the artful mind june 2010

of 32 /32

Author: robert-flower

Post on 11-Mar-2016




1 download

Embed Size (px)


The Artful Mind June 2010 Edition


Page 1: The Artful Mind June 2010


Berkshire Artzine


Page 2: The Artful Mind June 2010
Page 3: The Artful Mind June 2010


from “THE HOME PROJECT”413. 298. 3370

[email protected] •WWW.JULIEWMCCARTHY.COM

Page 4: The Artful Mind June 2010
Page 5: The Artful Mind June 2010


“View Across the Housatonic”24” x 30” Oil

Opening receptionSaturday, August 7, 1-5 pmLenox Gallery of Fine ArtBERKSHIRE LANDSCAPES

SCHANTZ GALLERIESc o n t e m p o r a r y g l a s s

3 elm street stockbridge, ma


Dinosaur53 x 21 x 8”

“Maestro”featuring the

Glass Sculpture of

Lino Tagliapietra

through August 20th

Page 6: The Artful Mind June 2010


Page 7: The Artful Mind June 2010


APE GALLERY126 Main Street, Northampton, MA • 413.586.5553Three local fiber artists and a photographer present a show about thehistory and process of fiber art at the APE Gallery from June 8 to26 with an opening reception on Friday, June 11 from 5 to 8pm.The artists host a discussion Saturday, June 19 from 11am to 1pm.Artists include Carly Goss, Kathryn Greenwood Swanson, Christal-ena Hughmanick and Brendan Murtaugh.

BERKSHIREART GALLERY80 Railroad St, Gt Barrington, MA • 528-2690www.berkshireartgallery.com19th and early 20th Century American & European art and sculp-ture, contemporary artists

BERKSHIREART KITCHENCREATIVITY / CONNECTION / CHANGE400 Main St, Gt Barrington, MA• 413-717-0031 www.berkshireartkitchen.comThe Berkshire Art Kitchen is an artist-run social experiment com-mitted to cooking up creativity, connection and change.Our vision is to create unique opportunities for personal enrichmentand positive social change through meaningful engagement in art,activism and advocacy. We invite you to join the experiment.BAK is open most weekends Friday - Sunday 12 - 5and by appointment or good fortune on any other day.

CARRIE HADDAD GALLERY622 Warren St, Hudson, NY • 518-828-1915DOTS, LINES AND FIGURES an exhibit featuring paintings byJeff Briggs and Ben Shecter, works in mixed media by Donise Eng-lish, and the bronze sculptures of Michael McLaughlin will be onview at the Carrie Haddad Gallery until July 5.

CARYHOUSE GALLERYSALEMART WORKS19 Cary Lane, Salem NY •518 854 7674 / www.salemartworks.orgDonna Wynbrandt: Solo Exhibit: a new series of portraits whichwill be on display in the Cary House Gallery from June 11 – 27.The portraits are part of a series that Donna has been painting ofresidents in the local area over the last two years. The exhibitionreception will be 4-7pm, Saturday June 19th. Cary House GalleryOpen Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm

OLD CHATHAM COUNTRY STORE CAFÉ GALLERYVillage Square, Old Chatham New YorkAbby Salsbury will have an exhibit of her monoprints, etchings andmixed media during the month of June. “Insects, Soup Tureens andOther Strange Realities - prints and mixed media” and will be onview from June 4 through June 30 with an opening reception tomeet the artist on Sunday afternoon, June 6 from 3 – 5 p.m.

CHURCH STREET ART GALLERY34 Church St, Lenox, MA • 637-9600Significant folk art pieces. Also works by David Eddy,Paul Graubard, Paul Jarvis and Larry Zingale.(Fri-Mon, 11am-4:30pm or by appointment)

CRIMI STUDIOLocated 2 miles from theAncram/Hudson exit of the Taconic StateParkway. • Viewing by appointment • 518-851-7904July exhibition of oil paintings at Gallery at B &GWines, Hillsdale,NY. Paintings of rich color and form. Crimi studio in idyllic set-ting.

DONMULLER GALLERY40 Main St, Northampton, MA • 586-1119Beautiful American crafts, jewelry and glass, more

FERRIN GALLERY437 North St, Pittsfield, [email protected] • 413-442-1622SUSAN MIKULA: American Vale: Recent PhotographsSolo exhibition of new work. Exhibition: June 26th throughAugust1st. Reception: Saturday, June 26th from 4-6pm

THE ECLIPSE MILLGALLERY243 Union Street, North Adams, MA The Third Annual Berkshire Salon, May 21 through June 20, 2010.Opening Reception: Friday, May 21, 6 to 8 PM

GLORIA MALCOLM ARNOLD FINE ARTUpstairs at 69 Church St, Lenox, MA • 637-2400Realistic art that never goes out of style, artwork that evokes themood and memories of yesterday. Rotating exhibitions of scratch-board by Lois I. Ryder and oils and watercolors by Gloria MalcolmArnold. Open year round.

HUDSON VALLEY ARTS CENTER337 Warren St, Hudson, NY • 800-456-0507 Regional and nationally-known artisans

JOHN DAVIS GALLERY362 1/2 Warren St., Hudson, New York Andrew Dunnill, New Work

LAUREN CLARK FINE ART GALLERY402 Park St, Housatonic, MA • 274-1432www.LaurenClarkFineArt.comUNWILTED, UNPROCESSED, UNCONVENTIONALFOUR NEWLY PICKED GARDEN-FRESH ARTISTSAbby DuBow, Joan Ciolfi, Lorraine Klagsbrun, Susan DibbleMay 29 through July 4. Reception for the ArtistsSaturday, May 29 5-8pmFine art and contemporary crafts and framing service.(Open Wed-Mon 11-5:30, Sun Noon-4, year-round)

MARGUERITE BRIDE STUDIOwww.margebride.comCustom House and Business Portraits, “Local Color”, watercolorscenes of the Berkshires, New England and Tuscany. Original wa-tercolors and Fine Art Reproductions. Visit website for exhibitschedule

PARK ROW GALLERY2 Park Row, Chatham, NY • 518-392-4800Local Legend Roger Mason Exhibits Paintings at Park Row Gallery"Light and Astigmatism," a solo exhibition of oil paintings by RogerMason will be on view at Park Row Gallery in Chatham, NY fromJune 11th - July 31st. Reception Saturday, July 10, 4pm-6pm, andthe public is cordially invited to attend.

RUTH KOLBERTFRONT SREET GALLERY • 413-274-6607 Front Street, Housatonic, MA. • 413-229-0380“Friends, Artists & Special Places” will be on exhibit at Front StreetGallery May 19 through June 12.Gallery open Fridays 1 – 5 pm,Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5pm, and / or by appointment.

SCHANTZ GALLERIES3 Elm St, Stockbridge, MA • Exhibition Runs: May 20 – June 31, 2010“Maestro Lino Tagliapietra” Feature Exhibition Runs: June 20 –August 20, 2010. June 2010 at Schantz Galleries – Stockbridge“Individuals & Illuminations: A Survey of Works by Dan Dailey”“Elements of Style: the Art of Linda MacNeil” Schantz Galleries ison Elm Street in Stockbridge MA. This location has been one of thenation’s leading destinations for those seeking premier artists work-ing in glass. Spring gallery hours are daily 11 - 5

THE LENOX GALLERY OF FINE ART69 Church St, Lenox, MA • 413-637-2276 Featuring artists such as Stephen Filmus along with many othersincluding Paula Stern, Sculpture

WELLES GALLERYWelles Gallery, the Lenox Library, 18 Main Street, Lenox, MA.Featuring two groups of watercolor paintings by Robert U. Taylorfrom June 5- August 14.


ASTON MAGNAwww.astonmagna.orgThe Aston Magna Festival celebrates its 38th year with a tasty menuof 17th and 18th century music presented in the Hudson Valley andin the Berkshires (Bard College on Friday evenings at 8pm, andSimon’s Rock College on Saturday evenings at 6pm.

BERKSHIRE HILLS CHORUSGladys Allen Brigham Community Center 165 East Street, Pittsfield, MA • 413.446.3536is hosting a Girls Night Out On June 15, 2010. BHC is a collectionof women of all ages, who enjoy singing exciting songs in 4-partharmony and a chapter of Sweet Adelines International.Do you find yourself singing in the shower, your car, to your kids,grand-kids or dog? We will be hosting an open Guest Night:Tuesday June 15, 2010, 6:30-8:30pm.Then come check us out! Notonly will you have a fun time, you will leave with a new apprecia-tion for a cappella music! Bring a Friend and Make Tuesday GirlsNight Out!

BERKSHIRE BACH SOCIETYNew Marlborough Meeting House, Rte 57, New Marlborough, MA• tix at door - June 27, 4pm. Kenneth Cooper, artistic director.

BACH AND FORTH426 Stockbridge Rd, rte 7, Gt Barrington, MA • 413-528-9277Fri, Aug 13, 8pm: Bach and Forth. Classical Music in a night clubsetting: dinner, dessert & performance by the American Contem-porary Music Ensemble: Bach’s Art of Fugue and Two World Pre-mieres

BERKSHIRE ART KITCHENCREATIVITY / CONNECTION / CHANGE400 Main St, Gt Barrington, MA • 413-717-0031 www.berk-shireartkitchen.comThe Listening Room Series will feature live performances and openjam sessions held on the First Friday of each month. The Open JamSession will allow members of the audience to join in and experi-ment with creating new sounds together – just remember to bringyour instruments!

THE HEVREH ENSEMBLEORIGINAL WORLD CHAMBER MUSICHevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Road, Great Barrington,MA. Reservations: 413-528-6378 / [email protected]. OnThursday July 22 at 8 PM, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire will pres-ent a Gala Fundraiser Concert featuring The Hevreh Ensemble; agroup that performs original World Chamber Music by group mem-ber and composer, Jeff Adler. The members of the ensemble areJeff Adler- Composer, Bass Clarinet, Native American Flutes & Per-cussion; Judith Dansker- Oboe, Oboe D’amore, English Horn &Native American Flutes; Laurie Friedman- Clarinet, Native Amer-ican Flutes and Percussion; Adam Morrison- Keyboard.Tickets: $15in advance; $20 at door.

RUSTED ROOT TO PERFORM AT WEQX FESTIVAL IN ALBANYJuly 3. For details: www.rustedroot.comBeloved for their live performances, Rusted Root hits the groundrunning with a new slew of live dates to support their current releaseStereo Rodeo Their first disc in seven years, “Stereo Rodeo” fea-tures original members Michael Glabicki (lead vocals, guitar), LizBerlin (vocals, percussion), and Patrick Norman (vocals, bass, per-cussion) are joined on this album by Jason Miller (drums, percus-sion), Colter Harper (guitar), Preach Freedom (percussion) and DirkMiller (guitar).

THE HEVREH ENSEMBLE- ORIGINAL WORLD CHAM-BER MUSIC270 State Road in Great Barrington, MA• 413-528-6378July 22nd at 8:00 PM, Gala Fundraiser Concert featuring TheHevreh Ensemble; a group that performs original WorldChamber Music by group member and composer, Jeff Adler.Tickets: $ 15.00 in Advance / $ 20 at door.

THE MUSEUM AT BETHEL WOODSBethel, Rte 17, Exit 104, NY • bethelwoodscenter.orgThe Story of the ‘60s and Woodstock. Museum located at the siteof the 1969 Woodstock Festival.


EN PLEIN AIR CLASSES :: DDFA 518-828-2939 / www.ddfagallery.comJoin us at Hidden Pond on Tuesdays in July, Tues. July 6 & 20 –paint with HM Saffer, II, Tues. July 13 & 27 – draw with MajKalfus, 9:30am-4pm • $60 per session includes lunchFor more information or to reserve a space in one of the classes,call: Located in Mid-Columbia County, on a rise in a clearing sur-rounded by trees, Hidden Pond provides a serene environment in abeautiful rural setting just five short miles from Hudson, NY.

