mixed up and confused, hence the clutter and confusion of the dream sequence. Freud imagined himself as a microscopic man walking throughout the enormous, cavernous departments of the brain as it hums along executing its millions of functions. at the end of a long dark hallway he finds the rooms of the dream production department. never mind for now just why the dreams are being assembled. the purpose or importance doesn’t matter. Freud knows for a fact that dreams are being made in there! how is it accomplished? the dream department of the brain receives directions, recommendations, and scripts from the production script-writing department. the numerous employees set about, as best they can, assembling the necessary images from a lifetime of archives. huge tables are littered with every imaginable sort of picture; no adequate way to catalogue them will ever be arrived at because there are so many. working on a 24 hour deadline they must complete the assembly of the images, do the editing, dub in the voice over which must be retrieved from the audio recorded tapes department of the brain. is it any wonder that the dreams we have are so confused and contradictory. the brain has to abandon even the most superficial editing and proof reading because of the relentless deadlines, even worse that the most simple-minded daily sit-com. ~richard britell
eQuine AdvOCATeS PhOtOGraPh by andrea PaMela labShere
a Sanctuary FOr reScued hOrSeS
Welcome photographers! Imagine taking your camera to a peaceful 140-acre farm to photograph eighty beautifully-groomed horses, along with a dozen other equines—mules, donkeys, and miniature horses. That’s Equine Advocates, a sanctuary for equines that have been rescued from slaughterhouses or other forms of inhumane treatment, founded in 1996. This picturesque sanctuary is owned and operated by two women—Susan and Karen Wagner, with the help of volunteers and a small staff. Located in the rolling hills of Chatham, NY, Equine Advocates contains over 100 acres of fenced-in pastures and small stables, each one home to only two or three animals. Being herd animals, the horses enjoy the company of the other equines in the sanctuary. Visitors are welcome, including amateur and professional photographers. Admission is free but, since this is a non-profit corporation, contributions are greatly appreciated. One day a month, the gates are open to the public, and arrangements can be made for other occasions, including classes for photographers.
Andrea Pamela Labshere is a rising star! Although she has been a professional for only a year, Andrea’s success has been remarkable. She first gained attention for her photographs of Indian performers at a multi-tribal powwow last year. Operating under the name Andrea P. Labshere LLC, she has had three public showings of her photographs, with another scheduled for The Snap Shop in Great Barrington. She specializes in family photography, including newborns, infants and all other ages, and also does weddings and other celebratory occasions. In addition, Andrea is the photographer for the Olga Dunn Dance Company. Her photos from the Equine Advocates sanctuary will be featured in a book by well-known area authors David C. King and Sharon Flitterman-King. Equine Advocates - for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ArieS (March 20-April 19)
to express oneself boldly and freely does not always feel free. Often there is work involved. yet this is different than ordinary toil or effort, because it's possible to experience time in a much lighter way -- to get lost in one's work. really that expression is the opposite of what it means, which is to find oneself in one's work. that's what i suggest you do, and what i think your soul is calling for. remember as well that expression is introspective, at least initially. that thing you're expressing is yourself, which calls you into yourself to make contact with this seemingly elusive aspect of existence. you may decide that there's something specific that you want or need to do. there may be a connection between your impulse to heal yourself and to have an experience of yourself and also to make or say something. Follow that focus. as you do, you may encounter the specific resistance, judgment or deception that has, in the past, prevented you from feeling, being or speaking what you truly are. this may feel like something that was 'installed' in you, and getting yourself free may feel like bypassing or better still, dismantling or uninstalling it. the mere fact that you are allowing yourself to try means that you don't have full faith in its power to control you. keep unraveling, and feeling, and expressing.
TAuruS (April 19-May 20)
your central question seems to involve your relationship to risk. this may show up a few different ways, but mainly i mean creative and sexual risk. let's start by admitting that anything either truly creative or sexual involves taking a chance. you might say that's the sensation of authenticity -- dancing with a measure of uncertainty and potentially with fear. Most of this is a head trip. Just about everything is uncertain. nearly all the time, fear turns out to be unfounded. So these concepts are mostly psychological, especially when we're talking about an idea or a loving experience rather than, say, jumping off of a building with a parachute. that would be an entirely different kind of fear or uncertainty. but it's funny how expressing or even thinking about an idea can come with a daunting sensation. in this way, we're taught to confuse that which is perfectly safe with what is allegedly dangerous. yet that sense of an energy charge attached to something perfectly safe is the feeling i suggest you court. use the sensation of risk or of taking a chance as an attractive force. be mindful of your points of resistance, of concern, of aversion. consider the worst-case scenario. ask yourself if it's really plausible. consider the best-case scenario. is that a direction you would like to go? consider, above all, that you're actually safe.
