Pittsfield Walking Tour to Explore City’s Melvillean Heritage

'Sail in Place' by CR Gray

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – A guided walking tour of public art with a nautical theme inspired by Herman Melville’s great American novel, Moby-Dick, which was written here in Pittsfield, will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2012, beginning at 1p.m. Led by artist and educator Craig Langlois, the 90-minute guided walk – which sets off from the Pittsfield Visitors Center, located at the Colonial Theatre, 111 South Street — is one of a series of monthly explorations under the auspices of Artscape.

The new 2012 sculptures follow the nautical theme embodied in Pittsfield’s “Call Me Melville” summer festival. Other works included in the tour are selections from some earlier Artscape installations, as well as previous projects and initiatives.

An experienced arts educator, Langlois leads informative and entertaining tours for the public to discover the remarkable array of sculptures and other public art installations located in the city. He guides participants on their walk through historic downtown Pittsfield to enjoy and discuss some of the nearly 50 pieces of public art including sculptures, mixed media installations, and murals.

Artists selected for this year’s installations come from the mid-Atlantic and New England region, including three from the Berkshires. Each work has its own distinct personality and appearance, with notable installations including:

•           a large representation of Melville’s pen, with flowing ink forming the shape of a whale (City Hall garden on Allen St.);

•           twin octopi flying from a light pole at the Colonial Theatre. Lighted by LEDs, the work takes on an especially dramatic look at night; and

•           a figure of Moby-Dick itself, in the planter on Bank Row.


Artists chosen for this year’s new installations include

•           C.R. Gray, whose “Sail,” the newest installation, is made of New England fieldstone, steel and limestone;

•           C.R. Gray also has a sculpture called “Great White Whale” made of white granite;

•           Matt Thomases, a bronze bust of “Ahab”;

•           Mark Hanford and Bill Tobin (of Pittsfield), a “Breaching Whale” made of welded steel; plus

•           the above-mentioned: Paul Angiolillo (“Melville’s Pen”), Donna Dodson (“Moby Dick”), and Marissa Dipaola (“Twin Octopi”).

Free of charge and made possible by a grant from the Pittsfield Cultural Council, the tours take place on one Saturday each month through October, starting at 1pm. The remaining dates are August 25, September 15 and October 6.

Langlois has been teaching and working within the arts for more than ten years. Formerly a professor of visual art for Long Island University’s School of Visual Arts, he currently presides as the Coordinator of Public Programs for Berkshire Museum and is co-owner of Shack Pottery. His art has been extensively collected and exhibited both nationally and internationally. His work is included in permanent collections at the MoMA and the Victoria Albert Museum, London, among others. He holds a BFA in Art Education and a MFA in Sculpture and Ceramics.

An activity of the city of Pittsfield’s Department of Community Development, Artscape’s mission is to enhance the downtown’s character and attract visitors by installing and promoting works of art in various outdoor locations accessible to the public throughout the downtown area. Artscape includes sculptures, murals, and street signs that energize and add beauty to the city. The exhibition has been ongoing for 12 years, with new additions coming into rotation each year. A brochure describing the installations is available at several locations in Pittsfield, including the Berkshire Athenaeum, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, City Hall, the Pittsfield Visitors Center, and online.



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