KATE KNAPP FRONT STREET GALLERYHousatonic, MA (next to the Corner Market) • 274-6607 www.kateknappartist.comalso ongoing painting classes Mon, Wed & Thurs 9:30am (galleryhrs: Sat & Sun 12-5, and by appt.)

SABINE VOLLMER VON FALKEN PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOPS413-298-4933Sabine offers outdoor workshops for the advanced amateur pho-tographers in June. Dates are: June 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2010.

Deadline for calendar listings: JUNE 15 for July

[email protected]




Page 8: The Artful Mind June 2010


IS183Water-Colorist, Mel StabinKimberly Rawson 9

Roger Mason, ArtistStephanie Campbell 14

Planet Waves AstrologyEric Francis 18

Bob Crimi, ArtistHarryet Candee


Greater Backfish RoundupBob Balogh 26

Architecture & ArcadiaStephen Dietemann 27

PUBLISHER Harryet Candee COPY EDITOR Marguerite Bride


Harryet Candee CONTRIBUTING WRITERS AND MONTHLY COLUMNISTSBob Balogh, Harryet Candee, Stephen Gerard Dietemann,

Rae Eastman, Eric Francis, Thaddeus Kubis, Nanci Race, Kimberly Rawson


Sabine Vollmer von Falken

DISTRIBUTIONR. Dadook, John Cardillo

120 PIXLEY ROAD, GREAT BARRINGTON, MA 01230 [email protected]

413-528-5628 Deadline for the JUNE issue is MAY 15, 2010

FYI: ©Copyright laws in effect throughout The Artful Mind for logo & all graphics including text material. Copyright laws for photographers and writersthroughout The Artful Mind. Permission to reprint is required in all instances

The Artful Mind • June 2010


Roger Mason, Artistphotographed by Thaddeus Kubis

Our Art....Our way


69 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01201 • (413) 637-2276over twenty-five artists • on two levels open year round - call for hours


paint ings • drawings • watercolor • sculpture • mixed media works • pastels • portrai t commissions

“ of the finest and most charmingprivate galleries in New England.”

An artist may say, “It’s a Pigment of my imagination.”

IS183 ART SCHOOLADULTART CLASSES AND WORKSHOPSIS183 Art School announces its summer class and workshop

schedule for adult students including wide range of courses forboth novice and expert artists. Featured classes include a text,stencil and paint collage workshop with gifted artist YuraAdams in late May; a weeklong intensive in June with well-known ceramicist Mary Barringer; an introduction to paper-making course in July and August with talented papermakerMarie-Claude Giroux; and a weekend painting workshop withaward-winning watercolorist Mel Stabin in August. A completelist of courses and registration information is available online. Offering a range of programs for novice and working artists,

classes are taught by professional artists in a creative, nurturingand inspirational environment at IS183, the Berkshires onlyyear-round community art school. Located half-way between Great Barrington and Pittsfield in

Interlaken (a village of Stockbridge) IS183 Art School encour-ages people of all ages, means, and skill levels to enrich theirlives through hands-on experience in the visual arts, with year-round programs in ceramics, painting, drawing, photography,fiber arts, sculpture, mixed media. IS183 also offers weekendworkshops for adults; Young Artist programs during school va-cations and in the summer; birthday parties; custom classes;and private lessons. Classes are held during the daytime,evenings and weekends, for all levels from absolute beginnersto professional artists. Needs-based scholarships and work-ex-change opportunities are available.

For more information, enrollment fees, scholarship oppor-tunities, faculty bios, or to register for classes, please call 413-298-5252, e-mail [email protected] or visit us online


JULY 3-5One hundred and seventy-five juried artists and artisans from

as far as California, Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin will pres-ent their artwork to thousands of enthusiastic art collectors at the8th annual Berkshires Arts Festival. A wide range of fine artand fine crafts will be on display and for sale in the lush summersetting of Ski Butternut in Great Barrington, MA. Discoverworks from America’s most talented artists—from blown glassto art jewelry to studio furniture to oil paintings, from wearableart to photography, ceramics and more. There will be craftdemonstrations daily, gourmet food and live music. The showwill be held Friday, July 3 through Sunday, July 5 rain or shineat Ski Butternut under tents, outdoors and in the air-conditionedlodge. This is a family event and a great experience for the kids.The Berkshires Arts Festival will feature a mix of live music

and entertainment, a wide selection of foods, live demonstra-tions and the opportunity to see one of the most interesting col-lections of fine art and fine craft. Take a build your own twig“Cut It Out” furniture work shop with Janice Shields. Visit theArt of Clay Tent and see potters at the wheel.. Meet Raku artistRichard Foye and watch continuous Raku firings which ringout the stunning colors of texture

Richard and Joanna Rothbard, owners of An AmericanCraftsmen galleries located in New York City, Savannah, GAand Stockbridge MA., are the artistic directors of American ArtMarketing, the producers of the event. AAM show directorRichard Rothbard is also an accomplished craftsman and wood-worker. He will be showing his unique collection of intricatelycarved boxes “Boxology” at the arts festival.Berkshire Arts Festival - Ski Butternut, Route 23, Great Bar-

rington, MA, www.berkshiresartsfestival.comDates and hours: July 3, Friday, 10am – 6pm; July 4, Sat-

urday, 10am – 6pm; July 5, Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Admission:Adults- $11, Seniors - $9, Students - $5; Weekend pass - $13;Children under 10 admitted Free. Plenty of Free parking avail-able.


“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that comefrom all over the place, from the sky, from the earth,

from a passing shape, from a spider;s web.”-Pablo Picasso

Page 9: The Artful Mind June 2010


Park Row Gallery

Light and AstigmatismPaintings by Roger Mason

June 11- July 31Artist reception Saturday July, 11 2010 4-6pm

2 Park Row Chatham, NY 12037518-392-4800

FRONT ST. GALLERYHousatonic Mass.

413-274-6607 • 413-429-7141 • 413-528-9546


Summer Classes at Front Street studio now open for registration...Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Painting Classes are held Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 to 1 pm at thegallery/studio. Thursday class is planned, from 9:30 - 1 pm at different locations,and to be announced weekly. The cost is $30 per class and it is for beginners to

advanced, all mediums are welcome.

Kate Knapp

Page 10: The Artful Mind June 2010





Joan Ciolfi, Susan Dibble, Abby DuBow, Lorraine KlagsbrunMay 29 through July 4

Lauren Clark Fine Art402 Park Street, Housatonic, MA 413-274-1432



View of Toledo, O/C, 33 x 42. Harry H. Boettjer, 1910-2000, American.

80 Railroad StreetGreat Barrington, MA

413-528-2690Open Saturday and Sunday

Noon to 5 pm and/or by appointmentWWW.BERKSHIREARTGALLERY.COM


"Neon Whale Tail" from the "Motion Capture" series.


www.myronschiffer.comCome browse over the 250 photographs

currently for sale online.413-637-2659 [email protected]

Page 11: The Artful Mind June 2010


RUTH KOLBERT“Friends, Artists & Special Places” will be on exhibit at

Front Street Gallery May 19 through June 12.Ruth Kolbert has been painting since early in her life. She

studied Fine Arts in college, concentrating her study with JohnFerren, and went on to study at The Art Student’s League inNew York. Ruth also studied with Oscar Kokoschka inSalzburg, Austria and Charles Cajori and Nicholas Carone inNew York.

Ruth has lived and painted in the Berkshires for 21 years,with a studio in Sheffield. She has exhibited in New York andthe Berkshires, and last showed a series of barn paintings atCastle Street Café. Her work is in private collections.The main focus of Ruth’s work is people in the creative arts

and in her life. These paintings are often life-size or larger, andseem to be barely contained within the canvas, revealing thevitality of her subjects in relation to their environment. Theportraits are infused with luminous color, emphasizing her sub-ject’s inner life.Front Street Gallery, Front Street, Housatonic, MA. Gallery

open Fridays 1 – 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5pm, and /or by appointment. To reach Ruth in her studio, please call413-229-0380. The Front Street Gallery telephone number is:413-274-6607.



WWW.BERKSHIRECONTRACTOR.COMJames August Weber, a professional woodworker since 1976,

has had an eclectic variety of experience. Boat building, siloconstruction, gazebos, decks, porches, barns sheds, as well asdozens of custom homes and structure renovation, you name itand Weber has probably done it.

Teaching Furniture Design and Building in Poughkeepsie,New York led Weber to open a successful shop and retail galleryon Martha’s Vineyard which he operated from 1979 until mov-ing to the Berkshires in 1986. Working on the Vineyard alsoprovided an opportunity to work on the interior of many finesailing vessels.In the Berkshires, Jim learned the craft of the Timber framer,

building post and beam homes and log timber homes, as well ascommon methods of “stick framing”, while applying the skill ofthe fine woodworker artisan.

“Our current undertaking is a custom home on Blunt Roadin Egremont, MA. It was designed in our office, and is sched-uled for completion this summer. Please contact me to have alook around. I love to talk shop!”You may have seen Weber as “the guy with the whistle” that

leads the Berkshire Bateria Samba drummers, but he also leadshis crew of experienced artisan builders.

Through the J.W. Construction, Webber has been offeringhis General Contracting and carpentry services in the Berkshiresfor over 20 years.

J.W. Construction: James Weber: 413-528-6575,

BERKSHIRE DIGITALEntering its fifth year of business, Berkshire Digital is an

art service that offers very high quality digital photography ofpaintings as well as Giclée printing on archival papers andcanvas. Artists & photographers use BD to create limited edi-tions of their images. Private collectors and galleries use BDto document their collections. Whether the photography needsare for archiving, printing or internet use, BD adheres to verystrict color controls along with delivering stunning detail byusing a large format camera with a Better Light™ digitalscanning back for photography and Canon™ printers usingarchival pigmented inks for prints.In addition to the photography and printing services, Berk-

shire Digital also offers graphic design, enabling clients tocreate show announcements, post cards and brochures. Thewebsite has a complete overview along with prices.Owner, Fred Collins, has been a commercial photographer

for 30 years with studios in Boston and Stamford. Fifteenyears ago, he began working with the software manipulationprogram Photoshop™ and gradually added extensive retouch-ing capabilities to help with his client’s needs. His wife Alisonowns The Iris Gallery, located in Great Barrington & Boston.

Berkshire Digital, Mt Washington, MA, (413) 644-9663,

“It’s the best you can do that kills you.”-Dorothy Parker

Page 12: The Artful Mind June 2010



Established as a pianist and teacher in the Berkshires sincethe late 60s, Myron “Mike” Schiffer has an established historyof exploring the avant garde. Prior to living in the area, Schifferlived and worked in New York City, studying with John Mehe-gan and Hall Overton as well as playing, teaching and hangingaround the fringes of jazz.

Fascinated with music and the visual arts since childhood,Schiffer enrolled in photography at The Fashion Institute ofTechnology in New York. Working in black and white at thetime, he was most notably inspired by Richard Avedon’s fash-ion photography. Once introduced to color, he was deeplymoved by the mystical color fields of Georgia O’Keefe andMark Rothko and considers this work his strongest influence.

Now that he’s entered his ninth decade, he’s fulfilling hisdream of indulging his interest in photography which he startedto explore in the 1970s. For the last year he’s been busy exhibit-ing his work at galleries, frame shops, Kimball Farms retire-ment community, Castle Street Café and in the North AdamsOpen Studio show. A small selection of Myron’s miniatures canalso be seen at the Red Lion Inn Gift Shop in Stockbridge, MA.

