(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – I/O Fest ‘13, a three-day festival of new music from around the globe featuring five concerts with several world premieres, works by thirty composers, and performances by Contemporaneous, Paul de Jong (formerly of The Books), and Melissa St. Pierre, takes place from Thursday, January 10, 2013, through Saturday, January 12, 2013, at the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance on the Williams College campus in Williamstown. All events are free and open to the public. Neither tickets nor reservations are required.
(HUDSON, N.Y. and GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Trombonist-vocalist Emily Asher brings her traditional-style jazz outfit, Garden Party, to the region this weekend for two shows – Friday, January 11, 2013, at Club Helsinki Hudson, for a dance party from 9pm to 11pm, preceded by two dance workshops; and Saturday, January 12, at Castle Street Cafe in Great Barrington. Led by Asher’s tenacious trombone and sweet vocals, Garden Party is a band of all-stars from New York City’s vibrant early jazz scene, drawing on the repertoire of Louis Armstrong’s enchanting Hot Fives and Duke Ellington’s sophisticated melodies to the funky and soulful music of New Orleans brass bands.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Northern Berkshire Chorale will present a winter concert of sacred music by Orlando Gibbons, J.S. Bach, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Handel, and Ottorini Respighi on Friday, January 11, 2013, at 7:30p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. The choir is under the direction of Andrea Goodman and accompanied by Susan Hadfield.
The choir will perform a concert of choral classics beginning with three powerful verse anthems by Orlando Gibbons, including the rarely heard This is the Record of John. The choir also will sing selections from one of J.S. Bach’s most popular works, the Magnificat in D; the Kyrie and Gloria from the Messe de minuit by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and several sections of Handel’s Messiah. From the twentieth century will be the opening chorus of Ottorini Respighi’s Laud to the nativity and Charles Stanford’s Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem.
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Author Frank Lentricchia will read from his new crime novel, The Accidental Pallbearer (Melville House), on Sunday, January 13, 2013, at 4 pm, at the Spotty Dog Books and Ale in Hudson. A native of Utica, N.Y., Lentricchia us the son of working class, first-generation Italian-American parents. He is a chaired professor of literature at Duke University, and his highly acclaimed and often controversial critical studies caused the New York Times to dub him the “Dirty Harry of literary criticism.” He is the author of seven novels and a memoir, The Edge of Night. The Accidental Pallbearer is the first in a series of crime novels set in Utica and featuring ex-academic and private investigator Eliot Conte.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Wink: Pairings from the Berkshire Museum’s Collections, on display at the Berkshire Museum through early spring, is the interpretive brainchild of guest artist/curator Maggie Mailer, who chose to bring pairs of artworks – paintings, photography, and prints from the Berkshire Museum’s permanent collection – together in ways that illuminate surprising shared elements found in common between two works of art. The intention of the show is to encourage viewers to develop the habit of looking for connections in unexpected places, both in the world of art, and in everyday life.
ARTWORKS REVEAL HIDDEN STORIES at THE CLARK
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass..) — A painting is a three-dimensional object, but often visitors to art museums are only privy to one aspect, and thus are deprived of the whole story the artwork can tell. In the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s exhibition Backstories: The Other Side of Art, the hidden aspects of works of art are exposed, revealing when and how they were made, how they have been cared for by collectors, and the many changes they have undergone. Spanning five centuries, the exhibition includes paintings, works on paper, sculpture, silver, and porcelain. Most of the objects in the exhibition will be displayed on pedestals, allowing visitors to view them from all sides. Special inscriptions and other details that may have gone unnoticed in a typical exhibition setting will be highlighted. Backstories is on view at The Clark from Saturday, December 22, 2012 through April 21, 2013.
XU BING: PHOENIX, FEATURING MONUMENTAL SCULPTURE, at MASS MOCA
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Phoenix Project, two spectacular and massive birds fabricated with construction and demolition debris from Beijing, will be shown in their premiere exhibition outside China as the dramatic centerpiece of a major exhibition of Xu Bing‘s work on view in MASS MoCA‘s signature space — Building 5 — from December 22, 2012, through October 31, 2013. Installed in the 300-foot main gallery, the two great phoenixes — each nearly 100 feet long and weighing nearly 20 tons in all — were inspired by the artist’s observations of the dramatic changes in Chinese society upon his return from a long stay in the United States. The multitude of glass skyscrapers rising in the major urban centers was a potent symbol of China’s rapid accumulation of wealth and its astounding new development. Xu spent two years creating the mammoth birds, collecting and purchasing materials from construction sites in Beijing between 2008 and 2010.
COMIC BOOK ARTIST ALEX ROSS HAS SHOWCASE at NORMAN ROCKWELL MUSEUM
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) — Acclaimed comic book artist Alex Ross, whose work has appeared in print, on film, on album covers and in video games, is the subject of a retrospective exhibition opening at the Norman Rockwell Museum running through February 24, 2013. The show, Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross, will present a comprehensive look at the career of the artist who has been called “the Norman Rockwell of the comics world.” Organized by the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa., the exhibition features more than 130 works, including paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures from Ross’ personal collection.