GeMini (May 20-June 21)
hang out with people who make you feel good about yourself, or said more accurately, people around whom you feel good being yourself. i recognize there's something unusual going on with the mutable quality of self-assessment or inner emotional sensation -how fast it can change, and the forces to which it's subject. i suggest you go with this particular flow rather than resist it, and hang out where and with whom you feel good being alive, but closer to home, feel good being yourself. this would include feeling positive when you cut loose or have some peak experience; when you experiment with who you are; when you experience an obsession of some kind. in a few words -- the whole spectrum. this same astrology describes your susceptibility to taking on the emotional material of others. but you'll be able to tell what's going on there by how you feel about yourself in their presence. however, speaking of the material of others, there's some residue from one particular recent ancestor -- a parent or grandparent -- that has a way of choking off your happiness. you may only notice that when you start to feel positive and that suddenly stalls out. i don't think this is about you. i think this is someone else's self-image caught in your dna or emotional body. it's time to flood the valley and wash that out.
CAnCer (June 21-July 22)
it's time to consider how resourceful you are. by that i mean how actually resourceful you really are. Monetary resources are often extolled and valued at the expense of many other forms of energy, though i'm including money in this statement. let's start with all resources; that is, the possibility that everything on earth, at least potentially, is available for some purpose you might have. Many people have figured this out (various artists, authors, industrialists and others), whether they apply the idea on a large scale or a small one. you are figuring it out now. this involves an evaluation of who (and what) you think you are, and to a real extent, why you're here. i suggest you think in big and bold strokes. imagine what you consider your best or most scaled-up potential -- and ask if that's really describing what you feel. notice how the value you place on yourself is reflected in the world you see. if you're experiencing your worth as worthy, you will see more of the world as being available to you, like you're on an equal plane with your environment. if you're experiencing a contraction or lack of worth, you're likely to feel like everything is better than you and even worse, not available. what i
planet waves august 2015 ERIC FRANCIS
suggest is that you take over and mediate this entire process from within yourself; from within your own awareness.
leO (July 22-Aug. 23)
Venus will be retrograde in your sign through early September, which represents one of the great developments in your life. Or better said, it can, if you align yourself with the mission that it's describing. that mission is to fully identify with your purpose. taurus is associated with the 10th house of your solar chart -- your highest-level work, what you're known for, what you absolutely must accomplish. identifying with your work and your purpose is the central theme. there is no room to hesitate, though the retrograde describes a retrieval process -- a reclaiming of something inherent about yourself. it may be an early vision you had for yourself, perhaps the first one. what was that thing? what was the very first thing you wanted to be when you grew up? what is the thing you've worked at the most consistently over time, even if you have not necessarily been a 'success' at it? i suggest you do your retrieval and reclaiming and then merge with that thing, that purpose, until it's fully melted into your daily experience of life. this is the kind of commitment that sets you free, because it's an inherent expression of yourself rather than an external promise. you are committing to what you already are. you may also need to fully uncommit to someone, some mom- or dad-like figure, telling you that you could not be that thing.
virGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
you seem to be seeking some missing element of yourself, but don't drive yourself nuts along the way. what you're looking for is right with you, though it seems to be obscured by a narrow view of yourself. Get that out of the way. it's a little like a billboard blocking the view of lake tahoe from your deck -- then staring at the whole scene through backwards binoculars. you would not leave the billboard there. you would chop it down and burn the pieces, and turn the binoculars around. you're now getting a taste of where your potential meets your perspective. if you think youâ€™ve got the ability to do something, imagine that you're really capable of a hundred times more. the thing that stands between you and this awareness is a form of perfectionism. Virgo is already famous for this, without the added influence of a strange, slow-moving point called transpluto that happens to be unusually active right now. it's like you're seeing and feeling yourself in miniature. you don't have anyone to impress with what you're not capable of. you will not betray anyone by being brilliant, loving, creative or whatever it is that you want to be. Many forces are conspiring to open you up -- you, your imagination, your curiosity, your passion and much else. Please join the conspiracy.
liBrA (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
you don't need to fit yourself into a small space -- especially for anyone else's benefit. yet that would be one of the few reasons you might try to do it, and this is worth careful thought. Obsession over what other people might think has long been a problem, though never so much as today, when nearly everything we do has the potential to be published or publicized. yet the sanitized, purified public relations version of oneself is a form of trying to fit into an impossibly small space. if you're feeling cramped, or like you cannot be yourself, try revealing more of who you are. i know this might sound like a contradiction, however it's essential that you make room for yourself in the world, in your home, in your work, in your relationships and just about anyplace else you can think of. you cannot expect people to move over and make room for you voluntarily. So far as i can tell, that's not how this plane of reality works. you must take your space, which is another way of saying, stretch into your own existence. this will necessarily involve being different and demonstrating your differences; that's the whole point. this takes some time and it takes practice, though the result is an experience of getting to live your life your way. it's not always easy but it's worth the effort.
