A highly selective preview of cultural events taking place this weekend in the greater Berkshire region, including more Beethoven; Japanese classical music; classic hits by Glen Campbell sung by their composer; music inspired by Norman Rockwell; 17th century Dutch painting; Japanese woodblock prints; new plays; new art; and a whole lot more.
(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Works spanning the illustrious career of composer Ludwig van Beethoven will be showcased in “Beethoven Journey — Early, Middle and Late” at the Mahaiwe on Saturday, March 18, at 6pm, as part of the Close Encounter with Music series. The program will feature works for strings and piano performed by pianist Michael Brown, violinist Rachel Lee Priday, and cellist Yehuda Hanani, artistic director of the Close Encounter with Music series.
The tripartite program, which makes a case for art as biography with representative works from his three periods, includes the early cello sonata No. 2 in G minor; a middle-period violin sonata No. 7 in C minor; and the “Archduke” Trio Opus 97.
(WEST STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “30under30,” a multimedia exhibition featuring works by 30 young artists hailing from or currently living in or around the Berkshires, is on view at No. Six Depot Gallery from Thursday, March 16, through Sunday, April 30, with an opening reception on March 19 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The exhibition is curated by Mika Mintz.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Grammy Award-winning songwriter Jimmy Webb pays tribute to his longstanding collaboration with singer-songwriter Glen Campbell in “Jimmy Webb: The Glen Campbell Years,” highlighting some of the 100-plus recordings from the Webb/Campbell songbook, at the Colonial Theatre on Saturday, March 18, at 8pm.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – Duo Yumeno, whose repertoire explores the dialogue between classical Japanese and Western music, performs at the Clark Art Institute on Saturday, March 18, at 3pm. The performance, which is held in conjunction with the exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection, will be held on the lower level of the Clark Center. The concert is free, but admission to the galleries will be charged.
Duo Yumeno is composed of New York-based koto/shamisen player and singer Yoko Reikano Kimura and cellist Hikaru Tamaki. The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument derived from the Chinese zheng, The shamisen is a banjo-like lute with three strings, brought to Japan from China in the sixteenth century. Duo Yumeno musicians, who specialize in music from Asia, forge a connection between their music and the art in the Japanese Impressions exhibition with the aim of creating a singular sound — inspired by tradition but with a contemporary sensibility.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — The five Massachusetts singer-songwriters of The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow — Greg Smith, David Tanklefsky, Billy Keane, Chris Merenda, and Tory Hanna — along with special guest Sarah Lee Guthrie and friends ring in St. Patrick’s Day weekend with a celebration of brotherhood, spirits, and foot-stomping folk-rock in Club B10 at MASS MoCA on Friday, March 17, at 8pm. Queens, N.Y.-based rocker Ransom Pier will warm up the crowd.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – Berkshire-based composer John Myers, Crescendo artistic director Christine Gevert, and documentary producer Rich Bradway will discuss “Norman Rockwell: Paintings in Song,” featuring a panel discussion and documentary screening, at Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, March 18, at 5:30 pm. The program previews Crescendo’s upcoming concert performances of nine musical works inspired by Rockwell’s artwork, including the world premiere of Myers’s “Paintings in Song — Visions of Norman Rockwell,” a multimedia work with choruses, instrumentalists, and graphic animation, at Saint James Place in Great Barrington, Mass., on Saturday, April 1, at 3 and 7pm.; and at Kent School’s Mattinson Auditorium in Kent, Conn., on Sunday, April 2, at 4pm.
(LENOX, Mass.) – Berkshire playwright Joan Ackermann will be feted with a weekend of staged readings of her works at Shakespeare & Company in “Joan Ackermann: One Playwright, One Weekend,” from Friday, March 17 through Sunday, March 19. Company actors and guest performers will explore the most beloved scripts of the prolific playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. All six readings will be directed by Ackermann and performed in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.