His current work is a minimalist expression of color, lightand space, also revealing a strong influence of contemporaryjazz and classical music, e.g. “Intuition” by Lennie Tristano,the first recorded example of spontaneous collective improvi-sation. Schiffer’s graffiti and urban “Street Art” follow alongthe same lines, capturing aleatory and found images.After a five month run, his Castle Street Café exhibit is tak-

ing a break until it reopens with new work in the fall. This showwill feature more canvases from his “Motion Capture” series.His website showcases an ever-expanding gallery of this seriesand others such as Urban Scenes, Found Textures, Street Art,Graffiti, and Jazz Musicians.Myron Schiffer - 413-637-2659,

BERKSHIRE ART KITCHENOn exhibit at the Berkshire Art Kitchen through June 30th is

Vanitas, an exhibition of recent photography by HannahSchindler, a recent graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock.Vanitas, inspired by 17th century Dutch still life paintings, usesfood to portray death as an inevitable part of life.

“For my series of photographs, I have attempted to conveyaspects of my identity through arrangements of objects andfood. The photographs themselves have evolved to articulatemy own personal fascination with life and death. I see these pho-tographs as vanitas images and therefore to be viewed asmetaphors. I truly believe it is the viewer who completes theimage; I hope that others can find their own meaning withinthem.”

Please join us for an Opening Reception with the artist onSaturday, June 5th from 4-7.Hannah Schindler will give an artist’s talk at 6.

Other BAK News…Introducing the BAK Listening RoomSeries! The Listening Room Series will feature live perform-ances and open jam sessions held on the First Friday of eachmonth. The Main Show will bring to you original music and/orspoken word performances by accomplished artists. The OpenJam Session will allow members of the audience to join in andexperiment with creating new sounds together – just rememberto bring your instruments!On June 4, First Friday in June - the featured guests: 8 Foot

River. Originally known for a brief time as FHAUS, 8 FootRiver consists of Glenn Geiger – guitar & vocals, GabrielleSenza – cello, keyboard & vocals, Steve Dietemann, guitar, bass& vocals, Steve Praus - drums.Check them out at Doors open at 7:30pm, showstarts at 8pm. $6 + byob; instruments optionalThe Berkshire Art Kitchen is an artist-run social experiment

committed to cooking up creativity, connection and change. Ourvision is to create unique opportunities for personal enrichmentand positive social change through meaningful engagement inart, activism and advocacy. You are invited to join the experi-ment.BAK is open most weekends Friday - Sunday 12 – 5 and by

appointment or good fortune on any other day..Berkshire Art Kitchen, 400 Main Street, Suite A, Great Bar-

rington, MA 01230413-717-0031, [email protected],


HERE ARE SOME OF OUR CLIENTS ANDWHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY ABOUT OUR MUSIC...“...Our wedding guests have not stopped complimenting us foryour music. They could also hear themselves speak and enjoyquiet conversations. We blew up a picture of Fiddlers Two sere-nading us at our table and it now hangs permanently in our liv-ing room!” - Marcie and Steven Jacob

“...Your music was fabulous and made our events at Tavern OnThe Green and at Lincoln Center a smashing success!”-The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

“...We appreciated your participation in our special bridalshow.” Regis Philbin Show

“...Your violinists were tremendous and really helped to makeour event a special one.”

-Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

“...As Fiddlers Two strolled through our Employee Apprecia-tion party, I observed that you were short of being worshipedby our employees – you were that well received!”

-National Benefit Life

“...Our guests were thoroughly entertained – thanks to yourprofessionalism in knowing just where to be, what to play andwhen to play it.” -Mademoiselle Magazine

“...To some, it might seem bewildering that just two violinscould sound so good.”

-Associated Musicians of Greater New York

“...Rare it is indeed when expectations are precisely matched,but your performance at our cocktail reception was one in-stance when they were surpassed!”

-Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C.

“...Any bridal couple would be enchanted to have Fiddlers Twoplay for their wedding event.” -Brides Magazine

“...Our good choice of your music was reinforced by numerousguests who have heard and enjoyed your music at other af-fairs.” -Nemco Brokerage

“...Thank you very much for your wonderful gift of music.”-The Four Seasons – NYC

“...Your beautiful music lent that special “touch of class” to ourannual Gala.” -NYC Judge – Rudy Greco

“...Such elegance and panache – you certainly were ‘the top-ping on the cake.” -Mr. & Mrs. E. Kontokosto

“...You are deserving of the many fine compliments we’ve re-ceived for your music.” -American Stock Exchange, Inc.

For information and brochure for Barbara and Joseph—Fiddlers Two, please call 413-458-1984.

Barbara and Joseph – Fiddlers Two – performers for many years at theWaldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC. Seen above at a Waldorf NY’s Eve celebration.


Page 13: The Artful Mind June 2010



by Kimberly Rawson

Internationally known teacher, author, and award-winningwatercolorist Mel Stabin will be gracing the Berkshires thissummer when he returns to IS183 Art School in August to teachhis renowned workshop based on his best-selling book of thesame name, Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused. RecentlyMel kindly took some time out of his busy schedule to tell usabout his artistic influences, his favorite places to paint, and hisupcoming workshop at IS183.

When did you become interested in art?Probably around eight or nine years old.How did you discover your talent for painting?When I attended Pratt Institute. What was your first introduction to watercolor?While studying under Ed Whitney at Pratt Institute. Which art movements have you been influenced by? The Renaissance, the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists. Are you influenced by a particular space or placearound you? My passion is for painting on location. There aremany places in the world that inspire me. Where is your favorite place (or places) to paint? Tuscany, Provence, Cornwall, Ireland and Switzer-land. Are there any historical or contemporary artiststhat you specifically admire?Manet, Monet, Van Gogh and Sargent. Where do your ideas come from? Would you tellus something about your creative process? My ideas come from many places and situations…landscapes,people, architecture. Before I begin a painting, I try to under-stand my reaction to a given subject and emphasize the essenceof what I feel.What have been your favorite projects to date in your ca-reer? Authoring two books on watercolor, doing two videos of paint-ing on location and writing numerous articles for major art mag-azines. Tell us about your painting technique? What are the mate-rials you prefer to work with? I paint in a loose representational style, very quickly and simplyso that I arrive at the “essence” of the subject. I use Arches cold-press 140 lb. paper and an assortment of brushes and paints fromvarious manufacturers. What do you enjoy most about working in this medium?Watercolor has a life of its own and will do beautiful things onthe paper. When water and paint are set free, images are createdthat cannot be captured with any other medium. What challenges have you found in your work? The constant desire of discovery. I’m always aware that thereare new paths to take.

Do you try to make a statement with your art?I try to be honest with my reactions to subjects and hope thatcomes through in my finished work. What are you working on at present?I’m busy conducting workshops throughout the U.S. andabroad. Are you planning to write another book?I would like to…if I can find the time!What advice would you give a young watercolor artist juststarting and wondering where to begin? Find a good teacher and work hard. Tell us more about the three-day workshop you’ll be teach-ing at IS183 in August. The workshop will take place outdoors on locations paintinglandscapes and people in landscapes.What can your students expect to experience in the class? Daily demonstrations and critiques within a casual, friendly at-mosphere.

What do you like about teaching at IS183 Art School?It is located in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. The staff atIS183 is great to work with. Do you find the Berkshires an inspiring place as an artist? There is a choice of many inspiring locations in and aroundStockbridge. It is an ideal place to paint watercolors.

ABOUT THE ARTISTMel Stabin is a signature member of national art societies in-

cluding the American Watercolor Society, National WatercolorSociety, Allied Artists of America, Transparent Watercolor So-ciety of America, and Watercolor West.

His paintings have been the recipient of numerous nationalawards and have been represented in major exhibitions includ-ing the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor So-ciety, National Academy of Design, Transparent WatercolorSociety of America, Watercolor West, Allied Artists of America,Butler Institute of American Art, North East Watercolor Society,and New Jersey Watercolor Society.Mel has had sixteen one-man exhibitions of his watercolors.

His paintings are in many private and corporate collections. Hiswork can be viewed in the "Featured Artists" section of the NewAmerican Gallery website at Mel was

a director for the American Watercolor Society's 2005 and 2006exhibitions and was a Juror of Selection for the American Wa-tercolor Society's 2006 Annual International Exhibition. In 2009, Mel was honored with the Creative Catalyst Award

at the 30th National Exhibition of the Georgia Watercolor Soci-ety, the Friedlander Award at the 28th Annual Adirondacks Na-tional Exhibition of American Watercolors, the JosephKrasnansky Memorial Award at the 78th Annual Exhibition ofthe Hudson Valley Art Association, the Swede Johnson Memo-rial Award at the 36th Annual Rocky Mountain National Water-media Exhibition, and the Cheap Joe's Art Stuff Award at the41st Annual Exhibition of Watercolor West. Mel is the author of Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused

and The Figure In Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused, pub-lished by Watson-Guptill, and has written feature articles forAmerican Artist, The Artist's Magazine, Watercolor Artist, Wa-tercolor Magic, and Watercolor.

For more information, visit his website IS183 Weekend WorkshopWatercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused with MelStabin August 6 through 8, Friday, Saturday andSunday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuition: $475

This outdoor on location workshop, paintinglandscapes and people in landscapes, is designedfor beginners to advanced painters and includesdaily morning demonstrations with a step-by-stepsimple explanation of solutions to every problempresented by the subject, personal instruction, andclass critiques. The workshop reflects the methodspresented in Mel’s book, Watercolor: Simple, Fast,and Focused. Emphasis will be on design princi-ples with the objective of building strong paintings

by seeing and thinking simply, painting quickly and energeti-cally, and focusing on the “idea” of the painting. Mel creates acasual, friendly atmosphere allowing an easy, open dialoguewith his students making each workshop a joyful experience.

For more information and to register for the workshop call413-298-5252, e-mail [email protected] or visit IS183 Art Schoolonline at . IS183 Art School encourages peopleof all ages, means, and skill levels to enrich their lives throughhands-on experience in the visual arts, with year-round pro-grams in ceramics, painting, drawing, photography, fiber arts,sculpture, and mixed media.Located half-way between Great Barrington and Pittsfield at

13 Willard Hill Road in Interlaken (a village of Stockbridge),IS183 offers weekend workshops for adults; Young Artist pro-grams during school vacations and in the summer; birthdayparties; custom classes; and private lessons. Classes are heldduring the daytime, evenings and weekends, for all levels fromabsolute beginners to professional artists. Needs-based scholar-ships and work-exchange opportunities are available.

Kimberly Rawson is a writer, editor and communicationsstrategist who lives in Pittsfield, Mass.

******(Berkshires in the Summer - uunnbeatable !!! -hpc)


“Watercolor has a life of its own and willdo beautiful things on the paper. Whenwater and paint are set free, images arecreated that cannot be captured with any

other medium.”

Page 14: The Artful Mind June 2010


“A tremendous amount of preparatory work and continuous training is necessaryin order to turn your vague wish into professional excellence, so that in the end

you are not a talented diletante but a true actor.”- Alexander Taerov


“Light and Astigmatism,” a solo exhibition of oil paintingsby Roger Mason will be on view at Park Row Gallery inChatham, NY from June 17 - July 31. There will be a memo-rable reception with the artist on Saturday, July 10 from 4-6pm,and the public is invited to attend.

“Light and Astigmatism” features approximately 20 vividpaintings of the local region in Roger Mason’s polychromaticstyle, where the color of light and shadow are painted throughthe prism of the artist’s visceral experience. While deeply en-gaged in the present, Mason’s work evokes the past by abstract-ing the essence of small town scenes that he’s drawn to. It’salmost as though he stops time through the strength of his gaze,and leaves the viewer with an immutable impression of a soli-tary place, as if it were a revelation.

