Member Press Releases

Mindful Eating Program Starts Soon at Fairview Hospital

Fairview Hospital will present “Mindful Eating: An Effective Approach To Weight Loss,” a health series held on Thursday evenings from 6:00 -7:30 p.m., beginning on March 7 and continuing for eight consecutive weeks through Thursday, April 25.

Classes take place in the Conference Room at Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington. 

Robert Hoechster, RD, LDN, of Fairview’s Outpatient Nutrition Services, will facilitate the program.

The Mindfulness Based-Eating Awareness Training Program uses mindfulness meditation, eating exercises, instruction and self-reflection to cultivate awareness and help repair the relationship an individual has with food.  The program is modeled after mindfulness based stress reduction practices that are effective to help treat stress, addictions, anger problems, relationship problems and more.  The concepts and skills learned in this program are designed to empower an individual to make balanced food choices and gain control of eating and weight.

This program is not a clinic for eating disorders or a program focused on losing weight. Past participants report more success applying mindfulness to food choices and eating behaviors, greater meditative practice and a healthier emotional attitude and awareness of eating and food choices through techniques designed to support better health. Past participants are welcome to repeat the class. The program fee is $75.  For more information or to register, please call Robert Hoechster, RD, LDN at (413) 854-9661.

BCC Launches New Fast-Track Hospitality and Culinary Program at No Cost to Students and Employers Beginning March 18

Pittsfield, Mass. – February 19, 2019 – The continued success of the region’s hospitality industry depends on a skilled and inspired workforce. Beginning March 18, BCC’s Fast-Track Hospitality and Culinary Program will launch a pilot of three new non-credit certificates taught by industry experts. The new program is designed to provide the skills and experience needed to address the acute shortage of service professionals in the region, and to elevate the Berkshire experience for both visitors and full-time residents. The certificates aim to support local economies and to cultivate and retain young talent in the Berkshires.

Berkshire Community College’s (BCC) Community Engagement, Education & Workforce Development team has been developing a comprehensive county-wide plan to address hospitality needs in partnership with several key employers in the region. This spring, three non-credit, part-time certificates targeting distinct student interests will be offered:

  • Hospitality Core Skills (Front-of-House Staff)
  • Culinary Core Skills (Back-of-House Staff)
  • Hospitality Leadership (Rising Managers)

During this grant-funded pilot initiative, Fast-Track Program courses will be offered at no-cost to enrolled students or interested employers,supported by a Training Resources and Internship Network (TRAIN) grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Upon coursework completion, students will be eligible to apply for a paid internship to train with participating employers, furthering their skill set and potential for permanent employment in the industry.

Instructors from the Berkshires’ most innovative hospitality and culinary businesses will teach practical classes and hands-on training at two locations: BCC’s main Pittsfield campus and BCC’s South County Center in Great Barrington.

Instructors include celebrated chefs, restaurateurs, sommeliers, hotel executives and operations managers from Mezze Bistro + Bar, part of Mezze Restaurant Group; The Red Lion Inn, part of Main Street Hospitality; TOURISTS Welcome; Canyon Ranch; South Egremont Spirit Shoppe; Guido’s Fresh Marketplace; Folklore Foods; Heirloom Fire; Custom Business Solutions; Organization Ink; RiseUP Leadership Coaching; 1Berkshire; and Berkshire Community College.

“We have been developing a hospitality training program with BCC for more than a year and are very excited to see it come to life as a pilot project this March,” said Nancy Thomas, founder and proprietor of Mezze Restaurant Group. “This is a great step forward to growing our community of hospitality professionals here in the Berkshires. Mezze is looking forward to having our team participate and learn more about students who complete the program.”

Employers are encouraged to recommend current and prospective staff members to attend. Local hospitality organizations interested in applying to become a host site for internships should send email to workshops@berkshirecc.edu or call 413.236.2127 for more information.

“Main Street Hospitality is honored to partner with BCC and our neighboring Berkshire hotels and restaurants to help build a sustainable hospitality certification program that will provide our community members with a pathway to a hospitality career,” said Eva Sheridan, Vice President of People + HR Development of Main Street Hospitality.

The grant supports workforce development of the unemployed and underemployed and provides partial funding to support BRTA bus transportation to and from the BCC Pittsfield campus as well as child-care reimbursement, if needed.

Community partners contributing to the development of this program include Mezze Restaurant Group and Main Street Hospitality.

