Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Calling All Hoopers!

Hoopers, are you thrilled for Pittsfield City Hoopla on July 24th? If you haven’t heard, this year it boasts all-day programming in Springside Park (874 North Street), in the public gardens behind Springside House from 12 to 5 p.m. and returns in the same location with live drumming and more from 8 to 10 p.m. As always, it is a free event that is open to all ages.

But don’t you wish that there was another event to show off your hooping skills? Then this is for you! Friends of Hoopla are marching in the 4th of July Parade.

Megan Wendling, hooper extraordinaire of The Earth Shoppe, will be leading hoopers through the parade on July 5th. Don’t be shy, all ages and all skill levels are welcome to join. For more information please contact 413-281-6734 or

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pittsfield Art Show Invitational Opening Friday

For the second year, The Pittsfield Art Show is presenting an Invitational, a month-long gallery exhibition at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue. The juried Invitational is open only to artists accepted into the weekend art show. The exhibit will run from Wednesday, June 23 through Sunday, July 18 with Opening Reception from 5 – 7 p.m. on Friday, June 25. The Invitational gives the public a preview of the outdoor show, and offers the selected artists an opportunity to display work that could not be easily be exhibited in an outdoor environment.

The artists presented include Nancy Coleman, Sarah Cummingham, Stephen Danker, June Ferrin, John Gampert, Ulrike Grannis, Noelle Horsfield, Elsa Karr, Sean McCusker, Susan Robinson, Allan Seppa, H. David Stein and Doug Truth with work in a wide variety of media.

The jurors include Stuart Chase, Director, Berkshire Museum; Stephanie Hoadely, Owner, The Hoadley Gallery, Lenox; Jonathan Secor, Director Special Programs, MCLA, and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center.

The mission of the Pittsfield Art Show is to present a high-quality, outdoor summer show of fine art and crafts to make downtown Pittsfield an art destination. In addition to providing a venue for regional and national artists, the Pittsfield Art Show serves as a vehicle for local, emerging artists to get experience in marketing and selling their work in a supported, safe setting.

The Pittsfield Art Show is a joint project of the City of Pittsfield’s Artscape Committee and Office of Cultural Development, Downtown, Inc., and the Berkshire Art Association in cooperation with RSVP and the Store Front Artists Project. Major underwriting is being provided by The Berkshire Eagle with additional generous support from local businesses.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Everyone's Invited to Take to the Streets at the June 3rd.Thursdays in Downtown Pittsfield!

Downtown Pittsfield will be celebrating sustainability in more ways than one Thursday, June 17 during its monthly 3rd.Thursdays street fest, held May through October of each year. This month's Green Neighborhoods theme means you can get a solar powered haircut at Shaun's Barbershop, peruse organically grown heirloom seedlings from Hancock Shaker Village, visit the Westside Farm Project and Alchemy Initiative booths and learn more about these urban gardening initiatives, enjoy new music by the Electric Junkyard Gamelan, who build their inventive musical instruments from recycled and discarded objects, or run in the second annual Green Mile Road Race, benefiting local neighborhood initiatives.

But best of all, thanks to overwhelming success of downtown Pittsfield's 3rd.Thursdays which attract between 3,000 and 10,000 attendees each month, North Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from Park Square to Maplewood Avenue. All told, a half mile of the wide boulevard will be pedestrian (and bicycle and skateboard) only from 5pm to 8pm. Click here for a map of the street closure and free parking.

A wide variety of performances are featured at the June 17th 3rd.Thursdays, from the Brazilian rhythms of the Berkshire Bateria and singer-songwriter Brad Byrd, who has written music for televison and film, to R&B from the Floyd Patterson Band (that's Floyd pictured left) and Americana roots music (and clogging!) with Moonshine Holler. Click here for a full schedule.

Shops and restaurants stay open late on 3rd.Thursdays and vendors fill the streets. The fun continues beyond 8pm with the Barrington Stage's first performance of Sweeney Todd, Los Lonely Boys and their Texacan rock at the Colonial Theatre, local bands (and no cover) at Patrick's Pub, Mission Bar & Tapas, and the Press Box, Taylor Mali at the MicroTheatre at Art.On.No, plus late night dancing to local DJs BFG and Jerrid Cody at the Underground Pub.