Mason is infatuated with color, but in love with light. In-deed, he pursues light from dawn to dusk and even chases itinto the night when he sees some radiant neon sign hangingin front of an ageless theater or bar, lighting up a darkened streetcorner. The artist says he’s drawn to these old world scenes be-cause they remind him of the places he played in during hisyears as a musician. But he’s also intrigued with the distortedperception of color one experiences at night, and challenged bythe desire to illuminate his canvas with electric pinks, reds andoranges pulsing against a midnight blue sky. For a painter-mu-sician, it’s probably as close to jazz or the blues as one can see.“Joe’s Tavern,” “Slatterly’s,” “Crandell Theatre” and “Hud-

son Opera House,” are a few titles of paintings in the exhibitionat Park Row Gallery in Chatham, and refer to local places thatMason has captured and commemorated for posterity.

Occasionally there are people in Mason’s paintings thatseem to personify a reflective state of introspection. And thereare objects, like an old car or mailbox, that act as characters todeepen his dialogue with history. A blend of abstract expres-sionism and realism, the artist paints large, luscious fields oflight, blinding and overexposed at times, as if he’s searching forsome miracle or mystery in the shadows. But there are detailstoo – a striped awning, American flag, “Fresh Eggs” sign, PepsiCola bottle dispenser, barbershop pole, 1951 Chevrolet – thatcreate a rich narrative and poignantly remind us of country lifein this slow moving, but rapidly vanishing, American land-scape. Roger Mason sets up his easel and paints on street corners allover the world, but still calls Chatham, NY his home.

Park Row Gallery exhibits some of the finest artists in theregion, Park Row Gallery offers a full range of services to theirclients. Working with seasoned collectors, designers or individ-uals simply looking for a work of art to add to their home, JeffRisley can assist with private consultations, installing works ofart, or arranging special commissions.

Park Row Gallery, 2 Park Row, Chatham, NY. Galleryhours are Monday, and Wednesday through Saturday, from11am – 5pm. (518) 392-4800,


The Welles Gallery in Lenox is featuring two groups of wa-tercolor paintings by Robert U. Taylor from June 5- August 14. One exhibition is a series of large autumn and winter paint-

ings of the south county of the Berkshires, expressed in a tightrealism depicting both the powerful chiaroscuro of sun andshade, and an overlooked side of winter – that it can have, instrong sunlight, as bright and powerful a range of colors as au-tumn.

The other exhibition is subjectively many-layered; a groupof very specific and detailed subjects, from Greece. These paint-ings depict subjects of great age and character; woven into theseimages is another layer; reflections and echoes of the lyrics of

Sappho, poetess of pre-ClassicalGreece.

Taylor studied painting at thePennsylvania Academy of FineArts, the University of Pennsylva-nia, and Yale University in ScenicDesign. He went on to profession-ally design on and off Broadway,over 700 commercials, and featurefilm SFX and special format filmdesign. He has had ten one manshows of his paintings. Taylor, whohas been on the faculty at PrincetonUniversity , Hunter College inNYC, has also taught graduateclasses in CGI film design at theR.I.S.D. and Yale University .

His works are on exhibition atthe Smithsonian, the InternationalTheater Institute, and at the San An-tonio McNay museum’s permanentcollection. He has also won twoDrama Desk Awards, the MaharamAward, and two Obie Awards.

Welles Gallery, located in theLenox Library, 18 Main Street,Lenox, MA.


Aardenburg Imaging & Archives, founded in 2007, is locatedin the historic Hyde House in Lee, MA. AaI&A primarily con-ducts research and real-world aging studies on the permanenceof digital print media in collaboration with photographers andprintmakers around the world. Photography and printmakinghas been a passion of AaI&A’s director, Mark H. McCormick-Goodhart, for over 40 years. Mark is a materials scientist, andhe was formerly the senior research photographic scientist forthe Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC from 1988-1998before returning to the private sector to continue preservationresearch on digital imaging technologies.“My family moved to Lee in 2007. The Berkshire Mountains

are breathtaking, and there is clearly a vibrant community forboth the performing and the visual arts”. Although much ofMark’s work is scientific in nature, Mark is also an avid photog-rapher and printmaker. In 1996, Mark co-founded Old TownEditions with partner, Chris Foley, in Alexandria, Virginia. “Ilearned digital fine art printing in its early and formative stageswith IRIS 3047 printers and the emergence of Giclée printingfor artists. Collaborating directly in the digital printmakingprocess with other artists has made me a better photographerand printmaker. To my surprise, it has also made me a betterscientist”. Because the research at AaI&A encompasses state-of-the-art

digital printing technologies, the company maintains a smallprint studio with modern wide-format inkjet printers. Theseprinters need to be used frequently in order to keep runningsmoothly. In order to accomplish this objective Mark has re-cently decided to offer the excess capacity of these amazingprinters at reasonable rates to local artists wishing to create dig-itally mastered prints, paintings, and photographs. If you are aphotographer or an artist looking for digital print output of thehighest quality and/or want to learn digital imaging and printingfrom an expert, please contact Mark.

Aardenburg Imaging & Archives, Hyde House, Lee, MA.413-243-4181,


Page 15: The Artful Mind June 2010




Abby Salsbury will have an exhibit of her monoprints, etch-ings and mixed media in the Old Chatham Country Store CaféGallery during the month of June. An artist and potter who grewup and was educated in Berkshire County, Abby and her hus-band moved to northern New Mexico in 1996. Her show iscalled “Insects, Soup Tureens and Other Strange Realities -prints and mixed media” and will be on view from June 4through June 30 with an opening reception to meet the artist onSunday afternoon, June 6 from 3 – 5 p.m.

When she was five, Abby and her family moved toHousatonic from New York City where she was born. Enrolledin a children’s workshop at the Great Barrington Pottery, shetook to ceramics immediately with teachers Liz Rudy andMichael Marcus. After her education in the Berkshire Hills Re-gional School District, where she studied art at MonumentMountain Regional High School with Primm and John ffrench,she went to Philadelphia College of Art to study ceramics withWilliam Daley, Liz Stewart and Alec Karros. She then did ayear at University of Colorado at Boulder studying with BettyWoodman and Scott Chamberlain. After their marriage in 1991,she and her husband, sculptor and furniture maker Dean Pulver,settled in the Berkshires for five years and had their studios anda gallery called The Artistry in Housatonic. While there, Abbytaught ceramics to children and adults.

In 1996 she and her husband moved to the Taos area wherethey built their earthship home and later their studios on themesa. They have been there since then, making their art andbeing very involved in the New Mexico Artists’ community.Once her ceramics line, Butterpie Productions was up and run-ning, Abby turned to making monoprints and collages. In 2007,she was selected as one of New Mexico Women in the Arts andher work was shown at the Harwood Museum in Taos.

As an artist she has participated in Art and Craft shows allacross the United States, and has won several awards. Her workhas been featured on and her work is in many privatecollections.

The Old Chatham Country Store is located in the center ofOld Chatham. Serving breakfast and lunch, the store’s hoursare 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Information aboutthe Store and its merchandise, dinner menus, and about theGallery can be found on the website at


Harry Boettjer’s love affair with the world of line and color,drawing and art, began as a child sketching in his father’s gro-cery store in pre-Depression Brooklyn. As a teenager he sold hiswork in Greenwich Village to make ends meet. The adventurouswould-be artist decided to hitchhike across the country in themidst of the Depression, ending up in Oregon where he contin-ued to paint and sketch. When he returned to New York he at-tended the Art Students League, and exhibited at the Salons ofAmerica and Forum Gallery show in 1934. He painted a criti-cally acclaimed mural for one of New York’s famous watering-holes, P.J. Moriarty’s Bar, and since his studio was in Manhattan,he was awash in other urban subjects, including city skylines,waterways and buildings.After service in World War II Boettjer returned to New York

and worked with anthropologist Margaret Mead and painted amural at the Museum of Natural History. Perhaps influenced bythe New York School (he had met Jackson Pollack), Boettjer’sstyle became colorful, dynamic, light and painterly. EdwardHopper’s influence also is evident, particularly regarding Boet-tjer’s attention to the permutations of shadows and light onbuildings during different times of day, es-pecially the structures he favored as sub-jects in Spain and on Fire Island, BlockIsland and Cape Cod. The architectural lookof a place shapes Harry Boettjer’s pictorialdrama, while an austere style, narrativesparseness, avoidance of sentimentality, in-spirational play of light and shadow, andlush brushwork make paintings like Viewof Toledo, mysteriously compelling. Boet-tjer lived and painted in Spain in the 1970s.

The Berkshire Art Gallery features awide range of 19th and early 20th centuryAmerican and European artists, and selectcontemporary artists who paint in the Berk-shires.

The Berkshire Art Gallery, 80 RailroadStreet,Great Barrington, MA. Gallery hoursare noon to 5PM, Saturdays and Sundaysall year round, or by appointment orchance. Parking for patrons is available infront of the Gallery. For information, con-tact Jack Wood at 413-528-2690 or

Party MusicExtraordinaire!

Formerly at New York’s*Rainbow Room

*Waldorf-Astoria Hotel*Windows On The World

TThhee EElleeggaanntt SStt rrooll ll iinngg VViioo lliinn--DDuuoo

BARBARA & JOSEPHFIDDLERS TWO residing in the beautiful Berkshires,will bring the melodies you love“from Broadway to Vienna”

to your special event.

Enjoy “magical” renditions of show tunes,Gershwin, Porter, Italian, French, Viennese favorites...

and your guests’ requests!

Perfect for your ...*Home Entertaining

*Formal Dinner *Gala Event*Civic/Business Function *Wedding!

For information & brochure, please call(413)458-1984

Fiddlers Two is a unit of The Black Tie Orchestra

“Barbara and Joseph – Fiddlers Two – performers for many years at the

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC. Seenabove at a Waldorf NY’s Eve celebration.”

A Gala Fundraiser:Featuring The Hevreh Ensemble

“Original World Chamber Music”Jeff Adler- Composer, Bass Clarinet, Native American, Flutes & Percussion

Judith Dansker- OboeOboe D’amore, English Horn & Native American Flutes

Laurie Friedman- Clarinet, Native American Flutes and Percussion Adam Morrison- Keyboard

THURSDAY JULY 22ND 8:00 PMHevreh of Southern Berkshire ~ 270 State RoadGreat Barrington, MA


RESERVATIONS: 413-528-6378 [email protected]

STEPHEN FILMUSTHE LENOX GALLERY OF FINE ARTThis painting by Stephen Filmus depicts a summer day on

the banks of the Housatonic. The river and Berkshire farmlandbeyond are framed by a small grove of birch.

Filmus’ artwork reflects the essence of the Berkshire land-scape. His ability to perceive and interpret the character of thescene results in a believable sense of place.

Stephen Filmus lives and works in Great Barrington, Mas-sachusetts and has lived in the Berkshires for many years wherehe has established his reputation and following. His work is innumerous collections and he has exhibited widely includingDavid Findlay Jr. Fine Art in New York and locally at the Berk-shire Museum and the Norman Rockwell Museum.There will be an opening reception for the artist at the Lenox

Gallery of Fine Art on Saturday, August 7, 1 -5pm.Stephen’s work can be seen at the Lenox Gallery of Fine Art,

69 Church Street, Lenox, MA. 413-637-2276 and


1897 - 1965, FRENCH.