In piloting the Fast-Track Hospitality and Culinary Program, BCC sets the stage for the reimagined future of the college’s South County Center, an 11,000-square-foot building on Main Street in Great Barrington. Since early 2018, BCC’s Community Engagement, Education & Workforce Development team has been exploring the demand for new educational programming focused on the food, agriculture and hospitality ecosystem and economy. Such new programming would provide students with challenging, contemporary curriculum in food systems with applicable skills ranging across farm-to-table culinary and entrepreneurship to policy studies and activism — all to advance food culture in the Berkshires. An assessment of the South County Center building, funded by a Collaborative Workspace Grant from Mass Development, will take place in the spring of 2019 and include a feasibility study of a professional-level teaching kitchen build-out.

For more information about BCC’s Fast-Track Hospitality and Culinary Program or to register, visit www.berkshirecc.edu/hospitalitytraining, send email to workshops@berkshirecc.edu or call 413.236.2127.

BCC is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, genetic information, maternity leave, military service and national origin in its education programs or employment.

About Berkshire Community College

Berkshire Community College (BCC) is a public, fully accredited, community college offering associate degree and certificate programs, as well as various other educational opportunities, primarily to the residents of Berkshire County and surrounding areas. Visit BCC online at www.berkshirecc.edu.

Berkshire International Film Festival Presents Second Annual Environmental Film Series Hosted at Simon’s Rock

Great Barrington, Mass.—The Berkshire International Film Festival is presenting the second annual Environmental Film series at Simon’s Rock College February 24 and March 24. All screenings will be in the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock.

The series, which highlights timely environmental films, is intended to “show how a few people can have an impact on the environment in a very big way” says Kelley Vickery, founder and artistic director of the festival.  

This years series’ begins Sunday, February 24 at 3PM with THE HUMAN ELEMENT, directed by Matthew Testa

Renowned environmental photographer James Balog (CHASING ICE) uses his camera to reveal how environmental change is affecting the lives of everyday Americans.  Following the four classical elements – air, earth, fire and water – to frame his journey, Balog explores wildfires, hurricanes, sea level rise, coal miners, and the changes in the air we breathe.  With compassion and heart, THE HUMAN ELEMENT tells an urgent story while giving inspiration for a more balanced relationship between humanity and nature.

Sunday, March 24 – CLIMATE REFUGEES – directed by Michael P. Nash

CLIMATE REFUGEES is a documentary film that uncovers the unbelievable plight of people around the world displaced by climatically induced environmental disasters.  The documentary illuminates for the first time the human face of climate change, as civilization now finds itself facing the confluence of overpopulation, lack of resources and a changing climate.  Traveling the world and interviewing several of the 25 million climate refugees now on the run, along with scholars, politicians and the like, CLIMATE REFUGEES brings to light the heart-wrenching truth of what is quickly becoming mankind’s greatest challenge.

This documentary examines the creation – and migration – of hundreds of millions of climate refugees who will be displaced as a result of climate change.  A cautionary tale, the film demonstrates that climate change is not a political issue; it’s a geopolitical one, one that literally transcends the concepts of nationhood and ethnicity.  In this situation, we truly are all one people.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and may be purchased online at www.biffma.org or at the door on the day of the event. For more information, call the BIFF office at 413-528-8030.  These events are free to BIFF REEL Friends and to Simon’s Rock students and faculty.

This series has been made possible through the generous support of Lillian Lennox and J. Gregory Whitehead. 

The Berkshire International Film Festival (BIFF) is a world-class festival and an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires. During its annual three-day festival, BIFF showcases the latest in independent feature, documentary, short, and family films as well as lively panel discussions and special events focusing on filmmakers and talented artists from both sides of the camera. BIFF also hosts year-round screenings and opportunities for film lovers to get together.

Berkshire United Way announces new Director of Development

Pittsfield, Mass. – Berkshire United Way announces the hire of Ilene Marcus as director of development. Marcus joins the organization with more than 30 years of experience in social service programs, policy development, operations and revenue generation. She holds both her Master of Science in Social Work and Master of Public Affairs from Columbia University.

Marcus will be responsible for developing engagement strategies and leading fundraising efforts to increase revenue, ensuring the organization’s ability to invest in quality programs to build a stronger community. 