The weekend will include staged readings of “Zara Spook and Other Lures,” “Stanton’s Garage,” “The Batting Cage,” and “Ice Glen,” along with a collection of short plays and a world premiere script, all penned by Ackermann. “For me this is like a family reunion, getting acquainted with beloved old friends, characters who are as alive for me as the actors who inhabited them,” said Ackermann.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) – Radical Small, a solo exhibition combining small sculptures and large videos by Elizabeth King, is on view at MASS MoCA. Radical Small is Richmond, Va.-based artist Elizabeth King’s most expansive one-person exhibition to date. Utilizing one of MASS MoCA’s largest exhibition spaces on the museum’s second floor, King examines the notion of radical smallness, or what French philosopher Gaston Bachelard has called “intimate immensity.”
An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Saturday, March 18, from 5:30pm to 7pm, in conjunction with openings for new exhibitions by Tanja Hollander, Steffani Jemison, and Chris Domenick.
(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – An exhibition of hand-thrown porcelain by Berkshire-based artisan Daniel Bellow is on view in the BerkshireNow gallery space at the Berkshire Museum now through Monday, May 22. The work by the accomplished potter, remarkable for its exquisite glazes and intriguing textured surfaces.
For this solo exhibition, Bellow has created sculptural forms in porcelain and imagined a detailed scenario about their origin. According to Bellow’s backstory, scale models of rocket ships, supposedly created during the Song Dynasty in China at the command of Emperor Gaozong, have recently been discovered by archaeologists.
The unique sculptural “rocket ships” in the exhibition echo the work of the Song dynasty potters, whose smooth, dense porcelain ware was praised for its simplicity of shape and understated decoration.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – An Inner World: 17th-Century Dutch Genre Painting is on view at the Clark Art Institute now through Sunday, September 17. The exhibit brings together paintings from the Clark and The Leiden Collection, among the largest and most important private collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings in the world. The exhibition features seven exceptional genre paintings by Dutch artists working in or near the city of Leiden in the 17th century.
An Inner World explores the work of Gerrit Dou (Dutch, 1613–1675) and his contemporaries by considering tradition and innovation in the representation of figures in interior spaces, individuals in moments of contemplation or quiet exchange, and the enduring taste among collectors for works created by fijnschilders, or fine painters.
(STOCKBRIDGE, Mass.) – “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning” features the work of the creative team behind such memorable Saturday morning cartoons as “The Yogi Bear Show,” “The Flintstones,” and the “The Jetsons,” on view at Norman Rockwell Museum through May 29, 2017.
Before the rise of basic cable, Saturday mornings for many children in America were spent watching cartoons on one of three available television channels. From 1958 through the 1980s, a majority of those cartoons bore the imprint of Hanna-Barbera. Creating scores of popular series such as The Yogi Bear Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Jonny Quest, and Scooby-Doo, Hanna-Barbera was an animation powerhouse and its bountiful creativity is beloved to this day.
(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – More than a century of Japanese printing traditions, represented by seventy-three color woodblock prints, will be presented in the Clark Art Institute exhibition Japanese Impressions: Color Woodblock Prints from the Rodbell Family Collection.
The exhibition explores the complex and changing relationship among artists, woodblock cutters, and publishers from the ukiyo-e (scenes from the floating world) tradition of the mid-19th century, the shin-hanga (new print) movement of the 1920s and 1930s, and the sosaku-hanga (creative print) movement that began in the 1950s. Japanese Impressions is on view through April 2, 2017.
(NORTH ADAMS, Mass.) — Nick Cave, the artist known for his wearable sculptures called Soundsuits, turns expectations inside out at MASS MoCA in “Until,” a massive immersive installation. Cave uses MASS MoCA’s signature football field-sized space to create his largest and most overtly political installation to date, made up of thousands of found objects, a rich sensory tapestry. The sheer volume of material that has been gathered is astounding — 16,000 wind spinners; millions of plastic pony beads; thousands of ceramic birds, fruits, and animals; 13 gilded pigs; more than 10 miles of crystals; 24 chandeliers; 1 crocodile; and 17 cast-iron lawn jockeys.