Page 16: The Artful Mind June 2010



Twenty years ago, Tannery Pond Concerts had its inauguralseason in the beautiful wooden post and beam Shaker build-ing, once a tannery, where we have been ever since. That sea-son was emblematic of the aim of our artistic director,Christian Steiner, to present young talent working to establisha performing career as well as to bring established world-classperformers to our community. The very first Tannery concert featured the 21-year-old vi-

olinist Chee-Yun and pianist and famed chamber music pro-moter Charles Wadsworth. Chee-Yun had just won acompetition sponsored by the Young Concert Artists; over theyears since, she has become a sought-after violinist who hasperformed with the world’s major orchestras. Many of theyoung performers who have appeared at the Tannery havegone on to similar success, helped early in their career by thechance to perform at respected venues like Tannery that recog-nize and encourage burgeoning great talent. And though thatconcert did not sell out, others that season did, including theperformances of the already famous Jessye Norman and theEmerson String Quartet.The performers who have filled the Tannery these last 20

years are exceptional and read like a who’s who in the classi-cal music hall of fame: Midori, Gil Shaham, Jaime Laredo,Jeremy Denk, Maria Joao Pires, Stephen Hough, RichardGoode, Roberto Diaz, Carter Brey, Christopher O’Riley,David Finckel, Christine Brewer, Ben Heppner, Susan Gra-ham, Maureen O’Flynn, Todd Palmer, Paula Robison, the Bor-romeao, Emerson, Lark and St. Lawrence String Quartets toname but a very few.This summer, we also a program of wonderful musicians;

Brentano String Quartet, Paula Robison, Romero Lubambo &Cyro Baptista Trio, Jeremy Denk, Kirill Gerstein, VivicaGenaux & Craig Rutenberg, Jennifer Frautschi, Eric Rusk, &Pedja Muzijevic, and to end our season on September 25th,Alon Goldstein with actors, Robert Mackenzie, MarkusHirnigel & Stephanie Schmiederer.

Located on the grounds of Darrow School, New Lebanon,NY. For detail information, please go to and/or 888-820-1696.

THE MUSIC STOREAs the Berkshires’ summer symphony begins, we at the

Music Store celebrate our second summer in our new loca-tion, at the end of the Railroad Street extension in Great Bar-rington. Acclaimed as one of the area’s best music stores, TheMusic Store specializes in fine, folk and unusual musical in-struments, accessories, supplies and music motif gifts. The Music Store offers music lovers and musicians of all

ages and abilities a myriad of musical merchandise that willhelp them illuminate the longest winter night and enliven theshortest day. Music lovers and professional and amateur musi-cians alike will find an exciting array of both new and usedname-brand and hand-made instruments, extraordinary folkinstruments and one of the Northeast’s finest selections ofstrings and reeds. Music Store customers enjoy fine luthier handmade classi-

cal guitars, the peerless Irish Avalon steel string guitars, thebrand new Baden Pantheon USA guitars as well as the hand-made Badens including the USA Handmade Bourgeois/Pan-theon Baden and guitars from other fine lines includingAvalon, Rainsong and Takamine, as well as Alvarez, and Lunaand from designers including Greg Bennett. Acoustic andelectric guitars from entry to professional level instrumentsare available. Famous names including consignment Ricken-backer, Gibson, Gretsch and Fender guitars and basses joinless-well known brands which appeal to those seeking highquality but are on tight budgets, providing any guitarist atempting cornucopia of playing possibilities. A wide varietyof Ukuleles (including the Connecticut made Flues and Fleas)join banjos, mandolins and dulcimers as well.Unusual instruments are also available, including the Con-

necticut-made Fluke and Flea Ukeleles and the peerless andlovely Stockbridge-made Serenity bamboo and walking stickflutes. New and used student orchestral and band instrumentsare available, including violins from $159 to $3000. An ex-tensive array of international strings and reeds provideschoices for the newest student to the symphony performer.Children’s instruments, as well as a fine line of internationalpercussion including middle eastern and hand made Africaninstruments along with many choices of industry standarddrums, stands, heads and sticks, as well as tuners, forks andmetronomes can be found as well. All new instruments are backed by The Music Store’s life-

time warranty which provides free set-up and adjustments onany new instrument sold. For repair and restoration andmaintenance of fine stringed instruments - guitars, banjos,mandolins and the like - The Music Store’s repair shop offersexpert luthiery at reasonable prices on instruments of all lev-els, as well as authorized repairs on Warwick Basses, andLowden and Takamine guitars. Those in search of the perfect present for music lovers will

find a treasure trove of gift favorites such as bumper stickers(“Driver Singing,” “Go Home and Practice,” Tune it or Die”and more), tee shirts, caps, scarves, miniature musical instru-ments and instrument magnets, nightshirts, music motif mugs,socks, totes and ties. Small bronze and metal musician statuesand cuddly ‘Music Lover’ stuffed animals, whistle pops andearrings add additional possibilities to gift giving customers. A proud server of the community for over nine years, The

Music Store’s warm and friendly staff are available for help intuning, stringing or instrument repair. Help in choosingtuners, capos, mutes shoulder rests and strings is as happilygiven as help in selecting instruments themselves. Since ourmission is to support and encourage our musical community,consultation and advice are always free. Professional musicians seeking the finest or unusual

strings or accessories are welcome to call in advance. We willmake every effort to satisfy the need!For capos to kazoos,guiros to congas, rainsticks to violins, bows to bodhrans, man-dolins to ukeleles, strings to reeds and rods, sticks and ear-phones to microphones and stands, local artist’s CDs andharmonicas to picture frames and scarves, music motif orna-ments and more.

The Music Store, 87 Railroad Street, Great Barrington,Massachusetts, open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 to6, and on Sundays from 12 to 5. Call 413-528-2460 or emailus at [email protected]. And look for us on Facebook at TheMusic Store Plus for special tips and events!

THE HEVREH ENSEMBLEORIGINALWORLD CHAMBER MUSICOn Thursday July 22 at 8 PM, Hevreh of Southern Berkshire

will present a Gala Fundraiser Concert featuring The HevrehEnsemble; a group that performs original World ChamberMusic by group member and composer, Jeff Adler. The mem-bers of the ensemble are Jeff Adler- Composer, Bass Clarinet,Native American Flutes & Percussion; Judith Dansker- Oboe,Oboe D’amore, English Horn & Native American Flutes; Lau-rie Friedman- Clarinet, Native American Flutes and Percussion;Adam Morrison- Keyboard.

The Hevreh Ensemble was formed in 2001 when oboist Ju-dith Dansker invited a group of acclaimed musicians to performa special Selichot concert for Hevreh of Southern Berkshire inGreat Barrington, Massachusetts. Based in New York City,the members have performed concerts at such venues as: theNational Yiddish Book Center- Amherst, Massachusetts, TheNorthampton Center for the Arts, Arizona Jewish Historical So-ciety, The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, Harlem Schoolof the Arts, New York City, Synagogue for the Arts, New YorkCity among many others and are currently Ensemble in Resi-dence for Hevreh of Southern Berkshire. The members of the ensemble have honored by and affiliated

with organizations such as: The Juilliard School, ManhattanSchool of Music, Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center), CarnegieRecital Hall, The Library of Congress (Washington, DC),Merkin concert Hall (New York City), The Blossom Music Fes-tival-Cleveland Orchestra and Hofstra University, among manyothers. Hevreh Ensemble performances have been called “spiritually

uplifting” and: “strikingly original”. The ensemble will travel toEastern Europe in September 2010, where they will present con-certs in Prague and Poland. They have also recently been invitedto present concerts for the Segal Centre in Montreal and are cur-rently planning a collaboration with the Brooklyn College Acad-emy in New York, where they will present concert andworkshops for students from the BCA World Ensemble. Theyhave also been invited to present concerts for the Hofstra Uni-versity Emily Lowe Art Gallery in conjunction with two up-coming art exhibits: “Soweto” The 30th Anniversary ofthe Uprising” and an exhibit by Holocaust survivor and painterYonia Fain.

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Road, Great Bar-rington, MA.,[email protected]. Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 atdoor. Reservations: 413-528-6378.

Page 17: The Artful Mind June 2010


ASTON MAGNAThe Aston Magna Festival celebrates its 38th year with a

tasty menu of 17th and 18th century music presented in theHudson Valley and in the Berkshires (Bard College on Fridayevenings at 8pm, and Simon’s Rock College on Saturdayevenings at 6pm; see the website for more details). Performedon period instruments and in historical instrumental and vocalstyles, the Festival’s musicians aim to illuminate the culturaland historical background of the featured works, as well as pre-senting colorful and entertaining fare. A pre-concert lecture onehour before each concert will further contextualize the music.Here is a brief description of the four programs’ content:I. Aston Magna’s Artistic Director, baroque violinist Daniel

Stepner, plays the three Partitas for solo violin by J. S. Bach.These works, along with the three unaccompanied Sonatas, con-stitute a sort of Old Testament for violinists. The Partitas aredance suites, and Stepner will chat briefly between these works,focusing on how the many dance forms included in these col-lections make up a sort of travelogue – a tour of dances fromboth the old world and the new. [June 18 at Bard; June 19 atSimon’s Rock]

II. “Mozart’s Winds I” features classical oboist StephenHammer and clarinetist Eric Hoeprich, along with a string en-semble. Both Hoeprich and Hammer are internationally ac-claimed performers/scholars on their respective instruments andhave recorded extensively. Both custom-make their own instru-ments based on historical models. Mr. Hoeprich recently pub-lished an engaging and exhaustive history of his instrument(The Clarinet, Yale University Press).Rounding out this program is an early 19th century arrange-

ment of Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante, for string sextet. [June25 at Bard; June 26 at Simon’s Rock.]

III. Aston Magna celebrates the 300th birthday of theNeopolitan master Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, known for hisStabat Mater, but more so for his comic opera La Serva Padrona(The Maid Made Mistress), which is be presented in full here,with recitatives in English and arias in the original Italian. Also on the program is Pergolesi’s little known cantata Orfeo,

for tenor and strings, and a trio sonata which attentive listenerswill recognize as music Stravinsky appropriated for his Pul-cinella. Soprano Kristen Watson, tenor Frank Kelley, and bari-tone David Ripley, will be accompanied by an instrumentalensemble will be led by Daniel Stepner. [July 9 at Bard; July10 at Simon’s Rock].IV. A multi-media program entitled What Artemisia Heard,

directed by lutenist/guitarist Richard Savino. Artemisia Gen-tileschi, one of the great unsung painters from early 17th cen-tury Italy, lived a dramatic, sometimes violent life in severalcountries, and knew many of the prominent musicians of hertime. [July 16 at Bard, July 17 at Simon’s Rock].

Aston Magna -


The distant memories of angle voices …Choral works created by Vladimir Pleshakov and presented

by Aoede at St. Patrick Church in Watervliet on Saturday, June19, 7 p.m., offer a unique world class experience that is bothrare as it is special.Most people, event those familiar with choral works, don’t

have a great familiarity with the Russian Orthodox Choral tra-ditions that span centuries. Vladimir’s works burst out of thistradition of keeping a surprisingly light lyric feel in the rollingSlavonic tongue. Having spent his first 16 years growing up inChina, Vladimir has subtle hints of eastern influence in hisworks as well as touches of more modern choral works of theearly 20th century. The fusion created takes a complex structurethat fits lightly on the ear, yet rich in tradition and warmth.

This bold undertaking faces stiff competition from greatRussian composers from the past who left a few masterpiecesin that genre, especially Rimsky-Korsakoff, Tchaikovsky and,above all, Rachmaninoff. Vladimir’s music is sufficiently inde-pendent of these works, and he is happy to take up the chal-lenge.

The world premier will take place in St. Patrick’s Church,patterned after the Church in Lourdes France, which providesone of the best if not best acoustics for the human voice in up-state New York.Vladimir is known as a world class pianist, often performing

with his equally talented wife Elena. His new choral works arerecent, starting with a gushing of creativity after a recent hos-pital stay, the work has flowed from him in months on complexworks that may have taken others years to compose are beingcaptured as part of a documentary in an attempt to peer into thecreative process.

Performed by Aœde Consort (directed by Dan Foster), theCapital Region’s Premier Chamber Choir, Aoede’s focus onnew works was a solid fit with Vladimir, a group willing to takerisks on new works and composers, yet with the quality andenergy to take on the challenge of an aggressive powerful newwork. The mix of the performers, space and composer create anevent that should not be missed.

The Music of Vladimir Pleshakov, Saturday, June 19, 20107:00 p.m., St. Patrick’s Church, 515 19th Street, Watervliet, NY12189, $20 suggested donation.,[email protected], 518-263-3330.

