Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Celebrate summer tomorrow at the July 16th 3rd.Thursdays, Pittsfield’s award-winning free monthly downtown after-hours festival! From 5pm to 8pm and well beyond, downtown Pittsfield’s streets will be filled with performers, vendors, families, and fun. Celebrate Motown's 50th birthday, enjoy delicious treats from around the world, check out new artwork & locally made craft, and shop some GREAT summer sales. There's plenty of parking in garages and parking lots ALL around downtown. And afterwards there's loads of theatre, two film screenings, live music, a dance party, a poetry slam & much more to enjoy into the evening!

The Palace Park Beach returns!

It was such a hit last year, we brought it back! Don't miss the Palace Park Beach on North Street between Fenn & Eagle Street. There's beach toys, plenty of sand to play in, and even a real live lifeguard! The mysterious Silver Swimmers will return and you might even see some pirates walking around downtown...

Magic, Music, Dancing & More for the Whole Family!

Berkshire favorite Terry A La Berry (pictured left) performs family-friendly tropical favorites at the Palace Park Beach. Down the street at Sottile Park, up-and-coming magician John Nesbitt performs tricks to entertain and astonish. Chapters Bookstore offers free face painting and welcomes special bunny guest Max from the Max and Ruby Books. Don’t miss a sneak preview onstage of Barrington Stage Company’s Youth Theatre production of High School Musical 2 at 5pm at Persip Park. Plus you can see the whole production on 3rd.Thursdays at 7:30pm at St. Joseph’s High School gym, at the very special preview price of just $8. The B-Boys from Rhythms Dance Center will be breakdancing at the corner of North and Maplewood Streets.

Colleen Quinn, Teapots, Pittsfield Art Show preview & more!

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts showcases works by artists in the fifth annual Pittsfield Art Show , downtown Pittsfield's terrific outdoor juried art fair being held this weekend, July 18th & 19th. The Ferrin Gallery exhibits two shows: Teapots: Interpretations, a group show of teapots, objects & still lifes featuring the classic form of the teapot, and (DE)CONSTRUCTIONS, a solo exhibition of new works by Michael Zelehoski. A block away the beautiful new Berkshire Community College Art Gallery in the Intermodal Center hosts an opening for a solo show by Colleen Quinn, while the 429 Gallery within Museum Facsimiles features new work by Berkshire artist Diane Firtell. The Gallery hosts an opening reception for new paintings and photography by Ellen Joffe, Matt Tucker & Claudia Schuster.

Music Up & Down the Street

The 3rd.Thursday’s Main Stage will be at Persip Park and features a sneak preview from the cast of Barrington Stage’s High School Musical II. Beginning at 5:30pm enjoy the lively beat of MarkaMusic, a world music group with members from throughout South America, followed by Albany favorites Solid Smoke (they've opened for War, the Spinners, Chick Corea & more) playing the best of Motown in honor of Motown’s 50th anniversary this year! Things get tropical in front of St. Joseph Church with The Berkshire Bateria, a 3rd.Thursday’s crowd favorite. This band will be taking over the lawn with their wild Brazilian drum beats. Unfulfilled Desires can be heard on the street at the Crowne Plaza hotel and the Pittsfield Brew Works is hosting singer-songwriter Jack Waldheim.

Summer Sales Galore!

North Street’s unique locally-owned businesses will be open late for your browsing pleasure, & several are kicking off special summer sales at this week’s 3rd.Thursdays, including Museum Facsimiles, featuring a special summer sale on hand letter-pressed cards, frames and unique gifts; Paul Rich & Sons’ legendary summer tent sale with terrific prices on beautiful home furnishings; and a sidewalk sample sale of the Ancient Languages collection of locally designed and created yoga wear. Also open late for your shopping pleasure are Studio Addict; Berkshire Masquerade; Aerus-Electrolux; and RGile Engravers.

Further down North Street you’ll find Ordinary Cycles; Pasko Frame and Gift; Rebel Sound Records, featuring alternative music on CD and vinyl; RJ Stohr’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, which will be offering 50% off almost everything in the store for one day only; and Chapters Bookstore, featuring a live DJ playing lots of Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffett and artwork by Suzanne Goudreau and Dave Sekac.

Great Food at Local Restaurants!