SCOrPiO (Oct. 23-nov. 22)
this is the time to think about large goals, and to take steps toward accomplishing them. as you do this, remember that great achievements are always the condensed results of many small efforts and experiments. it's also true that often the real direction of events or developments is not knowable until much later in a creative process. that said, it's vital that you include all of the known major elements into your plans, concept or design scheme. For example, you might include adequate space to work, childcare and an assistant or other help. Only you will know the specifics, though i am suggesting you be careful about not leaving anything out, that you know you want to include. this will take some thought and some leadership on your part. Mostly you will need to demonstrate initiative -- which is the art of initiating what you want to do. no matter who gives you permission, money, space, a promotion or an idea, you are the sole source of your own initiative. you are the energy source that sets the works in motion, and you sustain what you create.
SAGiTTAriuS (nov. 22-dec. 22)
there's that old adage about the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. you need to honor both now, in a balanced way. in any discussion, particularly involving your professional affairs, there are no absolutes; there's no room for purism. but there's enough space and mental bandwidth to balance the most important details and particulars with the overall intent and the central idea of what you're doing. Sagittarius is an interesting mix of 'spare me the details' and 'i must have creative control over what i'm doing'. it all depends on what project and what phase of the project -- and how much you care about it. i suggest that you work only on the projects that really matter to you -- let's get that out of the way. then take total accountability for them. you need enough contact with the details that you actually have a grip. right now the details matter more than ever, and they will for the foreseeable future. So now's the time to wear your managing editor hat and make sure that everything is up to spec. yet this cannot be at the expense of your broader vision -- that is, the spirit of what you're doing -- or else there is no point. therefore let the details boldly describe your purpose, and let your vision be expressed with care and craftsmanship through all the fine points of what you do.
CAPriCOrn (dec. 22-Jan. 20)
the space you're trying to hold open is emotional space, which is inner space. your current project is not about your social standing, though it may feel that way. nor is your life about getting what you deserve. So far as i can see, what you need is to hold open territory within your own feelings that has long been encroached on by influences that have seemed beyond your control. to the extent that this is about something within you, that control means everything. yet it would be incorrect to decide that this is about 'the world' or whether you fit in. rather, consider whether you give yourself space to be yourself, to feel what you feel and to express the many things you want to say. if you assign outward blame, you'll miss the simple point that only you can give yourself permission to exist. if you can get to the space where you say yes to yourself, you're likely to see your options open up, and to have a far greater sensation of belonging in the world. as far as your associations with others are concerned, here is the essential piece: you must relate to those who have an inner life, which they are willing to share with you. yet that will only have meaning proportional to the inner life you share with them. intimacy is introspection that we share.
AQuAriuS (Jan. 20-feb. 19)
is everything in the world really about contracts and agreements? From the highest courts in the land to the most intimate encounters, we're told this again and again -- and i've said it a few times myself. yet we seem to live in a time when people tend to honor only those agreements that they want to honor. if someone wants to worm out of something, they usually do. i cannot speak with authority on the longterm karmic consequences of this, though i think that for the sake of sanity and overall spiritual health it's better to keep your promises or make a conscious agreement to get out of them, and i imagine you do as well. Presently you're in a review phase regarding your relationships and the various ways that commitments have been kept or not kept. notice that on the social level, people tend to do what they want to do, and this is an entitlement that seems to only be gaining momentum. you would be wise to work with this principle, and surround yourself with people who want you, and who want to be of service to you. this will work brilliantly the other way -- make sure the people you devote time, energy and money to are the ones you really and truly want to support. your review of various past scenarios is likely to demonstrate the validity of this idea.