FRONT STREET GALLERYRemember during difficult times the best investment is

something that uplifts the spirit. There is no greater gift than awonderful painting. Please come pick one out and make everyday of your life richer. Ongoing large selection of still life andBerkshire landscapes. All work sold at “recession concession”prices. Time payments accepted by appointment or chance.

The Front St. Gallery was established fifteen years ago byseven local artists; Kate Knapp was one of the original founders.Designed as a cooperative showing many Berkshire artists’work, today it is not only a gallery but primarily Kate Knapp’sstudio. The space is obviously a working studio with many racksfilled with canvases new and old, offering a great choice to any-one interested in looking. Kate has been studying art for 40years. Her paintings are found in collections all over the country. Front St. Gallery is a beautiful and intriguing space located

next to the Corner Market looking out at the mountains andpassing trains. The paintings hanging on the walls are filled withcolor and light reflecting Kate’s training in the impressionistschool. There are portraits, still life’s and landscapes done in oiland watercolor. Wonderful paintings of the rivers, farms andflowers found in the Berkshires are inspiring. There are also vi-brant seascapes painted on Block Island, RI., where Kate has ahome and loves to paint. The key word here is “loves”. Thesepaintings are filled with an intense joy and passion for life. Thewild rapids of the river, old farm trucks parked in a field withcows and waves breaking on rocks and shore are painted withgreat feeling. Prices are negotiable. Spring and Summer Classes at Front Street studio now open

for registration...Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. PaintingClasses are held Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 to 1 pm atthe gallery/studio. Thursday class is planned, from 9:30 - 1 pmat different locations, and to be announced weekly. The cost is$30 per class and it is for beginners to advanced, all mediumsare welcome.

Front St. Gallery, Housatonic, MA. 413-274 6607, and 413-528-9546, 413-429-7141.


152 Main St, Great Barrington (next to Eagle Shoe and Boot)

413-528-0013 (Tues - Sat 10:30-6 pm)

The Berkshire Gold & Silversmith

In the GALLERY : JUNE ...Ken and Debra Story, woodburnings // Thomas Parker, Photography

THOMAS PARKERJewelry Designer

Silver and semi precious stones. Artfully designed and handcrafted jewelry pieces.

Isn’t it time to have something especially designed for you?

Page 18: The Artful Mind June 2010


He has been called one of the great painters of his generation.His paintings adorn the homes and offices of some of the morepowerful people on the planet. Yet Roger Mason is still a familiarsight on the streets of Columbia County, putting final strokes ona canvass that captures a moment of time.

Jan Constantine, Gen. Counsel of The Authors Guild and Part-ner of Constantine Cannon LLP, along with her husband, LloydConstantine, writer and Counsel of Constantine Cannon LLP, di-vide their time between New York City and Chatham. They areart aficionados and great admirers of Mason’s work.

“From the moment I saw Roger’s Hudson and Chatham scenesI was hooked,” said Mrs. Constantine. “We have two of his paint-ings in our New York apartment to remind us that we need a coun-try fix. The familiar scenes together with the fabulous colorsmakes Roger’s work a “must have” for Lloyd and me.”

When asked what was so special about Roger Mason’s paint-ings, Mr. Constantine said it lay in Mason’s ability to capture emo-tional components with his unique use of color.

“I love the way he uses color,” Mr. Constantine said. “He usescolor to create mood. To me he creates a kind of mood with hiscolor that Edward Hopper did. His work strikes me as the samekind of mood as Los Angeles, 1944. I look at his stuff and think,China Town, LA Confidential, or True Confessions.”

Mr. Constantine added that Mason creates a mood with the

subject matter he uses as well. “I also like the fact that he has be-come the painter laureate of the area,” he said. “Roger has chosento preserve various scenes of the area. In that way, he is a histo-rian. Jan and I have several paintings of his. The one I like mostis an evening scene of the Hudson train station. It’s an importantplace to preserve.

“Art is like food,” he added. “We either like it or we don’t. Itdoesn’t matter what the specific ingredients are. Food either tastesgood or it doesn’t. Roger’s art really tastes good. I could tell youabout the specifics, but the bottom line is that I really like it.”

Mason has never tried to sell his art. “People have alwaysfound me. Andy Warhol sold his work because he was a greatmarketer. I am not.”

While Mason divides his time between other areas in the coun-try, including Telluride, Colorado, he chose to live in Chathambecause it is a remarkable place. “I could be anywhere, but I needa place to hide my hat. This place speaks to me.”

Mason first blew through Chatham in 1968. The little upstateNew York town had an anachronistic sense to him. Although itwas in the 1970s, it seemed to Mason that Chatham was still in thelate 1940s, early 1950s.

For starters, Jack Palladino gave him a meat tray to mix hispaints from the butcher shop. Then Mason found an old woodeneasel that he realized would fit in his 1963 Chevy.

“I went out and started to use it,” he said. “Sculptor Steve Daywould come up and watch me paint. It took me a long time tofigure out what I was doing, especially with the night paintings Idid under mercury vapor lamplight. I had no idea of what colorsI was using. I wasn’t taking it seriously when I was doing it, butwhen I put it under incandescent light it took on a life of its own.”

As an artist who needs stimulation and input, Mason’s favoritetime to paint is at night. “I like being in the moment,” he said.“It’s not that I like danger, but there is something so lonely at nightthat I have to paint my way out of it. It is part of the adventure.”

While he was exploring Chatham one evening, a neon signcaught his eye. No one was there. He was compelled to paint.

It was the first place Mason felt comfortable painting outside.As a student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, Mason was intim-idated to paint outside the studio because it was dangerous. “I wasused to having coke bottles thrown at me,” he joked. One nightwhile painting, a man pulled a gun on Mason. What seemed likea minutes Mason stood with a .44 magnum pointed in front of hisface.

Mason has painted in some spooky places. “I really enjoypainting at night,” he said. “What I’m doing is transferring emo-tion. I do this by translating light into pigment. To me, imagesare much more abstract at night than they appear.”

Some artists see color when they paint or images that pull them


Written by StephanieCampbell

Photographed by Thad Kubis

Page 19: The Artful Mind June 2010


into the canvas. For Mason, it is music that resonates throughhis head which often energizes his brush – specifically, Rocka-billy Blues, like John Lee Hooker’s music.

When Mason first began showing his art in New York City,during the 1980s, no one was doing Representatioanalism.“Now everyone and their mother are doing that,” Mason said.“It’s always been what’s been in my head.”

His paintings are about real stories, either accidental or oth-erwise, and there is a direct connection between where the artistwas emotionally while painting and the piece itself. The lateactor David Carradine once asked Mason to accompany him toIraq. Mason agreed, only if he could bring his paints with him.“It’s how I assimilate my life,” he recalled. “I really paint withmy heart.”

While Mason has been imitated by other artists, he never im-itated anyone other than himself. His preoccupation with theawning at the Grainery on Main Street, for example, is an imagethat has shown up in several of his works and has a story all ofits own. While painting one Fourth of July, Mason noticed theawning was casting a shadow on the old barbershop that used tobe next to the Grainery. It appeared turquoise. “It was a pieceof modern art to me,” Mason said. “I was painting the turquoiseshadow and then put the other stuff in it as filler.”

He was recently told that another painter who is a fan of hiswork is now copying Mason’s style and painting awnings. “Icould probably make a good living doing Wal-Mart pictures,”he laughed. Then he became serious. “I couldn’t do that. Iwould die.”

Mason’s work has evolved over the quarter of a century thathe has been showing his work. It has changed – become better,faster, and more specific. When he was in art school he studiedGerman Expressionism. But his work isn’t German Expres-sionism. He does not go out in the street and draw. The German

Expressionists taught themselves by being outside and drawing.But to Mason, painting and drawing is two distinctly differentthings. “For me, painting is more like sculpture,” he said. “It’slayers and layers of sculpting.”

Considering that Mason started his artistic career as a marblesculptor, the layering technique he uses makes sense. ForMason, painting is a process where certain colors move back-wards and forwards.

“It feels like I’m carving something in the rectangle canvas,where depth and light are crucial,” he said. “I’m fabricatingthat; making it up as I go along. And I’m doing it with pigment.It’s not like Trump Royale or fooling the dice. It’s like I have achisel and I’m chiseling the paint. Maybe I’ll actually chiselwith marble one day but right now I’m working with paint.”

Mason refers to the Hudson train station painting to describethe process. “I would go to Hudson every night and paint thetrain station,” he said. “It took a long time. I was hanging ontoto that painting for dear life. I painted it during my divorcewhich was excruciating. But I was miserable and needed some-thing to help me through it. It manifested itself. How do youpaint misery? I don’t know. How do you paint a clown funny?”

Painting for Mason is a way to process emotional experi-ences. It is his emotional experience that is on display on thecanvas.

“I am bad with words,” he said. “I could talk the ass off adead mule but I paint because I’m not a good writer. If youhave to explain the painting in a lot of words, then I think youfailed as a painter. Picasso used to say a lot of things but notabout his paintings. The paintings tell the story.”

Each painting really does tell a different story. Although it ishard to generalize Mason’s work, one could call it a dialogue indisguise. “I look to choose things that the subject matter is ter-

tiary,” he said. “It helps when the subject has a sense of mys-tery. Some people think that I just paint old buildings but that’snot the case. It has to say something to me.” He jokes, “Some-times they whisper obscenities to me in Spanish…but they talkto me…”

There is a stark difference between his day and night paint-ings. Most people either like one style or the other. There is akind of hellishness to the night paintings. But they can also beviewed as a light study. Daylight is a whole other thing. Lightis obviously different during the day. But at night, Mason usesthe light of the moon to paint. He first started painting inChatham when his son (who is also now an internationally per-forming musician) kept him awake at night.

There is a tradition in Europe called the nocturnes – thosewho work at night. Musically, the term nocturne was applied topieces of music that were created during the eighteenth centuryand played at night. The word was later used to describe amovement among artists in the nineteenth century.

Mason’s nocturne pieces have a quality that can be describedas tranquil, expressive and lyrical, sometimes containing a senseof intense melancholy. But they are always a beautiful arrange-ment of colors in harmony – sometimes contrastingly so. Lightand color always play off each other in an elegant dance thatdraws the viewer into the artist’s soul.

Although he has been compared to Hopper, Mason pointedout that Hopper’s most famous pieces were from photographs.As to the question of what the difference is between art and il-lustration, Mason responded that he is not an illustrator; he is apainter.

“I am a sculptor of pigment,” he replied. “It is hard for meto put into words. But I am using paint to build something oncanvass that is three-dimensional. Not to sound trite, but I lovethe process.” Continued on next page...

Paintings on wall by Roger Mason, from his studio

Page 20: The Artful Mind June 2010


Roger Mason One wonders whether or not the craving to address some un-

spoken need is ever satisfied when an artist paints. Mason saidthat when he paints, he falls short of the feeling of satisfaction.“I am never truly satisfied with my work,” he said. “I alwaysfeel as though I can do better. But that is what propels me andkeeps me working.”

Mason used to destroy paintings that were particularly unsat-isfying to him, although now he does much less of that. One ofhis patrons saved a painting he worked on that was of the insideof the Crandall Theater. Mason painted it during the week theserial killer Wiley Gates murdered members of his family. Thepainting looks like an interpretation of the gates of hell openingup.

“I didn’t know that at the time, but I was picking up on some-thing unbeknownst to me,” he said. “Now the painting is ownedby the head of the Rockefeller Institute.”

Mason knows how to tell a good story. As far-fetched assome stories may sound, what is intriguing is that they are true.He is not one to name-drop for the sake of getting attention. In-stead, he shares pieces of himself, his life, and those close tohim, with others. That many of the friends he keeps are oftencelebrities is irrelevant to him.

Take this story for instance: “In 1988 I was painting inProvence, France. A guy came out of the darkness and said,‘you’re painting with a light on your head.’ The guy ended upbuying the painting and paid for my whole trip. He was sort ofmy mentor.” That guy turned out to be the famous Canadiansculptor, Jim Ritchie.