Prior to joining Berkshire United Way, Marcus founded Aligned Workplace where she consulted on creating revenue generating teams. She also served as Chief Strategy Officer of the Met Council, where she grew the organization’s major gifts campaign from $3 million to $8 million annually and increased grant revenue by 33 percent. Lee Bank President and Berkshire United Way board member, Chuck Leach said, “We’re delighted to have Ilene on board driving our development efforts. These are challenging times for Berkshire United Way and many local nonprofits. We’re fortunate to have hired Ilene who brings a tremendous amount of creativity, energy and experience to the table.”

A native of New York City, Marcus resides in Monterey, where she currently serves on the boards of the Council on Aging, and Parks Council and is the Fundraising Chair of the Friends of the Monterey Library.
She also served a two-year term on the Executive Board of the NYC Chapter of National Association of Social Workers.

About Berkshire United Way

For more than 95 years, Berkshire United Way has been building a stronger community right here in Berkshire County. We support children and families wherever they are in their lives. We provide early education opportunities, so children enter school ready to learn; give young people the tools they need to make healthy decisions; and help working families become financially stable. As part of a worldwide effort to create lasting change, we mobilize people and organizations to develop long-term solutions to current and emerging needs throughout the county.

Our vision is for Berkshire County to become a dynamic, engaged community with opportunities for all.

Norman Rockwell Museum Partners with Collective Arts Brewing to Establish Annual Student Art Contest and Festival

Stockbridge, Mass., February 8, 2019Norman Rockwell Museum and Collective Arts Brewing have announced a new partnership designed to promote illustration programs around the country and highlight career paths available to artists. The Museum and the craft beer company have teamed up to host the first annual Art of Brewing Contest, open to art students in the United States. The submission deadline is Mar. 31, 2019. 

Eight winning entries — selected by a jury of representatives from Collective Arts Brewing, Norman Rockwell Museum, and contemporary illustrators — will be showcased on a Collective Arts Brewing can series, distributed across North America. To be eligible, students must be 21 or older and currently enrolled in one of the nation’s undergraduate or graduate art program. 

“Both Norman Rockwell Museum and Collective Arts Brewing are dedicated to creating opportunities for contemporary illustrators,” said Mary Berle, Chief Educator for Norman Rockwell Museum.  “For many student artists, this will be their first opportunity for national recognition. We look forward to revealing the winners at the summer beer tasting event and celebrating the wide range of illustration art. Our thanks to Collective Arts Brewing for their sponsorship of the event.”

“We are extremely excited to work with the team at the Norman Rockwell Museum on this project. Illustration students represent the next wave of creativity, with fresh visions and unbridled talents, we are looking forward to reviewing these students work.” said Bob Russell, co-founder and chief creative officer of Collective Arts Brewing.

Norman Rockwell Museum’s education team will share the art contest details with art schools, and college art departments across the nation. For further information, students or professors may contact Education Program and Outreach Manager, Patrick O’Donnell at 413-931-2233 or PODonnell@nrm.org.

Winning artists will be announced at a major craft beer festival – “The Art of Brewing” at Norman Rockwell Museum on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. Along with presenting the winning art entries, the festival will feature beer tasting opportunities from Collective Arts Brewing and a range of local brewers, food, music, art-making, and more. 

Please see www.nrm.org/art-of-brewing for more information.

About Collective Arts

Collective Arts was founded in 2013 by Matt Johnston and Bob Russell on the belief that creativity fuels creativity. Collective Arts is committed to fusing the craft of brewing with the inspired talents of emerging artists. Their beers are designed to be as diverse, creative and unwavering as the artists profiled; respecting tradition but not constrained by it. Collective Arts features limited-edition works of art on its packaging by artists and musicians that change every few months. To date over 600 artists and musicians have been featured and championed by Collective Arts. For more informative, visit: collectiveartsbrewing.com

About Norman Rockwell Museum

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2019, Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to education and art appreciation inspired by the legacy of Norman Rockwell, a master storyteller in one frame. The Museum holds the world’s largest and most significant collection of art and archival materials relating to Rockwell’s life and work, while also preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting a growing collection of art by other American illustrators throughout history. The Museum engages diverse audiences through onsite and traveling exhibitions, as well as publications, arts and humanities programs, and comprehensive online resources.

The Museum’s dedication to a deepened understanding of the art of illustration has led to the formation of the Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies. The first of its kind in the nation, this research institute supports sustained scholarship and establishes the Museum’s leadership in the vanguard of preservation and interpretation relating to this important aspect of American visual culture.

Located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life, the Museum is open seven days a week, year-round; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Museum hours from May through October are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays during the month of August; from November through April: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Rockwell’s studio is open May through October, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Museum admission is $20, $18 for seniors, $17 for military veterans, $10 for students, and free for children 18 and under.

