First Fridays Artswalk, May 2nd, 2014

Press Release:                                                                                                         4/17/14

The City of Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District will again host the popular “First Fridays Artswalk” on Friday, May 2nd from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Over 40 accomplished regional artists will participate in 15 separate art shows up and down the main corridor, North Street. These art shows will stay up the entire month, however the artists themselves will be there on Artswalk night to meet and greet patrons at the many receptions taking place at host venues. A free guided walking tour is scheduled for 5:00pm to 7:30pm with meeting location at the Intermodal Gallery at 1 Columbus Avenue. The Berkshire Community College will welcome artist Mack Waggaman at this location. His opening show is entitled “ICONS”. This exhibition includes three bodies of work, “X-Ray Variations”, “Masks of the Hollow Men”, and “30 hands”. Each work takes a simple image through a series of color variations that advance the thematic context.

The Marketplace Café at 53 North Street has a show entitled “New Werkes” by Autumn Doyle. The show features a range of paintings with a Modernist lilt. All paintings are being shown for the first time. 

Artist Karen Jacobs will present “Reflection/Reflections” at Unusual Wedding Rings and More in the Crawford Square at 137 North Street. The medium is of oils and inkjet prints.

Across the hall at the Crawford Square is another show at the Real Estate office of  The Kinderhook Group. Interior Designer Marlena Leonard picks up the brush and will boast her watercolor and pastel work featuring shapes of lush colors with soft edges. A selected number of her works are on permanent display at Paul Rich and Sons Furnishings on North Street as well.

The aroma at Bagles Too at 166 North street will draw onlookers into the store even without artwork on the walls. To enhance the experience for the entire month will be items by Margaret O’Keefe. Her specialty is abstract acrylic gouache paintings on paper. 

An exhibit called “Art in Our Schools” will be shown at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts at 28 Renne Avenue. Featured in this show will be over 100 artworks by middle and high school students in the Pittsfield Public Schools. The show is curated and installed by local art teachers and features drawing, painting, mixed media, ceramics, collage and more. This exhibit is on display through Saturday, May 31st, and the Lichtenstein gallery is free and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 5:00pm. 

A photography show will be at the main lobby at Berkshire medical Center, featuring photographer and Hospital Case Manager Maria Brodeur. The theme is called “Nature”

Downtown Pittsfield Inc. will host Mark Mellinger at their 33 Dunham mall location. The display will be from his “Destroyed Prints” series. He uses acrylic paint on canvas for his medium. 

Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men at 157 North Street welcomes artist Judy Albright with her show entitled “Happy Days”. Judy’s vibrant and playful pastel paintings transport people to life’s happy moments. She incorporates the comforts of home in her work in an array of colors in the pastel palette.

At Bisque Beads and Beyond, the work of John Nesbit will be accompanied by the music of Norm Shaffer on guitar.

Jesse Tobin will grace the window at 141 North Street, also known as the “Brothership Building”. Jesse is a multi-media artist working in acrylics, photography, textiles and graphic design. She is known for her bold typography, vibrant use of color and love of old signs. Jessie is part of the NUArts Art Collective. At NU Arts, 311 North Street, there will be up to 18 open studios upstairs. NU arts is the largest gathering of artists working under the same roof in the Berkshires. Each artist will be holding their own unique open studio event. Exhibits will include many artists of different mediums and styles such as sculptors, jewelry makers, videographers, oil, watercolor and acrylic painters as well as photographers. 

Madeleine’s Patisserie and Café is a new venue to the Artswalk. They are located at 48 North Street. This sweet shop will host a photography show by Amy Bak entitled “ “Little Ones”. This theme will display a collection of incredibly sweet newborn photography. Samples of homemade pastries will be awaiting the Artswalk patrons at this quaint café.

Doctor Leon Nesis will be exhibiting his oil paintings and mixed media work in a show called “From Mexico to the Berkshires” at Baba Louie’s Pizza at 34 Depot Street. 

Electrolux Vacuum cleaners are graced with the paintings and large-scale pencil drawings of Steven Nikitas at Aerus Electrolux at 383 North Street. Nikitas has been working with geometric art for three decades and often has employed a circle or “target” motif. He also will display a new series of portraits of historical and mythological figures. 

The grand finale of First Fridays Artswalk will be at The Whitney Center for the Arts at 42 Wendell Avenue. There will be 2 exhibits.  “Gallery W” will have a group show entitled “Respringenation” which will feature a variety of mediums celebrating the theme of rebirth, regrowth, survival, and moving forward. The second show in the Colt Gallery at the Whitney is in conjunction with Miss Hall’s School, will showcase an exhibition of unfinished artworks and sketchbooks by select Berkshire artists, entitled “ In Limbo: Celebration of the Artistic Process”. Opening receptions at the Whitney Center for the Arts start at 5:00pm and follow into the Artswalk after party  from 8:00pm to 10:00pm. The Whitney center for the Arts is open Wednesday to Friday, 4:00pm to 7:00pm, and Saturday from 12:00pm to 5:00pm and by appointment. 

For more information call Downtown Pittsfield Incorporated at (413)-443-6501 or www.firstfridaysartswalk.com. Also on face- book and twitter 

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