(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Berkshire Museum will present the major new exhibition, Taking Flight: Audubon and the World of Birds, from Saturday, January 21 through June 17, 2012, showcasing the masterful wildlife art of John James Audubon and exploring the fascinating realm of birds, from the tiniest hummingbird to the flightless ostrich. The exhibition, curated by Maria Mingalone, the museum’s director of interpretation, centers on John James Audubon and his passion for birds, which drove him to create The Birds of America, a revolutionary work of science and art that launched Audubon’s reputation as the world’s most renowned wildlife artist.
A full day of activities and presentations, including lectures, demonstrations, and family fun, are planned for Saturday, January 21, culminating in the official opening reception, free and open to the public, from 5 to 7 p.m.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Mavis Staples, whose musical career has spanned over a half century spanning gospel, spirituals, R&B, rock, pop, folk, country, protest, Americana and indie rock, and who was a longtime member of her legendary family ensemble, the Staples Singers, performs at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center on Sunday, January 22 at 7 pm. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient most recently recorded You Are Not Alone, produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, one of many collaborations Staples has performed with the likes of Bob Dylan, the Band, John Scofield, Ry Cooder, Ray Charles, George Jones, Los Lobos and Dr. John.
(HILLSDALE, N.Y.) – Ghostly Berms, a new series of photographs by renowned poet/photographer Gerard Malanga, opens on Saturday, January 21, 2012, at Architecture for Art Gallery, where it remains on display through February 26. The exhibition consists of 40 black & white silver gelatin prints documenting a portion of New York Central’s Harlem Line in Columbia County, which has been “buried in brambles and thistles,” as Malanga characterizes it, “for nearly forty years.” Malanga describes the images as “one long visual poem reaching all the way back to my childhood where they unconsciously began,” and touch upon architecture, engineering, archeology and natural elements as visual components. There will be an opening reception with the photographer on Saturday, January 21, from 5 to 7pm.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Darrah Carr Dance, an ensemble that blends Irish step dance with modern dance vocabulary, will step, jump, and fly at MASS MoCA on Saturday, January 21, 2012, at 8 p.m. in Club B-10 as part of the popular Alt Cabaret series. Since 1998, Darrah Carr Dance has incorporated Irish music and step dance footwork with contemporary choreography and spatial patterns to present a bold new twist on conventional Irish dance. As the New York Times described it, “Carr’s immensely likable and skillful dancers move with a space-gobbling buoyancy and openness that looks as if they might take flight.”
Artistic director Carr describes her style of dance as ModERIN (a playful combination of the words modern and Erin, an Irish-American reference to Ireland) to highlight her company’s mix of traditional step dancing and modern dance.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Teddy Thompson, a native Englishman who has adopted New York City as his home and is the son of groundbreaking English folk-rock singer-songwriters Richard and Linda Thompson, performs at Club Helsinki on Friday, January 20, 2012, at 9 p.m. Thompson boasts a gorgeous tenor voice that recalls Roy Orbison, and his most recent album, Bella, sets his vocals in arrangements that recall Orbison’s lean rock and roll with lush string arrangements, on original material that is both disarmingly catchy and often startlingly frank.