Norman Rockwell Museum welcomes active U.S. military members with free admission throughout the year. Additionally, we are a Blue Star museum and offer active U.S. military personnel and their immediate family, complimentary admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Visit the Museum online at www.nrm.org.

Chesterwood Launches New Daniel Chester French Biography with Lecture and Book Signing

Stockbridge, Mass., Feb. 11, 2019 – Chesterwood will present a lecture by acclaimed author Harold Holzer to mark the official launch of his newly released biography “Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French” on Tuesday, March 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Mass., with a reception and book signing to follow. The event will be held in the McConnell Theater at the Daniel Arts Center at Simon’s Rock. Tickets are $25 ($20 for members of Chesterwood) and books will be available for sale at the event. To purchase advance tickets, go to www.chesterwood.org or call 413-298-2034.

“Monument Man” explores for the first time the long life and dramatic artistic career of pre-eminent American sculptor Daniel Chester French, whose Lincoln Memorial sculpture is arguably the nation’s most iconic statue. The lavishly illustrated cradle-to-grave biography is published by Princeton Architectural Press, Hudson, NY. Holzer is a Lincoln scholar and prizewinning author of numerous books on Civil War–era art and history, including “Lincoln and the Power of the Press”(winner of the Lincoln Prize), “The Lincoln Image” and “Lincoln at Cooper Union”. He appears frequently on radio and television, including on C-SPAN and CNN, and in Lincoln and Civil War documentaries for the BBC, NHK, and the History Channel. Formerly senior vice president for public affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and Foundation, he currently serves as director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College in New York. In 2008, Holzer was awarded the National Humanities Medal.

“Chesterwood invited Harold Holzer to write this definitive biography on Daniel Chester French in celebration of our 50th anniversary as a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, not only because of the author’s excellent command of the written word and keen knowledge of the time period in which French lived and worked, but also to answer the question I’m asked on a regular basis, ‘How did he create the Lincoln Memorial?’,” said Executive Director Donna Hassler.

“Monument Man” has received noticeable advance praise from “Alexander Hamilton” author Ron Chernow. “As one of the foremost living authorities on Abraham Lincoln, Harold Holzer has long straddled the crossroads of history and art with his own inimitable brand of scholarship. Not surprisingly, in this grandly illustrated and beautifully written biography, he proves to be the ideal guide to the life of Daniel Chester French, who transmuted Abraham Lincoln and other historical figures into monumental sculptures of surpassing beauty, poetry, and inspiration,” Chernow said. “This book will surely rank as the authoritative life of a man whose creations in stone and bronze have become inseparable parts of our historical memory.”

“Monument Man” was specially commissioned by Chesterwood/National Trust for Historic Preservation. Holzer’s lecture and book signing is co-sponsored by Chesterwood and Bard College at Simon’s Rock. 

About Chesterwood

Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is the former summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1871-75) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1911-22) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Chesterwood is notably one of the earliest venues in the United States to showcase large-scale works in an outdoor setting. Since 1978, close to 600 emerging and established artists’ works have been exhibited at Chesterwood. Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, MA, the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. For more information, visit chesterwood.org

Last Chance to See ‘Extreme Nature!’ at Clark Art Institute

Williamstown, Massachusetts—The Clark Art Institute’s special exhibition, Extreme Nature!, is in its final weeks, closing Sunday, February 24, 2019. The exhibition,“a wonderful little show…thrilling in its quiet way” (Albany Times Union, November 21, 2018), examines how nature’s extremes—remote, fantastical, and unpredictable—permeated artistic imagery throughout the nineteenth century.

Extreme Nature! presents images of natural subjects—some documentary, some invented, and many a fusion of the two—across four thematic sections: Natural Disaster, Alluring Landscapes, Volatile Atmospheres, and Extremes Imagined. The exhibition is organized by Michael Hartman, a 2018 graduate of the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art, which is jointly administered by the Clark.

ABOUT THE CLARK

The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 275,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

The Clark, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; open daily in July and August. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; EBT Card to Culture; and Blue Star Museums. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.

Berkshire United Way Seeks Proposals for Community Investments

Pittsfield – Berkshire United Way announces the availability of funding for the two-year period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021. The purpose of this request for proposal (RFP) is to build economic mobility through educational and employment opportunities that will have impactful outcomes for individuals and families in Berkshire County, from birth through adulthood. Priority will be given to integrated/collaborative approaches and organizations addressing needs of both children or youth and the adults in their lives.