Travel the world in downtown Pittsfield's restaurants including Brix Wine Bar & Bistro; Hot Harry’s, the Highland Restaurant, Pittsfield Brew Works; Pancho’s Mexican Restaurant, Bagels Too, Jae’s Spice, the Press Box, Mary’s Carrot Cake CafĂ©; Mission Bar & Tapas, Dottie’s Coffee Lounge & the newly remodeled Lantern Bar & Grill. Enjoy a meal, an appetizer or just a glass of wine in Trattoria Rustica’s secluded outdoor garden patio.

Tasty Treats & Varied Vendors

In addition, street vendors will be selling a wide variety of food & goods to enjoy as you walk around the streets and enjoy all that 3rd.Thursdays has to offer. Corrine’s offers Greek specialties at Palace Park, the Civitan Club will be grilling hotdogs and hamburgs at Persip Park, Brix Wine Bar will be making crepes on the street; and La Fogata, Zucchini’s, Ben & Jerry’s, Krispy Kones, SoCo Creamery, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, the Dancing Vegan, and more will be selling a variety of delicious treats.

The Berkshire Made Artisan Market features the best Berkshire craft artists around selling locally made jewelry, pottery, handbags and more in front of the YMCA on North Street. Pittsfield Rye and Berkshire Mountain Bakery will also be offering freshly made, locally baked goods to take home and enjoy along with other Farmers Market vendors!

The Fun Continues into the Night

After 3rd.Thursdays, there is plenty to enjoy! Barrington Stage offers three different productions: the thriller, Sleuth, and the musical, High School Musical 2. Dance the night away at a DJ dance party at Jae’s Spice or enjoy live music from pirate descendent Mia Dyson at Mission Bar & Tapas, and more at Rebel Sound Records & Pittsfield Brew Works. Catch the last screening of Jim Jarmusch’s latest film, Loss of Control, at 8pm at the Little Cinema in the Berkshire Museum, or a screening of the award-winning City Farmers documentary at the Alchemy Initiative to benefit their urban farming initiative. And four time national slam poet champion Taylor Mali hosts a poetry slam at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts!

Upcoming 3rd Thursdays

Sponsored by Berkshire Bank, the August 20th’s 3rd.Thursdays celebrates the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and the era of peace and lovebeads. The September 17th 3rd.Thursdays’ theme is Jump In! sponsored by the Housatonic River Museum and brings back 3rd.Thursdays favorites Hector on Stilts, all the way from New York City. Lastly, the Quality Printing Company sponsors the final 3rd.Thursdays of the year on October 15, celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival with a free performance by the Industrial Jazz Group, all the way from the West Coast.

Click here for more information about 3rd Thursday!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The 2nd Annual Pittsfield Contemporary Group Show

Paul Graubard Mask 1

Beginning July 25th, 14 of Pittsfield’s finest artists will invade the walls of the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts for the 2nd annual Pittsfield Contemporary Exhibition, a juried show of artists that live or work in Pittsfield. This year's jurors were Art in America contributing editor Carol Diehl, Kathleen Gilrain, executive director of NYC arts organization Smack-Mellon, and Maria Mingalone, Director of Interpretation at the Berkshire Museum. The show kicks off with an opening reception on July 25th, from 5 to 7pm and will run until August 29.

Jay Elling & Huckleberry DelSignore Untitled

This year’s show will correspond with the launch of PITTSFIELDCONTEMPORARY.COM, a dynamic arts marketing collaborative effort from Pittsfield’s premier contemporary art venues, including Ferrin Gallery, Berkshire Museum, Storefront Artist Project, the Lichtenstein Center forthe Arts, Gallery, Artscape, the Pittsfield Art Show, and the BCC Art Gallery.

Michael McKay Hansaviertel (cyanotype)

This year’s exhibit features twelve new artists, including photographer Nick Atlas; Autumn Doyle, a musician and photographer with striking self-portraits; Sydney Flint, a student at Massachusetts College of Art with wildlife inspired etchings; Eric Korenman, a photographer that specializes in buildings and landscapes; Paul Graubard, who presents colorful paintings inspired from childhood fantasies; Jay Tobin, a painter and retired firefighter; Eduardo Villanes, a native Peruvian with paintings of wild animals, Jay Elling and Huckleberry DelSignore, founders of Pittsfield’s bike church, Copperworks; as well as Colleen Surprise Jones, Michael McKay, and Monika Pizzichemi. Mike Carty, a spray paint graffiti artist, and Jazu Stine, local photographer, sculptor, and chef, both return to the Pittsfield Contemporary line-up this year.

Sydney Flint
The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

This exhibition is sponsored by Brix Wine Bar, which will provide catering and refreshments for the opening reception on July 25th. For more information about the event, call 413-499-9348 or email