PiSCeS (feb. 19-March 20)
your relationship environment is a kaleidoscope these days, with influences and personalities changing shapes and colors day by day. if you look, you'll observe many things you've never seen before. this kind of change will work to your advantage, and to make the most of the energy, i suggest you dance with the movements and the developments. try to let go of what is not in sync with the rhythm you're hearing and slip into step with what is. the idea of loss is now being washed away by that of change, and change is gradually being replaced by progress. the single most meaningful thing you can do for yourself is to continue to live well, to live from your heart, and to be generous with yourself and with others. Many, many factors of our lives make this difficult for people, and it remains something of a challenge for you -- though less than usual, and you seem to be way ahead of society on the theme of sharing who you are and what you have. but you truly must master the art of being generous with yourself, in particular with devoting your precious time to what nourishes you. you may need to do this like yoga practice, or music practice. however, if you focus on this wellbeing project for the next month or so, it's likely to stick, and deliver excellent outcomes. ~read eric francis daily at planetwaves.net The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 â€˘ 15
KAye-MOSeS Babl, Linda Kaye-Moses, Double pendant neckpiece and nesting case enclosure Materials: Fine Silver, Sterling Silver (cable), 22k gold, vitreous enamel, lapis lazuli
Harryet Candee: describe your life on this planet. Linda: i have been, in no particular order: mother for forty-nine years, speech therapist (briefly), married for thirty-nine years, sales clerk, secretary, correctional officer and counselor, family planning counselor, actor, folk musician, hippie, gardener, writer, knitter, observer of wild things, and finally, an unruly jeweler of unruly jewels for four decades.
Suppose…there is a simple, lovely pearl sitting in front of you at your work area. A pearl. now, what would you do next? how long would you look at it? What would you be looking for to inspire you? Linda: My jewels are unruly. although i may begin to make a piece with specific goals in mind, most of the time the jewels end up telling me what to use to make them, how they will look, and what they will say. when beginning a piece, i usually bring gems together on my bench that seem to resonate with each other. i don’t mean that in any new age sense, but in the sense that the shapes, sizes and colors of the gems seem to belong together in a single jewel, and speak with the voice that i want to manifest in the piece. when designing a recent pendant neckpiece, a baroque freshwater pearl presented itself among the other gems on my bench. this pearl was rather long and irregular, with touches of blues and pinks in it, and it cried out to be part of the jewel. it was to be a piece that would have its own enclosure, or nesting case (as in a place for a jewel to nest). this combined neckpiece/nesting case was to speak of dreams. the main stone for this piece was a rough oval of cobalt blue lapis lazuli (or as Mama Frasca called it, lapis la lingua) and the colors in the pearl were the colors of moonlight. Once i knew the concept and the main gemstone, i began to draw the pendant neckpiece, including the pearl in the drawing, and assembling the other gems that would frame the lapis and the pearl. in the event of a commissioned piece that must use a stone that had acquired meaning or history for the collector, my process 16 • The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015
interview by Harryet Candee photography by Evan Soldinger
would be similar, though not identical. in that case i would make certain to explore the reasons for the ‘preciousness’ of the stone, the history of the person and the stone, the interests and passions surrounding the person. My objective would be to wrap the piece in the personality of the collector, and isn’t that the intention behind a commissioned piece of art jewelry anyway? to get back to the unruliness... i intentionally have used the word “unruly” to describe my jewels, the word describing the process, not the jeweler (although i do admit to a certain level of unruliness in my life). the jewels are unruly because, although i do begin each one with a concept and a drawing, as they ‘grow’ on my bench, they tend to add unexpected elements and narrative. For example, a piece entitled Repositore began as a pendant and nesting case, and ended up including a ring, a fibula brooch, and a pair of earrings as well. the gestalt of the piece was a reflection of my interest in artifacts of the ancient world (more about that later)... the way that assemblages of items integral to a culture populate ancient graves. Often, as in Repositore, the narrative that is embedded in my pieces is my own. For instance, Birdsong tells the story of my relationship with my cousin Michael. it includes a neckpiece, nesting case, prose poem, and false book. interestingly enough, this piece was unnamed, and not even associated with my cousin, until it was almost completed, when it became clear that’s what it was about. alternatively, the stories that my pieces tell have not always been based on personal narrative. My work has focused on a wide range of topics, from the natural world, to family, to whatever draws my eye and heart to it. For example, over the course of about five years, i’ve been investigating Judaic symbology, the symbols i learned about as a child but needed to understand more deeply, among them the rainbow, Vashti, and the Soul. the pieces that resulted from this exploration have been inspired by the information i collected through private research and study. So, the foundation of these jewels rests on some very ancient historical concepts, and
the art grew from that.
