(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – On Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at 7 p.m., Berkshire Museum hosts author Bob Reiss for a multimedia discussion about his Arctic travels and his book, The Eskimo and the Oil Man (Business Plus). In The Eskimo and the Oil Man, author Bob Reiss follows the relationship between an Inupiat Eskimo leader and a top Shell Oil executive in Alaska as Shell seeks to drill for offshore oil in a region that some say may become the world’s next Saudi Arabia. Reiss has covered these environmental and political issues for various publications include Smithsonian Magazine. He has also made numerous trips to America’s Arctic over the last three years, spent time with scientists, diplomats, military planners, eskimo whale hunters, and politicians in Washington dealing with the issue. The lecture begins at 7 p.m.; tickets are $5. Books will be available for purchase during the book signing that follows the talk.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – WordXWord alum Jon Sands reads his work as part of the WordXWord Writers Room Feature night on Tuesday, January 22, 2013, at 8p.m. Sands is a teacher and performer who has performed and led workshops at universities and arts organizations both nationally and internationally. He is Director of Poetry Education Programming at the Positive Health Project in Manhattan and a Youth Mentor with Urban Word-NYC. His work has been published in numerous journals and his book “The New Clean” was published by Write Bloody Press in 2011.
INNOVATIVE FOLK DUO BROWN BIRD to PLAY HELSINKI
(HUDSON, N.Y.) – There are two approaches in the contemporary neo-folk revival. Many of the most commercially successful bands hearken to the breezy, anthemic, deracinated pop-folk of original white-bread folk-revival groups like the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio and Peter, Paul and Mary. Others look to the same folk roots but come up with innovative twists and fusions and stronger individual personalities. Count Brown Bird, which combines an organic, rootsy approach drawing from blues, swing, bluegrass, French chanson, and Eastern European modes and instrumentation and which performs at Club Helsinki on Saturday, January 19, 2013, at 9 p.m., in the latter category.
The band’s two members, David Lamb and MorganEve Swain, build their sound from the foundations of blues and American roots music, utilizing the simple foot-percussion, violin, cello and upright bass that they have become known for, while expanding Swain’s vocal presence and flaunting Lamb’s lyrical mastery.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – It was common in the eighteenth century to accompany an evening of fine dining with chamber music. On Sunday, January 20, 2013, Fiori Restaurant revives that tradition with the first in a projected series of Candlelight Concerts, featuring Schubert’s C major Quintet for two cellos played by Boston Symphony alumnus and Berkshire Symphony conductor Ronald Feldman with Joel Pitchon, Joana Genova, Ariel Rudiakov, and Volcy Pelletier. Hors d’oeuvres begin at 5p.m.; music starts at 5:30; dinner to follow. Price for the concert and dinner is $55. Call 413.528.0351 for reservations.
(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.
(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.
(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.