For more information on 3rd.Thursdays in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts, visit, email, or call 413.499.9348.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Starting June 5 at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, the Berkshire Art Association (BAA) will present a memorial retrospective, One Creative Life, featuring the work of Pittsfield artist, Lorraine Lauzon. The exhibit will be open through June 19, Wednesday through Saturday, Noon to 5 p.m., in the Lichtenstein Gallery, 28 Renne Avenue, Pittsfield, MA.

On Saturday, June 5, 5 – 7 p.m., the Berkshire Art Association will host an Opening Reception, which will be attended by Lorraine’s family. The reception is free and open to the public. The family hopes that many of the pieces in this exhibit will find permanent homes in Berkshire County after the show ends.
A special event – An Evening of Readings - featuring Lauzon’s written works will be held at the Lichtenstein Center on Wednesday, June 16 at 7 p.m. J.Peter Bergman and friends will read from her stories, essays and poems. The public is invited to participate.

Lauzon’s world travels with her beloved husband Paul, her love of children and music, and most especially, her Berkshires are the frequent subjects of her work. The gallery show will feature a wide range of Lauzon’s paintings done in oil, acrylic, and watercolor. Lorraine particularly loved to work in ink and watercolor wash, often in a playful vein depicting familiar places and situations. Many of her landscapes are punctuated with families and people going about their everyday lives.

Her Tanglewood drawings present the beautiful setting and people leisurely enjoying the ambiance. In depicting the orchestra playing or the maestro conducting (usually Ozawa), Lorraine visually expressed the spirit of music in a joyful and colorful way.

Lorraine often worked in mixed media, and some of her finest pieces include her kimono series collages. The Lichtenstein exhibit will include one – many more are currently being exhibited at The Berkshire Museum’s Berkshire Artists Gallery.

Lorraine spent most of her life as a working artist – painting, writing, exhibiting, and teaching. As a designer, she drafted for GE, designed shoes for a company in Lynn, created needlepoint canvases for area shops, and created business promotional art. She designed a coloring book for the Pittsfield Bicentennial Commission in 1976. Late in life, Lorraine created posters, made costumes, applied makeup and devised props for the Berkshire Community College's Children's Circus Camp.

Throughout her life, Lorraine taught art and writing to children and adults including 30 years of children's art classes at the Berkshire Museum. The Williams College Museum of Art commissioned her to design and present hands-on family projects related to Charles and Maurice Prendergast's work. For fourteen summers after her “retirement,” Lorraine ran away to the BCC circus camp, where she taught another generation of young artists.

Lauzon exhibited her work locally in one-woman shows at the Berkshire Athenaeum, Berkshire Bank, the Berkshire Museum, Dalton Public Library, MCLA and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsfield. She participated in the group exhibits of the Berkshire Art Association, Berkshire Artisans, the Chester Art League, Pittsfield's ArtAbout, the Pittsfield Art League, the Sheffield Art League and with the National League of American Pen Women. Her work is in many local private and business collections including the Red Lion Inn.

Some of her many awards were first prize National League of American Pen Women, first prize Sheffield Art League, a Williams College Museum of Art Purchase Award and a Red Lion Inn Purchase Award.

Lorraine was a high honors graduate of Lynn English High School in 1944. While working during the day, she attended the School of Practical Art in Boston, now the Art Institute of Boston. In 1994 she earned an Honorary Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley College. Lorraine was an active member of the Berkshire Art Association and was its recording secretary for over 40 years. She helped with and often showed in BAA shows for most of those years.

Lorraine Lauzon died unexpectedly last April at 82 – just days before she was to help hang the 2009 BAA Fellowship Show.

The Berkshire Art Association has established a college student fellowship award in Lorraine’s memory. The first award was presented in April to North Adams artist, Merritt Fletcher, a 2010 graduating senior at the Massachusetts College of Art. Donations to the Lorraine Lauzon Fellowship may be sent to the Berkshire Art Association, P.O. Box 385, Pittsfield, MA 01202.