you must have many stories of your own that have happened in your life. Linda: Many years i ago i initiated a project that began quite simply as an answer to the questions my family, friends and students had been asking me for years… “why do you make what you make?” Or alternatively, “how did you begin to make your jewels?” the project became a book, Roots, Stems, and Branches; A Recollection, and it included images of my jewels and original drawings in the form of illuminated/embellished letters and endpapers. what follows is part of a chapter excerpted from that book that partially describes the wandering path that my work has taken. “Wonderful Things” “Four blocks from Columbus Day School there were elephants and dugout canoes, totem poles and antelopes, whales and dinosaurs and all the stars in the sky. Every rainy day, instead of recess in Central Park, we went to the museum around the corner, The American Museum of Natural History. The dugout canoe that greeted me in one of the entrance halls ever suspended its travelers in time and space. They are forever waiting to arrive at or depart for places and times past or yet to come. They will never achieve their objective and never seem distressed by this. They simply illustrate the essence of travel in a dugout canoe, while offering the nature of the canoe itself; an object, made by hands, laboured over and refined, beautiful in its purposeful construction. My classmates and I entertained the fantasy that, if we watched long enough, the figures in the canoe would begin to move and the canoe would continue the journey it had begun before it had arrived at the museum. Sometimes we would stand expectantly watching surreptitiously from the edges of the room. When we tired of this, we wandered into the gallery where the ‘Indian’ collections were displayed. This was the space
Vashti Dreams Linda Kaye-Mosses neckpiece, enclosure, unbound book and poem Sterling and Fine silver, 14k gold, cuprite, lapis lazuli, gem chrysocolla, amethyst, garnet, emerald beads, copper, found object (box), amber, linen, paint, varnish, 14k gold leaf, polymer
Vernalia Linda Kaye-Moses Brooch/Neckpiece, Chain, Cup, Nesting Case Enclosure Sterling and Fine Silver, 14k gold, vitreous enamels, rose quartz, amethyst, aquamarine, jelly opal, found object (wooden case), paper, paint
Drew Her To Their Mysteries, Linda Kaye-Moses Neckpiece, Rings (2), Nesting Case enclosure, Manuscript (with prose poem) Sterling and Fine Silver, 14k gold, boulder opal, trilobite, found objects mica, cork, paper
that captivated me (and it still does). Somehow this gallery seemed draped in a thick silence, imposing a solemnity that forced us to steadily walk, not run, skip or gambol, through the alleys and cul de sacs of the display cases. Each turning in this labyrinth would bring me face to face with objects of power; masks, garments, weapons, totem poles, all imbued with the strength of their function and the energy of the hands that made them. These were the truths of the aboriginals of the Northern continent in the Western Hemisphere. Here were the histories laid out behind glass that belied the other images of these old civilizations. These were not primitive artifacts but carefully and skillfully created objects. They were perfections of design for use, both mundane and spiritual, and they removed me from the bowels of the museum and deposited me in the lands where these objects were in use.
Birdsong, Linda Kaye-Moses, Pendant Neckpiece, book, nesting case enclosure, prose poem Materials Sterling and Fine Silver, 18k gold, montana sapphire, Favrile Glass (Tiffany Studios), cultured pearl, trilobite, found objects (leather, velvet, 24k gold foil, sterling silver, wood, brass); acrylic paint, mica, paper
Notwithstanding that my ‘lands’ were every bit as fanciful as those presented in the media of my childhood, the objects still had the power to pass me through the wall of my childhood environment into the world of the artifacts. Thirteen years later I entered my college dormitory with clothes, books, my carton of cigarettes and guitar in hand. I felt quite awkward and alone until I connected immediately with the group thought to be the ‘bohemians.’ Now, in Vermont in 1959, it didn’t take much to be considered ‘bohemian;’ a little black eyeliner, a guitar (and a repertoire of folk songs), smokes, black tights, and poetry readings. I fit right in. My group was cool and excited, weird and wonderful, wise and confused. I did study, but the strongest memories I have are of the forbidden apartment we rented during my freshman year, my first
love affair, acting classes, Ancient History and, the desired, but dreaded Drawing and Painting. The last item, the Drawing and Painting course, I took twice. Twice because I thought if I worked hard enough and practiced often enough, I would become the artist I knew was inside me. Didn’t work!!! Twice because the instructor, who was the father of a friend, and had become a friend to me as well, was very good at convincing me that he could indeed help me to express the inner artist in oils on canvas. Didn’t work either!!! Twice, because I needed to be in a studio space to do Art and hoped that the work I would do would let me be in that space. What I really needed was exposure to other media, but I didn’t know that and didn’t get it until many years later. …I graduated as a Speech Therapist. In 1963 there were limited materials available for Speech Therapists to use with their clients.
