(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Four Berkshire artists spent a year studying Shaker history and culture and painting scenes while onsite at Hancock Shaker Village. The results can be seen in SEASONS at Hancock Shaker Village: a Painting Exhibition, featuring works by Marguerite Bride, Mike Cohen, Ivor Parry, and Scott Taylor, which will open in the Poultry House Gallery on Friday, August 31, 2012, with a reception from 5pm to 7pm, and run through Sunday, October 28, 2012. The artists will also give a gallery talk about how the aesthetic beauty of the historic village inspired their paintings as part of the Return and Learn series on Saturday, September 8, 2012, at 2pm.
Marge Bride, Mike Cohen, Ivor Parry, and Scott Taylor spent a year painting scenes while onsite at Hancock Shaker Village—from the Round Stone Barn in the winter to the baby animals in the spring. Concepts from Shaker philosophy and culture also helped to inform the paintings, leading to some unusual compilations from artist Ivor Parry, such as an oil painting of Mother Ann’s emigration from Manchester England and depictions of sheep and pigs balanced on the Shaker-invented flat broom. The artists work in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylics, and oil. Proceeds from the sale of these paintings will help support village programming.
“This is ambitious, colorful, and thoughtful work,” notes Linda Steigleder, president of Hancock Shaker Village. “These artists have mined historical details about the Shakers at Hancock and responded to unique physical Village features, in such a way that will open the eyes of all who view the exhibition. I have been moved by the paintings and artworks produced by this group of four artists and feel sure that our visitors will be emotionally engaged as well.”
Marge Bride lives in Lenox, Mass. Her training includes study at Worcester Art Museum, Interlaken School of Art, and the visual arts program at Berkshire Community College. A frequent exhibitor in art shows and festivals throughout New England and nearby New York, she also accepts private commissions, with an emphasis on house portraits. She has spent the last couple of years capturing the beauty and serenity of all seasons of New England in her paintings.
Michael Cohen lives in New Lebanon, New York. He is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York City and the B.F.A. program at Queens College, New York. While many of his paintings are landscapes, they all have to do with the passage of time and moments in time.
Ivor Parry lives in Hinsdale, Mass. A graduate of the Pratt Institute, he paints on canvas, wood, MDF board, and heavy watercolor paper with oil and acrylic paints, charcoal, pencil, and watercolor. He starts with a line, a swish of paint on a brush, color, or blocking out random geometric and irregular shapes, that nudge him in a direction that keeps developing as he paints.
Scott Taylor lives in Pittsfield, Mass. Known for his signature use of vibrant color and his energetic brushwork, his paintings have been exhibited in galleries in Lenox, Pittsfield, and Torrington, Conn. He especially loves old barns and other unique buildings (lighthouses, cottages, and the like) and endeavors to depict the emotion and history contained within their structures.
Return and Learn sessions are free to HSV members and included with general admission. For more information or to make reservations for the exhibition opening reception, call 800.817.1137. The exhibition may be previewed online at SEASONS.
Hancock Shaker Village is located on Route 20 in Pittsfield, Mass., just west of the junction of Routes 20 and 41. For GPS purposes, the Village is located at 34 Lebanon Mountain Rd., Hancock, Mass. 01237. Or, enter 1843 W. Housatonic St., Pittsfield, Mass. 01201 then proceed 1/2 mile further West on Rt. 20 to the parking lot.