His stories begin with his larger-than-life father, a World WarII hero.

“I just lost him a few years ago but it took me my whole lifeto figure him out,” Mason said of the 6”4 paratrooper whojumped out of a plane into machine gun fire in Normandy andlater out of a truck during the Battle of the Bulge.

Mason carries a piece of his father’s parachute in his wallet,who rarely spoke to anyone about his experiences in the war.Before his father died, however, Mason wanted him to talkabout it. So he told his son a couple of stories.

“He described jumping out of the plane at 600 feet and seeingbullets going through the floor of the plane,” Mason said. “Hespoke about planes going down in flames and knowing thatthere were guys in those planes who were dying. What reallyfreaked him out was opening the gates of the Dachau concentra-tion camp. I remember he said he could smell the camp tenmiles away.”

Mason’s father also received a citation for going behindenemy lines and mining a bridge on the Salm River, in Belgium.“He fell in the water, which was 10 degrees below zero,” Masonsaid. “When the bridge blew, witnesses said that thing went amile high.”

It took Mason 50 years to understand his father, who wasfeatured in Time Magazine and the New York Times as one ofthe troops walking in Normandy in June 1944. In the photo, sixmen are walking. It turned out that only Mason’s father sur-vived the war.

Oddly enough, Mason’s father himself had wanted to be apainter.

“When he was in Holland, he landed in a guy’s backyard andhid in his foxhole for a month. The Dutchman who owned theproperty was a painter and taught him how to use a brush,”Mason said. “I remember the smell of paints as a kid. My fatherand I were closer than I thought, even though I was the badboy.”

Neither of Mason’s brothers was interested in painting.Mason recalls polishing his father’s parachute boots, but oneday his father threw everything out. “I wasn’t even allowed tohave a BB gun growing up,” he said.

When his father passed away in December 2004, Mason re-calls having dizzy spells. “I felt him dying, “he said. “We werereally connected. I’m still processing it.”

Much to his mother’s chagrin, Mason first knew he was goingto be a painter when he was eight-years old. His dad gave him

his oil paints and Mason would do comic book characters. “Itried to paint a tree and it didn’t work,” he said.

The connection between art and music has been intertwinedmost of Mason’s life. Although Mason studied art at Pratt In-stitute, he had already begun his music career long before he setfoot in college.

It was competition combined with an illness that startedMason on the serious path to music. During his teens, Masoncame down with mono and was out of school for almost a year.His father gave him a beautiful Gibson guitar. Day and nightMason played that guitar, so that by the time he emerged fromhis illness, he was a skinny, gaunt teenager who knew how tostrum. Mason played in his first band when he was 14-yearsold with musician Mark Johnson and traded his guitar for a bass.That same guitar now sells for $22,000 and the bass is worth$600, but Johnson gave Mason a career.

“It saved me from a home life with mom drinking 15 pots ofcoffee a day with a three-pack Chester cigarette habit, and dadwith PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder),” he said. Mason’smother later died from emphysema, denying that cigarettes hadanything to do with her terminal illness.

Although music came easy, art school did not for the young

artist. While everyone else was flinging paint at their canvasses,Mason looked out the window and watched as raindrops driedon the copper roof. It started his preoccupation with realism.

“I remember a guy asking me as I was packing up to leaveart school if I was going to be a painter or a musician,” Masonsaid. “I told him I didn’t know. I still don’t. Each one compli-ments the other.”

The music has been fun for him, while painting has alwaysbeen work, in part because his sense of reality always chang-ing.

Among the musical giants Mason has played with are BobDylan, Itzhak Perlman, John Denver, members of The Band, theCarradine Brothers, and even produced Levon Helm’s producerLarry Campbell, to name a few.

For 13 years, Mason played music on Broadway for showssuch as “The Best Little Whore-House in Texas, The RobberBridegroom”, and “Fox Fire”, where he met Keith Carradine,Hume Cronyn, and the late Jessica Tandy, who became surro-gate parents to the young musician/artist.

“She used to run her fingers in my hair and call me Samson,”he recalls of Tandy. He sold his first painting to Tandy when he



Page 21: The Artful Mind June 2010


Roger Mason

was working on Broadway. Mason painted with emotion, ratherthan any specific technique. People would drive by and hootand holler at him, but he kept on painting. Now he makes a liv-ing as a painter, but ask him how it happened, and he’ll say hedoesn’t know.

Mason was represented in Colorado by a woman who usedto work for Elvis Presley and in the past 15 years his paintingshave appeared in the living rooms of the likes of the head of theNew York Commodities and Exchange Commission, the CEOsof ATT, Sony, Ford Motor Company, the Weather Channel,EBay, Time Warner, Goldman Sachs, Outback Steak House,Jack Chrysler, Robert Altman, Sir Rex Harrison, and Daryl Han-nah.

Throughout the years, Mason sold paintings out of his studioin Chatham and traveled throughout the US and Europe to paint

scenes he found stimulating.

“Chatham was always the home when I was away at the of-fice,” he said of the places he traveled to. “There are a lot ofpeople I like here, although many of the old timers are gonenow.”

The liquor store on Church Street was the first outdoor loca-tion Mason painted. He moved on to Delson’s DepartmentStore. The Delson sign is in his basement. It’s one of Mason’squirks: he always walks away with a souvenir of a place hepaints.

The reason he paints on sight is because Mason has no mem-ory whatsoever. “I don’t know how to operate a camera, still,”he said.

An entire generation of painters has been impacted by hiswork. Like his father, Mason has appeared in the New YorkTimes and Microsoft featured him in an article before he evenowned a computer. He has painted in France, Cuba, Colorado,Tahiti, Corsica, had a great show in the Netherlands, painted allover Buenos Aires, Mexico, and said that Key West was good.Tuscany was great, and he’d like to go back to Tokyo and stayfor a while, while New Mexico Mason came close to experienc-ing his own version of God. And if all goes well, he intends tobe the first painter on the moon.

“Can you imagine those night scenes with the earth rising,”he asks.

But for now Mason moves from his studio in the ChathamClocktower to the streets that call to him, and everywhere thereis light or darkness outside with a signature cigar, preferablyCuban, to smoke.

“Light and Astigmatism,” a solo exhibition of recent oilpaintings by Roger Mason will be on view at Park Row Galleryin Chatham, NY from June 11th - July 31st. There will be a memorable reception with the artist on Saturday, July 10th from4pm-6pm, and the public is cordially invited to attend. For further information, please call Jeff Risley or Park Row

Gallery at (518) 392-4800, or visit:



Page 22: The Artful Mind June 2010




Masterʼs of Education, Certified by Healing theLight Body School of the Four Winds Society

to practice Luminous Healing & EnergyMedicine. Macrobiotic counseling is

also available when appropriate.

For information or to schedule a session pleasecall: 413-446-5712Nixsa M. Mills

231 Hartsville NM Rd., New Marlborough, MA

KARI J. AMDAHL, MAPychotherapist

• Traditional Talk Therapy• Cognitive & Dialectical Behavioral Therapies• Mindfulness Approach• Art and Dream Work• Body-centered Approaches

413-528-6121 Great Barrington, MASliding Scale Fee • See press release in this issue

JJuunnee 22001100 bbyy EErriicc FFrraanncciissJupiter and Uranus arrive in Aries this month, forming a

spectacular, visionary conjunction on the Aries Point -- thefirst degree of the zodiac. For all of us, this is a leap-aheadpoint; a chance to embrace a new dimension of potential andto release the emotional and mental baggage that has held usback in the past. I know that every self-help book ever writtenoffers a prescription to help us do precisely this. Victor Hugosaid that nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time hascome. Now, imagine this applies directly to you.

Aries (March 20-April 19)There are times when we try to redefine ourselves, and times

when we simply discover that we're someone new. Despite yourbest efforts to assert who you are, events this month will giveyou a whole new basis for how you know yourself, think ofyourself and relate to your own existence. This sounds like atall order, I know, though the astrology is not subtle. You'relikely to discover that the most significant developments areones that were in progress for many years prior to their becom-ing obvious. And they relate to whom you associate with asmuch as how you consider yourself: the two are closely related.Let new encounters give you the space and freedom to be a newperson.Taurus (April 19-May 20)

You exist with a 'self within yourself', and this can be con-fusing, or challenging, because it's not always possible to accessthat inner being. Then there are times when that entity an-nounces its presence and gets your attention. You may find your-self making decisions based on entirely different criteria; youmay find yourself in a struggle to resist or deny the innerchanges you feel. It's never easy to be at odds with who you are.True, being entirely oneself presents certain challenges, but atleast they are part of a quest for authentic existence. We are en-tering a time of mandatory integrity -- and for you, that meansbeing true to your existence from the inside out.Gemini (May 20-June 21)

You don't ask too much from life, but rather far too little.Life is offering you a series of opportunities to see what is pos-sible, and to allow that to expand the bounds of your perception.Observe the extent to which you've allowed the groups of peopleyou surround yourself with to define who you are. You've beentired of this for a while, and you appear ready for the alternative:to make your own scene. This means to step out of what's ex-pected of you in such a vivid way that you take leadership inyour own life, and in the world around you. When you're done,you will be surrounded by people who you influence more thanthey influence you.Cancer (June 21-July 22)You now have the freedom to break through any glass ceiling

that's holding you back: particularly in your career, but in truth,in any other aspect of your existence. In your continuous questfor perfection, or truth (depending on the day), you may haveoverlooked the prerogative to define your existence in your ownway: this, as a divine right. It is true, your parents thought ofyou a certain way, and as you grew older, you made a series ofrevisions in the name of practicality. The options you now have,and the potential that is about to come due, will help you breakfree from the past, and assert your freedom to choose in ways

that you would have never imagined possible.Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)We are all limited by our beliefs, and by our idea of what we

think is possible. You seem to be aware that how you defineyourself simultaneously defines your potential experience.Therefore, stretch all your definitions of yourself: what you'recapable of, where you will travel, how far you will take yourcreative aspirations and most of all your faith. It's true that theangle where the most spectacular astrology occurs this month ison the angle where we look for information about religious in-fluences or ideas about the 'higher self'. For you, I would saythat agenda item one is: having faith in yourself. Logic and rea-son will get you so far; then you will take the leap.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)One of the most popular discussions in self-help circles these

days involves the notion of 'sacred contracts'. An extension ofthe idea of karma (cause and effect). Caroline Myss, a proponentof this idea, says, "I believe that we each agree to the terms ofour contract before entering the physical realm of this world."But since most of us don't remember that realm of reality, it's alittle like waking up and telling you that you're subject to anagreement you made while you were talking in your sleep. Foryou, this is a moment of choosing as regards all contracts, agree-ments and understandings, whether made 'consciously' or not,whether in this realm or some other. To do this will require beingalert and awake to an unprecedented degree, though that is al-ways the price of freedom.Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)

