Berkshire Museum Opens New Gallery Showcasing Berkshire Artists

Philadelphia Towers (CY), 2011, by Michael McKay, acrylic on paper

Philadelphia Towers (CY), 2011, by Michael McKay, acrylic on paper

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – BerkshireNow, a new gallery at Berkshire Museum devoted to showcasing the work of artists living in the Berkshires, will be open free to the public during Pittsfield’s First Friday Artswalk on Friday, March 6, 2015. The inaugural BerkshireNow exhibition, curated by Maria Mingalone, features Pittsfield-based artists Michael McKay, Monika Pizzichemi, and Marcel Bova, who comprise Empty Set Projects.

Monika Pizzichemi is a multi-media artist working in photography and mixed-media assemblage. Michael McKay is a painter, printmaker, and mixed media artist; he creates the witty supermarket-style posters displayed in the windows of the Empty Set Project Space in downtown Pittsfield. Marcel Bova’s works include paintings, prints, signs, and mixed media.

“BerkshireNow is an opportunity for the museum to bring the community together to celebrate the many artists who are our neighbors,” says Maria Mingalone, the museum’s director of interpretation. “There are so many interesting artists working in the Berkshires, such as the members of the Empty Set Project. I have wondered who they were for years after first seeing their faux grocery store signs on the corner of South and Housatonic streets. The opportunity to launch BerkshireNow prompted me to finally find out.”

Empty Set Projects

Empty Set Projects

BerkshireNow will feature four exhibits each year ranging from solo artists to group shows. The BerkshireNow gallery is a high-traffic, high visibility space located adjacent to the front lobby outside of Spark!Lab. Outfitting the nine-hundred-square-foot gallery space for the new exhibition series was made possible in part by a grant from the Pittsfield Cultural Council.

“The new BerkshireNow gallery is a great space to give visibility to regional artists,” notes the museum’s executive director Van Shields.

BerkshireNow is the new Berkshire Museum exhibition program designed to showcase the work of artists living in the Berkshires. Selection is by invitation from the Museum, based on alignment with the Museum’s mission and existing exhibitions programming. Artists eligible for BerkshireNow exhibits include, but are not limited to, those working in experimental, 2D, 3D and new media, craft, photographers, and graphic designers. BerkshireNow exhibits will include solo and group shows curated by the museum, as well as group shows organized by art organizations.

Located in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, at 39 South St., the Berkshire Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $13 adult, $6 child; Museum members and children age 3 and under enjoy free admission. For more information, visit Berkshire Museum or call 413.443.7171.

In association with the Smithsonian since 2013, Berkshire Museum is part of a select group of museums, cultural, educational, and arts organizations that share the Smithsonian’s resources with the nation. Established by Zenas Crane in 1903, Berkshire Museum integrates art, history, and natural science in a wide range of programs and exhibitions that inspire educational connections between the disciplines. If/Then is on view January 24 through May 3, 2015. Objectify: A Look into the Permanent Collection is currently on view. Little Cinema is open year-round. Feigenbaum Hall of Innovation, Worlds in Miniature, Aquarium, and other exhibits are ongoing.

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