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The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 • 17
Linda Kaye-Moses in her studio photo: Evan Soldinger
I had to cut and paste visual materials and I loved it. It was art on a small scale. Right now you are probably asking the question that I asked myself all through my college years. Why didn’t I charge down the path to a career in the Arts? I didn’t know where that path was; I didn’t know how to find out where it was. I didn’t have the vocabulary to ask the questions and I didn’t even recognize that I had questions to ask! And, most importantly, because of the foggy confusion conjured by my mother, and accepted by me, I didn’t trust my ‘talent’ enough to get the answers I needed. I only knew that I was being trained in a profession that would provide a job when I graduated; not a bad profession, mind you, but not the one for which I was ultimately suited… …In later years I was able to visit Crete and sit on the stone ‘throne’ at Knossos, an event only equal in joy to a visit to the pyramidos of Uxmal and Chichen Itza and Teotihuacan. Having suffered through history classes in high school, I rejoiced in the feast presented by my history professor, Jean Davidson. She gave me access to information, but it was her enthusiasm for the past that was to infuse my jewels and I offer her my thanks now. I could not have predicted while walking with her through ancient lives, that eventually I would not make one piece of jewelry free of the influence of her teachings. Though my work would not replicate ancient jewels, my jewels would reflect my love of their ancient predecessors and the civilizations in which they were produced.”
i am feeling mystery and delight…. The odds and ends of beautiful shell buttons and touches of lace and old watch pieces Where do you find your treasured stones and gems? Linda: i wish that i could travel to the places where the origins of the elements and forms of my work are to be found. i think if i did, i would not have time to make my work. today it is not necessary, as cole Porter wrote, to, “go to the supermarket in old Peking” to find everything and anything. the internet has brought the world directly to us.
in terms of history of the art of Jewelry, what time period is your favorite and most inspiring? Linda: the forms and objects from ancient times, the jewels of Scythia and cylinder seals from the Fertile crescent, and even earlier objects from the Middle east have influenced my work. it’s not the cultures per se that attract me, as they were brutal (and mostly misogynistic); it is the handmade objects, writing forms, and surviving imagery that resonate for me. i would never choose to live in those times, although i suspect that they live in me, in a small way, given my passion for the artifacts they have left behind.
Of all the jewelry you have created, which piece tells the most interesting and unruly, mysterious story?
18 • The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015
Linda: My piece entitled, Drew Her to Their Mysteries, combined a neckpiece, two rings, a prose poem, and a nesting case, and expressed the connection i feel for those early civilizations. the poem was handwritten on parchment and inserted into the nesting case. DREW HER TO THEIR MYSTERIES She always wanted to travel To the Middle East, Ancient sites Drew Her to Their Mysteries. Secrets they would reveal To Her. She would Discover The Missing Tomb, The Iridescent Vessel, Precious Scarab Inscribed with The Cartouche of an Unknown Pharoah. She would translate The Indecipherable Alphabet. An influx of ancient forms and designs, Paisley Pears, Cuneiform Inscriptions and Lotus Petals Invaded her waking dreams.
traveling to find elements and/or inspiration for my work, i would need a time machine, as i am so drawn to the art of the civilizations of the Middle east, to languages untranslated, to ancient style and designs that have not existed for millennia. however, there is still the wonder of studying ancient objects, holding handcarved gems, and bringing into my life the tactility of those objects that resonate of cultures more archaic, and historically richer than my own. the gems i use and the objects i form in my work allow me to travel, metaphorically, around the planet and through time.
i need to ask you, (i do…) what other forms of art bring you incredible joy that you can compare to that of your own art? Linda: My intention is to create my pieces based on, not imitative of, those ancient objects; to draw on the sensibilities of the ancient makers. i am bored by the dispassionate commercial jewelry available, and mostly bewildered by the deliberately cultured remoteness of contemporary art jewelry. i make jewelry as art, as poem, and in doing so, find my inspiration in the work of many other makers: the assemblage and collage work of lenore tawney; the beautiful enamels and compositions of the jewelry of dX ross; the found object mysteries of keith lobue; the tarot paintings of robert Place; the asymmetry of william harper’s jewels; the jewels and enclosures of kevin coates; the idiosyncratic architectural drawings of brodsky and utkin; glorious Gustav klimt paintings;
the colors and form of hundertwasser; and also the mystery inherent in caves, containers, reliquaries, and the lush colors of gems and enamels. Most especially i am inspired by the material at the base of all of my work: silver. My work thematically integrates jewelry fabrication techniques (metal clay, engraving, stamping, fold-forming, oxidation/patination, roll-printing, cold connections), enameling, block printing, assemblage/collage and precious metals, precious stones and found objects. does your jewelry designing extend into home furnishings? Linda: Many of my jewels are installed in enclosures—my nesting cases—which allows them to be displayed as sculptural objects when they are not being worn. i had always hoped that my pieces would not be hidden when not being worn, and several decades ago, one of my collectors mentioned that she hated to store my work in a drawer, so she stuck nails on the wall, and hung the jewels on the nails. naturally, this provoked my intention to make nesting cases for the jewels. the “enclosure,” the vessel, the chest, the reliquary that contains carefully selected and assembled precious elements, and that reflect an intimate symbology, are both my inspiration and my art form.