Prior to submitting a proposal, interested organizations must complete an eligibility form, which is available at berkshireunitedway.org, and submit evidence of the following requirements: organization must be financially stable, located in and primarily serving residents of central and southern Berkshire County, structured as a not-for-profit, governed by an active, locally based, volunteer board or elected body, and deliver programs and outcomes that address the priority community issues of early childhood development, positive youth development, or economic prosperity.

Organizations may register for the applicant bidder’s conference to be held on February 12, 2019 from 1-3 p.m. at Guardian Life Insurance Company, 700 South Street, Pittsfield by contacting Julie Singley via email at jsingley@berkshireunitedway.org or calling 413.442.6948 x32.

Proposals must be completed and submitted to Singley by midnight, March 17, 2019. Investment decisions will be based on the results of the competitive RFP process, which includes review by community volunteers and their recommendations for funding to the Berkshire United Way board of directors.

About Berkshire United Way

For more than 95 years, Berkshire United Way has been building a stronger community right here in Berkshire County. We support children and families wherever they are in their lives. We provide early education opportunities, so children enter school ready to learn; give young people the tools they need to make healthy decisions; and help working families become financially stable. As part of a worldwide effort to create lasting change, we mobilize people and organizations to develop long-term solutions to current and emerging needs throughout the county.

Our vision is for Berkshire County to become a dynamic, engaged community with opportunities for all.

Chesterwood to Present New Exhibition at The Stockbridge Library

Stockbridge, Mass. – Chesterwood, the home, studio and gardens of sculptor Daniel Chester French, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special exhibition recognizing French’s daughter, Margaret French Cresson (1889–1973) as an artist in her own right as well as honoring her dedication to preserving Chesterwood. “Margaret French Cresson: Her Artistic Life and Legacy in Preserving Chesterwood”will open at The Stockbridge Library, Museum & Archives, located at 46 Main St., on March 1 and run through April 30. There will be a free opening reception, Friday, March 1 from 5 to 7 p.m., sponsored by the Chesterwood Advisory Council. The exhibition has been generously sponsored, in part, by Owen Lewis and Susan Ennis, and Sohn Fine Art.

Margaret French Cresson

French, most well-known for his sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., divided his time between New York City and Stockbridge, where he and his family spent their summers starting in 1897. His only child Margaret enjoyed entertaining friends in the country and often sculpted alongside her father in his studio. After French and his wife, Mary, passed away, Margaret inherited Chesterwood, making it her full-time home in the 1950s. Passionate about keeping her father’s artistic legacy alive, she donated Chesterwood, with the exception of the Residence where she lived until her death in 1973, to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private, non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., which opened the property as a historic site to the public on June 9, 1969. After Cresson’s death in 1973, the Residence and its contents became the property of the National Trust as well.

“Margaret French Cresson: Her Artistic Life and Legacy in Preserving Chesterwood” will feature historical photographs that illustrate Cresson’s life at Chesterwood: modeling for her father, socializing with friends and family, and creating sculpture in the studio, as well as photographs of her as the “keeper” of Chesterwood. The exhibition will also highlight her work as a sculptor through portrait reliefs, small bronzes, exhibition photographs and catalogues.Other personal objects, such as diaries, scrapbooks, writings, and ephemera will contribute to an understanding of Cresson’s life and her involvement in civic activities in Stockbridge and the Berkshires at large.

“Margaret French Cresson’s remarkable life as the daughter of a famous American artist was shaped by Chesterwood and the Berkshire community which she eventually called home. It seems only fitting as we celebrate the site’s 50th anniversary that we acknowledge her role in preserving Chesterwood as well as her own creative pursuits,” said Donna Hassler, Chesterwood’s executive director and co-curator of the exhibition.

This exhibition will include objects from the Chesterwood collections and the Chesterwood Archives, courtesy of the Chapin Library at Williams College. The exhibition has been co-curated by Hassler and Dana Pilson, curatorial researcher, both of Chesterwood, and Valerie Balint, program manager of Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios. Additional assistance was provided by Isabella Browne Lorcher, Chesterwood intern.

