(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) — Tom Patti, the Pittsfield-based artist internationally renowned for his innovative work in glass, has been commissioned by Berkshire Museum to create original works for the museum’s entry vestibule and lobby area. The site-specific installations are the first major commissions by Patti, one of the most influential and inventive artists working with glass, for a public building in the Berkshires. Museum visitors will be able to view the new works beginning Saturday, June 30, 2012, when the museum will be open and free to the public all day. A gala celebration of Patti and his accomplishments will be held Friday evening, June 29, 2012.
On Saturday, June 30, the Opening Day Celebration of Tom Patti and the museum’s new installation begins at 10 a.m. with a welcome and remarks from the museum’s executive director Van Shields. At 11 a.m. Tom Patti will give a talk in the museum’s theater, to be followed at noon by a booksigning. Tom Patti: Illuminating the Invisible by William Warmus and Donald Kuspit will be available for purchase. At 1 p.m., cake and lemonade will be served. Admission is free all day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(BECKET, Mass.) – Contemporary dance ensemble Morphoses makes its Jacob’s Pillow debut Wednesday, June 27 through Sunday, July 1. 2012, with the world premiere of WITHIN (Labyrinth Within) by acclaimed Swedish filmmaker, dancer, and choreographer Pontus Lidberg. Directed by company co-founder Lourdes Lopez, former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and future artistic director of the Miami City Ballet, and performed in the Ted Shawn Theatre, WITHIN combines dance-on-stage and dance-on-camera, with lush, sensual choreography and a sweeping score by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang.
Also this week at the Pillow, Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM (Kidd Pivot), the acclaimed contemporary dance company led by choreographer Crystal Pite, performs her virtuosic and enigmatic work Dark Matters in the Doris Duke Theatre Wednesday through Sunday. Dark Matters returns as the first work of the “Back by Popular Demand” series, in honor of the Pillow’s 80th Anniversary Festival.
(CHATHAM, N.Y.) – Grammy Award-nominated oud player Simon Shaheen, considered by many to be one of the most significant contemporary Arab musicians and composers, performs his unique blend of Arabic, jazz and Western classical styles at PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century on Saturday, June 30 at 7:30 pm. Shaheen will be accompanied by percussionist Dafer Tawil.
A Palestinian-American born in the village of Tarshiha in the Galilee, Shaheen began playing music at the age of three, first the oud, then the violin. (The oud is a pear-shaped stringed instrument commonly used in North African and Middle Eastern music.) “When I held and played these instruments, they felt like an extension of my arms,” he said.
Shaheen’s father, a music professor and a master oud player, was a powerful influence in his musical life. “I was exposed to the best of traditional Arab music from different parts of the world, including Western classical and Indian music, Persian, and many others,” Shaheen said. “I grew up with this duality of playing on the oud and the violin and this duality kept haunting me throughout my life.”
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass) – Canadian icon Patrick Watson brings his unique blend of cabaret-pop and classically influenced indie rock to the Berkshires when he performs as part of MASS MoCA‘s Alt Cabaret series this summer on Saturday, June 30, 2012, at 8 p.m. Raised in Quebec and now residing in Montreal, Watson come as part of Oh, Canada, MASS MoCA’s year-long celebration of Canadian contemporary art.
Watson’s ability to incorporate unusual objects in his music-making – he’s been known to play a bicycle as an instrument and pick a guitar with two spoons – makes him the perfect fit for MASS MoCA’s unconventional scene. Watson’s music is as likely to appeal to fans of Arcade Fire as to those who enjoy Rufus Wainwright, Andrew Bird, Devendra Banhart and Antony and the Johnsons.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – DownStreet Art’s 2012 season begins with a downtown arts and culture celebration on Thursday, June 28, 2012, from 5 to 9 p.m. There will be live performances, pop-up and permanent gallery openings, public art unveilings, happenings, and businesses will be open late with DownStreet Art specials. All events are family friendly, free and open to the public.
The festivities of DownStreet Art’s Last Thursday Celebration will feature the unveiling of North Adams’ first ever large-scale public mural, to be painted on the back of the Mohawk Theater. Artist collective Muralismo Publico, who traveled to North Adams from their hometown of Vitoria, Spain, are creating a mural that reflects change, exchange, transformation and hope. The unveiling of this work will occur with a ribbon cutting with Mayor Alcombright at 5:30 p.m.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Beginning Thursday, June 28, 2012, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Gallery 51 will present VS., a solo exhibition of artwork by Ven Voisey. The public is invited to attend a free opening reception in conjunction with the kickoff celebration of DownStreet Art 2012, on Thursday, June 28, 6-9 p.m. The exhibition marks a farewell to Voisey, who recently was awarded a year-long residency in the Roswell Artist-in-Residence program in Roswell, N.M. Voisey came to North Adams nine years ago to manage the Contemporary Artists Center.
The artwork presented in VS. incorporates a wide range of media, including drawing, sculpture and photography (both found and original), sound, video and installation. All of the works find their roots and inspiration in the realm of argument, opposing forces and contrarian behavior. Archetypal struggles such as human vs. wilderness, man vs. himself, and sacred vs. profane, weave their way into the fabric of this exhibition.