linda, your jewelry is unique. hands down. you are an original creator. do you think you have started a trend with the particular varying but “set” styles you have developed and labored over for years? Can you expand on the originality in art? Linda: as my work has been influenced by other cultures and other artists, i expect that after so many years of making it, it may have influenced others (and i hope has inspired others). i have yet to see anyone deliberately imitating or copying my work directly, and have always felt that someone would have to be totally obsessive to want to copy my work, since it is so labor intensive and complicated, and so firmly embedded in my own observations and instincts. however, just because i haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean that somewhere there isn’t an art jeweler who has made the attempt. So very often i’ve been asked how long it has taken me to create a particular jewel, and my immediate, and glib, answer has always been, “all my life!” there is an inevitability of being touched by everything that stimulates my senses. i reply that way because everything i’ve seen, heard, tasted, touched, sensed in any way since i was born is stored in my brain, my heart and my soul. this process is continual; it goes on and on, with more and more items ready for access when i need them. this is my main resource “library,” along with an over-the-top library of art books (yes, real books, not virtual). My library of art books has been essential to my training. although i have taken a number of workshops focused on specific
techniques, i am primarily self-taught, so my personal library has been indispensable, both for technical information and for the solitude of inspiration. the classes i selected supplemented what i could learn on my own, and initially offered the techniques i wanted to understand in order to make the work i knew i wanted to make. i have always thought of myself as a perennial student, because each time i sit down at the bench, i challenge myself to go beyond where i’ve been before. in that respect i’m always learning, expanding my skills and using a wider range of techniques to accomplish what i set out to do.
Can you say how you were originally inspired to make jewelry? Linda: So many times over the years i’ve been asked to describe the origin of my decision to make jewelry, and my answers have been numerous, because the roots of my art go very deep and very far into my past. as a child, i drew and glued and colored and sewed stuff. One of my earliest attempts to design wearables was a series of drawings of women’s hats, replete with feathers and sparkling colors. but wearables were not my thing and it took me many years to realize that what i loved to look at and hold was jewelry. i’m not talkin’ ‘bout all the glitzy stuff, just the interesting stones, the colors, enamels, the metals, the textures, the forms, and the histories. in the sixties and seventies i made a huge number of necklaces using the ethnic beads that had become available in the States during that time period. i sold them anywhere i could. i had the sense that this was almost, but not quite, what i wanted to be making. as i’ve described in my book, i ran across a jeweler actually making his work at a folk festival, and it was a eureka moment. up until that time my naive understanding of jewelry making was that the jewels sprang from some magic fountain complete and perfect! here was this guy, firing up his torch, soldering metal, setting stones. and i thought, if he could do that, so could i. timing is everything. a few short years later, i took my first jewelry-making class. it was a one night a week for one semester class in the continuing education program at berkshire community college. a friend of mine, Gitte Zweig, was teaching it, and i was working at bcc at the time, so could take the class for free (i was on a single parent budget then). From the minute i sat down and used a jeweler’s saw, i was completely in love with the process. i took that class because Gitte knew i wanted/needed to take it, and insisted that i enroll. that was in 1976, and i’ve never looked back... never stopped making my jewels.
Tell me about a technique you use that has been one you created specifically to your jewelry? Linda: the history of jewelry making and jewelry making techniques is millennia old, in the category of “nothing new under the sun.” in the arts, it is only the way in which an artist approaches and applies materials and techniques that distinguish that artist from all others. in 1996, however, a new technique/process for working metal became available, a process that has made a more-than-significant impact on my work and my life. Mitsubishi’s labs produced Precious Metal clay©, a material composed of extremely fine, pure silver particles, a binder, and a little water. this material could be formed, shaped, carved, press-molded into objects, and then fired in a kiln. during the firing the binder burns off, and the objects coming out of the kiln are pure silver. i have been working with, and teaching, the use of metal clay since that time. in my work, metal clay assumes a supporting role, that is, i bring many techniques to my work, including the use of metal clay. in this respect, the use of metal clay has allowed me to infuse my work with a more detailed narrative, which is essential for my work (i will be demonstrating the use of this material on 28 august at lauren clark Fine art, as part of my exhibition at that gallery.) beginning in the early 1990’s i founded the Metals Studio, and was the Studio head at what was then interlaken School of art (now iS183). My intention was to develop a program that would offer quality jewelry-making skills training in the Shires, bringing in both local and internationally known jewelry artists and metalsmiths to teach. the program was discontinued in 2002 (it has since been revived to good effect). it was important for me to share what i knew and to ask the same of other jeweler/metalsmiths, educating the next generation of jewelry artists. i have also taught in various art centers in the states, and taught three workshops in new Zealand, for the same reason. i continue to teach at Snow Farm; the new england craft Program (williamsburg, Ma) and will be teaching there 16-22 august of this year.