The following exhibition-related programming will take place at The Stockbridge Library and is free to the public.  Check for additional programing or changes at www.chesterwood.org/calendar

  • Friday, March 1, 5 p.m., exhibition opening reception with remarks by the curators
  • Friday, March 8, 6 p.m., an illustrated lecture by Valerie Balint, “Keepers of the Flame: Women Behind Preserving Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios”
  • Friday, April 5, 6 p.m., an illustrated lecture by Dana Pilson, “Margaret French Cresson: Growing up at Chesterwood, Her Life, Loves and Loss”

About Chesterwood

Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is the former summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1871-75) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1911-22) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Chesterwood is notably one of the earliest venues in the United States to showcase large-scale works in an outdoor setting. Since 1978, close to 600 emerging and established artists’ works have been exhibited at Chesterwood. Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Mass., the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. For more information, visit chesterwood.org

Clark Art Institute to Present Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet

Williamstown, Mass., February 4 —Janet Cardiff’s acclaimed 2001 sound sculpture, The Forty Part Motet, will be presented at the Clark Art Institute June 8–September 15. In this installation, forty separately-recorded choral parts are played through forty speakers in a reworking of Thomas Tallis’s sixteenth-century composition Spem in alium (Hope in any other).

The Forty Part Motet extends our emphasis on showing contemporary projects as a part of the Clark’s exhibition program and will be our first sound installation. We couldn’t have picked a more fascinating piece,” said Olivier Meslay, the Hardymon Director of the Clark. “The Forty Part Motet is a seemingly simple yet incredibly complex work that combines historical and contemporary material. The experience of this site-specific sound installation is deeply affecting, and it will take on new dimensions when experienced in the glass-enclosed Michael Conforti Pavilion that affords such wonderful views of our landscape. We are extremely grateful to the National Gallery of Canada for lending this important and immensely popular work.”

The Forty Part Motet is played in a fourteen-minute loop that includes eleven minutes of singing and three minutes of intermission. Cardiff’s layering of voices creates a dramatic soundscape composed of individually recorded parts that are projected through speakers arranged inward in an oval formation. This arrangement allows visitors to circulate freely through the installation and around the speakers, moving in close to hear an individual singer’s voice—and even breath—or standing in the center to take in the polyphonic force of the whole.

“While listening to a concert, you are normally seated in front of the choir, in traditional audience position. With this piece I want the audience to be able to experience a piece of music from the viewpoint of the singers,” said Cardiff. “Enabling the audience to move throughout the space allows them to be intimately connected with the voices. It also reveals the piece of music as a changing construct.”

The sound installation is the result of an elaborate recording process. Written for forty parts—or distinct musical lines—the motet is divided into eight choirs of five parts each (soprano, alto, tenor, baritone, and bass). Each chorister wore an individual microphone. It was necessary to edit out each singer’s track when they were not singing so that the “cross talk” of the others would not interfere with the spatial quality of the final presentation. When the singers took a break during the three‐hour recording session, Cardiff and the sound editor, George Bures Miller, decided to keep recording. Talking and other sounds can be heard during a three‐minute interlude, creating an intimate, direct connection between the performers and the listeners.

Thomas Tallis (English, c. 1505–1585) was the preeminent English composer of his generation. As a member of the Chapel Royal, he served as an organist to four English monarchs: Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary I, and Queen Elizabeth I. Spem in alium was likely authored in 1573, on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth I’s fortieth birthday, though it may have been composed in 1556 to honor Queen Mary I’s fortieth birthday.

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet features the voices of the Salisbury Cathedral Choir. It was recorded and post-produced by SoundMoves, edited by George Bures Miller, and produced by Field Art Projects. The Forty Part Motet is lent generously by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Significant support is provided by Sylvia and Leonard Marx.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Janet Cardiff (Canadian, born 1957) is based in rural British Columbia. Her work has included media such as film, video, and photography. She participated in the Münster Skulptur Projekte in 1997, and exhibited in the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, 1999. She also represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2001 in collaboration with George Bures Miller. Major surveys of Cardiff and Miller’s works have been shown at PS1 in New York, The Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal, The Astrop Fearnley Museum, Oslo, the Castello Rivoli in Turin, MACBA in Barcelona, Institut Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt, the Miami Art Centre in Miami, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the ARoS Kunstmuseum in Arhus, Denmark. She is currently represented by Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York and Gallery Koyanagi in Tokyo.

ABOUT THE CLARK

The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 275,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

The Clark, which has a three-star rating in the Michelin Green Guide, is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm; open daily in July and August. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. Free admission is available through several programs, including First Sundays Free; a local library pass program; EBT Card to Culture; and Blue Star Museums. For more information on these programs and more, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.