(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) –There couldn’t be a more fitting summertime exhibition than “Sol Schwartz: Drawing in the Dark,” featuring the well-known artist’s vibrant, spontaneous drawings, that have captured the beauty and excitement of music, theater and dance at such performing arts centers as Tanglewood, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and Barrington Stage Company, on view now through October 23, 2011, at the Norman Rockwell Museum.
“It happened by accident,” says Sol Schwartz. “ I used to make little sketches in the corners of my programs when I attended concerts.” Eventually the artist began bringing a sketchbook along to work in, and over the years has completed thousands of studies, including likenesses of such musical, dance and theater superstars as André Previn, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Seiji Ozawa, Yo-Yo Ma, Katherine Dunham, Savion Glover, Mark Morris, and many others.
“The novelty of my work is that I do it while a performance is underway, sometimes in the pitch dark,” Schwartz notes. He prefers not to adjust or complete an artwork after the fact, and enjoys the sense of immediacy that is conveyed by drawing on site. Working in pencil, ball point pen, and Japanese sumi brush, he tries to convey “the spirit of the concert… that ineffable nature of a great performance.”
“Sol Schwartz: Drawing in the Dark” looks at the artist’s original drawings and sketchbooks, along with the creatively-designed large scale prints that reflect his enthusiastic love of color, graphic art, and digital technology. A video interview with the artist offers personal commentary on the unique, creative environment of the Berkshires.
Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Mass., Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The museum is open year-round. From May through October, hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; from November through April, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Rockwell’s studio is open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Museum admission is $16, $14.50 for seniors, $10 for students, $5 for kids and teens 6 to 18, and free for children 5 and under. Visit the museum online at Norman Rockwell Museum.