Imagining Esther . Linda Kaye-Moses photo: Evan Soldinger Neckpiece, Nesting Case and book Fine and Sterling silver, 14k gold, vitreous enamels,tourmalines, kyanite, Peruvian opals, boulder opal, amethyst crystals, 19th c. Siamese gambling token, apatite, Montana sapphire, wood and glass found object (enclosure), acrylic paint, paper, mica, bronze, silk, acid-free paper, waxed linen, prismacolor, ink
The Berkshires is like no other place to be live. Our community is sensational and kind. i am wondering, how do you support the arts? Linda: i am a fortunate artist... i was able to choose to live in the Shires. living here in the berkshires is like living in an arts cauldron of unceasing stimulation and inspiration. the population of artists was large when i first came here to live in 1970, and has only increased since then. this offers all of us the opportunities to network and learn from each other, in an atmosphere that is at once beautiful, affirming, and supportive. and this summer alone there is a major Van Gogh exhibition at the clark, a spectacular asian art exhibition at the berkshire Museum, and a striking exhibition of roz chast’s spicy work at the rockwell. Of course, summer here is always dense with the performing arts, that’s a given here, and this is no longer just seasonal as the arts experience here has been expanding exponentially. The summertime here is overwhelming! how much time do you spend in your studio? Linda: Summers are always intense for me, especially this summer. i am at my bench every day preparing for my exhibition at lauren clark Fine art (august 4-30), plus spending time tending our vegetable garden and getting on with the minutiae of life. My husband, art photographer evan J. Soldinger, and i also jump feetfirst into Jacob’s Pillow and tanglewood performances. i am planning to attend the enamelist Society conference to be held this year in august in eastern Massachusetts, where there
will be a juried exhibition, Alchemy 3, where one of my pieces will be featured. and then, of course, i will be teaching at Snow Farm. with the columbus day weekend Paradise city arts Festival in northampton, Massachusetts coming up, i will also be designing and making jewels to show there.
in your opinion, and we all respect that, what do you think is missing in the Berkshires? Linda: there is little missing in the Shires, though perhaps a restaurant that serves only non-GMO, organically grown food, a really great magazine store, and a berkshire county craft association would be very satisfying. what do we have too much of: black flies.
lastly, linda. if you had three wishes, (Artful Mind will try to grant them, of course) what would they be? Linda: if i had three wishes: First wish - world peace, of course! Second wish - to see my children, both of whom are artists, as fulfilled in their work as i have been in mine. My daughter, Jude roth is a screenwriter and actor. (her short el Doctor, was screened at biFF several years ago) and my son, adam Michael rothberg is a musician/songwriter. (he will be performing at the Guthrie center, 8 august). third wish - to be able to continue to make my work, all the way to the crematorium. GGGG
The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015 • 19
FRONT ST. GALLERY
HoUSatonIC THE MILL TOWN & RIVER PAINTINGS by
Kate Knapp, Housatonic
Kate KnaPP July 6 - Sept 7 2015
opening reception: Saturday august 22, 3-6pm All are welcome
gallery hours Sat & Sun or by appointment 12-5pm 413-274-6607 413-429-7141(cell) 413-528-9546 Front Street, downtown, Housatonic, MA
Saint Francis Gallery Summer Skies
Oil on Canvas
96 x 144 in
1370 Pleasant Street, route 102, lee, Ma (next to fire dept.) 413.717.5199 Open Friday - Monday 10 - 5pm www.saintfrancisgallery.com
“not your Grandmother’s Quilt” FabricatiOn in Metal
in the Gallery August 8 - 30
Opening Reception Sat, Aug 8 2-4pm
SAndiSfield ArT CenTer
20 • The ArTful Mind AuGuST 2015
5 hammertown rd, Sandisfield, Ma • 413. 258. 4100 www.sandisfieldartscenter.org
Kevin BArtini, stand-up comedian and actor…Wendy Rabinowitz, jeweler, more!