Everything is a relationship, and every relationship comesback to the one you have with yourself. Now is the time to takeit to heart; to see the process in action. Certain events this monthwill seem to be coming from 'outside of you' -- that is, originat-ing entirely in circumstance, or in the minds of others. And yes,you have the ability, the responsibility and indeed the privilegeof responding. Yet what, that you are experiencing, has its ori-gins in your own consciousness and life path? What choiceshave you made that have led you to this moment? Note, you'resubject to those choices but you're not a prisoner of them. Infact, the more clearly you see that your vision is what you get,the more you're likely to refine your vision and therefore createwhat you wantScorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)After 20 years of doing metaphysical consulting I have come

to the conclusion that most people don't know they exist. I knowthat many think they know they exist, but thinking you knowsomething and actually knowing it are two different matters.You are in one of those moments where you discover, and knowbeyond any doubt, that you are actually part of this world. Yetto maintain that awareness takes vigilance. It's not like collect-ing your bachelor's degree. It is possible to forget that you areboth in and of the world, and that your awareness and thereforeability to choose is the most prominent driving factor of yourexperience. You are about to have some radical wakening ex-periences, and to make the most of your life, you would be wellserved to remember: that you exist.Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)You're entering one of the most creative, adventurous phases

of your life. In the process, you're likely to encounter shadowmaterial: fear, guilt, hidden issues and unexpected consequencesof past actions. You might say, 'I wish I could have the creativepart without the shadow part'. Yet one of the gifts of authenticcreativity is to give the shadow a purpose, and to use it to ad-vance your life rather than set you back. This, you see, is thetrue creative process: it not only creates what is new, it dealswith what has come before, and reinterprets it. Indeed, I doubtthere would be much creativity without the abundant shadowmaterial on our level of existence. Hopefully it won't be longbefore oil companies figure this out, but if your chart meansanything, you can get the benefits of this equation right now.Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)You are likely to have a vision this month for what would set

you free emotionally. You might even experiment with takingaction, though one thing at least is clear -- you will feel thebounds that surround you, and the bonds that hold you. You willsee the influence of the past and have an extended momentwhere you know that you have an option to experience your lifea different way. Despite the liberating, revolutionary nature ofthe moment, you may not take action, fearing you're not quiteready -- even if you know certain developments are inevitable.I suggest you decide in advance whether under ideal circum-stances, you would choose something new when you're feelingfrustrated and defeated, or positive and optimistic.Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)

For someone devoted to ideas, none is ever too good. Yetthere are authentic breakthroughs. When you encounter such aconcept, it's not an idea in the conceptual sense but rather a liv-ing, breathing archetype that takes up existence at the core ofyour life. You are approaching such a juncture, where your per-sonal values, your highest ideals and what you do with yourdays are coming into alignment, or rather, to fulfillment. Muchthat you previously could categorize, sort out and study has be-come so real that it defies intellectualization. Indeed, this is youropportunity to stop thinking of your existence in mental or in-tellectual terms and to move from your core, with full authen-ticity. One result of your considerable growth and introspectionis that no other option is viable.Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)Life can move slowly for a Pisces. It's as if you're watching

existence from the caboose of the train, and yours seems likethe last car to pull into the station. Then all of a sudden thingssurge forward. What happens this month may have the feelingof being premature, but you need to remind yourself that you'veworked for it, and that you've endured many delays and diver-sions on the way to getting to this point. This particular en-counter is a portal to the future that you will have theopportunity to go through; and also be a moment of vision quest,wherein you can see your trajectory in life clearly enough to en-vision something different and beautiful, make corrections andreach for something that has long eluded you. The key is to re-member these facts when the time comes -- and it is boldly ar-riving.

~ Read Eric Francis daily at

Page 23: The Artful Mind June 2010

[email protected] THE ARTFUL MIND JUNE 2010 • 19

WholePerson Movement Mat ClassesMondays 6:30 - 7:30 PM

Kinesphere Studio • 66 Main St, Lee, MATuesdays 5:00 - 6:00 PM

Kilpatrick Athletic Center, Simonʼs Rock College84 Alford Rd, Gt. Barrington, MA

Thursdays 5:15-6:30Berkshire Fusion Yoga, 965 South Main St., Great Barrington

WholePerson Movement Private SessionsPersonal training in a quiet country setting featuring the

Reformer and other Pilates-designed apparatusAll WholePerson Movement Classes:• Increase strength and flexibility• Improve posture, balance, breathing, body awareness• Improve comfort, ease, grace in moving• Reduce lower back and other chronic pain• Reduce risk of re-injury from sports or occupation

Call for more information 413.528.2465


Inner Vision Studio is one the Berkshire’s few true artist-owned exhibition spaces. Inner Vision offers a delightful varietyof photographs, watercolors, drawings and giclee prints by localartist Karen Andrews. Unlike commercial galleries, inwhich artists tends to peg themselves to a particular mediumand style, Inner Vision expresses the full range of one artist’screativity, from her Magical Realist “Housatonic hand-Painted”series, to her “Feminine Views of the Mechanical World” pho-tographs to her deeply spiritual landscape photography suchas “The Enchanted Forest Series”. A prolific watercolorist, landscape photographer and artist of

many moods, styles and mediums, Karen blends the contempo-rary with the traditional. She employs sophisticated composi-tions with surfaces that virtually sing and dance with color,gesture and movement. You will find award-winning photo-graphic prints which may appeal to the summer visitor wantinga remembrance of this beautiful and sacred land. Or you mayencounter some of her more recent experimental drawings, andbe invited in to experience her sometimes edgy creative process.Whatever the medium, whatever the style, Karen Andrews andInner Vision Studio will help you feel more alive!The Studio itself, with its colorful exterior and whimsical gar-

dens, is worthy of a visit, and many a traveler has taken inspi-ration from the setting. You will get to meet the artist in personand see some of the places from which she draws her inspira-tion. One of the advantages of your coming to an artist’s ownstudio is that prices are always negotiable and far less than theywould be at a commercial gallery. Karen offers special arrange-ments for multiple purchases, and many second-home ownershave filled their walls with her varied and expressive work.Karen Andrews is transplanted from New Haven, Ct, and

studied Art History and Studio Art at Oberlin College followedby coursework at MassArt, Woodstock School of Art and withwell-known teachers throughout the region. Her work has hungin permanent exhibitions at Hartford Hospital Chapel area,major national corporations, and an American Embassy.

Inner Vision Stufio -. Furnace Road, corner of Cone HillRoad, go 1 mile north on Swamp Rd from West Sockbridge Cen-ter, take left at Cone Hill Rd, 2nd left onto Furnace Rd. Look forcolorful blue building on the right. Gallery Hours: Open in thesummer (June 26-Aug 29) every Sat and Sun, 1-5 pm, or by ap-pointment. 413-232-4027.


It looks like a very busy art season ahead for the Berkshires.Marguerite Bride will be exhibiting her watercolors in twoshows in the very near future. At the Becket Arts Center, Bride will display more than forty

original watercolors in three different categories in a solo ex-hibit in the “Upstairs Gallery”. The themes of her paintings in-clude….New England in All Seasons, Travels Abroad, and Foodfor Thought. There will also be a variety of fine art reproduc-tions available in bins. The exhibit runs from June 19 – July 5.Artist reception will be held on Saturday, June 19 from 4:30 –8 pm.Bride will also be exhibiting a number of pieces at the Berk-

shires Art Festival July 3-5 in the Insider Art Fair Gallery Showat Butternut Mountain, Great Barrington, MA

Besides preparing for many shows, custom house portraitsare always on Bride’s “palette”. It is never too early (but some-times too late) to think about commissioning a painting as a hol-iday gift. Call or visit the website for detailed information aboutcommissioning a special painting for the holidays.Visits by appointment to the studio at Art on NO are always

welcome. Bride is there just about every day either painting orgiving lessons. If you are interested in seeing what is going onin this artist collaborative, call and you will be given the grandtour. Art on NO, at 311 North Street, Pittsfield has “Open Stu-dios” during Pittsfield’s Third Thursdays (from 4:30-8pm), oth-erwise by appointment with one of the artists.

Marguerite Bride, 311 North Street, Studio #5, Pittsfield,MA. 413-841-1659. ma[email protected], Studio tours by appointment.


Dots, Lines and Figures, an exhibit featuring paintings by JeffBriggs and Ben Shecter, works in mixed media by Donise Eng-lish, and the bronze sculptures of Michael McLaughlin will beon view at the Carrie Haddad Gallery until July 5.

Donise English exhibits an interest in mapping space, bothreal and imaginary. In her mixed media-works, lattice-likestructures overlap to form complex grids. These structures standup vertically, resembling ladders resting on a building, and thencollapse to form an aerial plan of a more expansive space. Scaleand perspective are elusive; a single drawing can feel both vastand intimate—like a network of city streets and a close-up of astone building’s surface.

In the paintings of Jeff Briggs, the history of each work isleft exposed. An abundance of near-round marks creates robustdepth and buzzing movement. In their distinctness, these marksgive Briggs’ paintings a collage-like quality; the surface of “Dig-ital Tide” appears to be covered in tiny pieces of brightly coloredpaper. A casualness rooted in the work’s affinity to collage com-petes with striking precision and deliberateness, as evidencedby the clarity of each mark and Briggs’ acute sensitivity to color.In the collection of paintings by Ben Shecter featured in this

exhibit, one thing remains constant: the prominence of a theatri-cal space. A distinguished set and costume designer for the stageas well as the screen, Shecter constructs eerily artificial back-drops in which he situates objects and figures. Shecter simulta-neously illustrates and pushes the limits of conventionalillustration. Figures appear to pose for the spectator, assumingcontrived, puppet-like stances. Quietly unsettling, his paintingscaptivate. Michael McLaughlin’s beautiful bronze sculptures combine

realism and fantasy: the antlers of an elegantly simple figure ofa deer morph seamlessly into the branches of a tree. In a singlefigure, McLaughlin expresses the harmony of all natural life.The most compelling visual feature of McLaughlin’s emergesfrom the manner in which each sculpture has oxidized.

Carrie Haddad Gallery, 622 Warren Street in Hudson, NY.Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday 11-5pm. For infor-mation or directions, please call the gallery at (518) 828-1915or go to the website at

SHARON TRUE, M.A., C.M.A., R.M.T.Somatic Movement Therapist and

Certified Pilates Instructor


Page 24: The Artful Mind June 2010



Old Injuries never die. I have had this experience in myown body, as well as observing it in countless others. I usedto work in an outpatient clinic and people would come to mewith neck pain. As part of the history and intake process, Iwould inquire if there had been any neck trauma (car acci-dent, fall, etc). It was evident by the visible distortion intheir neck that something; some force had disrupted it. Aftermuch questioning, it finally dawned on them that in fact,they were in a car accident…. “but that was 20 years ago!” The assumption is that once the acute phase of pain of a

trauma has passed, the problem has been resolved, and per-haps in a small percentage of cases, that may be true. How-ever, in my experience and observation this has not been thecase. When the small bones of the neck, for example areshifted out of their original position, by the forces from anaccident or fall, this creates an unnatural “fit” between thejoints therein. The body works amazingly hard to protect usfrom pain and so goes immediately into compensation. Thiscompensation works subtly throughout the body, taking a lit-tle from here and a little from there, until it can no longeraccommodate the distortion. In the meantime, inflammationcontinues at the original site. This process can take a coupleof decades for the body to run out of the available “slack”,and pain may resurface at the original area or at some otherlocation.

This all may seem like bad news indeed. However, thegood news is, that armed with this information, awareness,and connection to one’s body, as well as intelligent interven-tion, a great deal of pain can be understood, relieved and po-tentially avoided.

Erin can be reached at 413-528-1623, cell: 201-787-7293

KARI AMDAHLEmotionally overwhelmed? Stressed? Feel down on your-

self? Stuck? These are just a few symptoms of how one mayrespond to life’s challenges. But one doesn’t have to get trappedin these uncomfortable places.

Kari Amdahl utilizes a number of modalities in her psy-chotherapeutic work with clients to address such feelings, so asto allow for smoother transitions and resolutions to the issuespresented.“Mindfulness” and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are

two approaches that can be applied at any given time with veryfavorable results.Though “mindfulness” originated as a form of Zen Buddhist

meditation over two and a half thousand years ago, its essenceneed not be experienced in meditation solely. Rather, “mind-fulness” can be practiced within the therapeutic process, andeventually as a way of experiencing life in general, whether oneis driving on the freeway, working, taking a shower, or talkingto a friend.

In brief, exercising “mindfulness” allows for a moregrounded, in-the-moment experience of what is at hand. So,rather than fighting a problem, forcing solutions, or continuingto be gripped by uncomfortable feelings, becoming “mindful”nurtures a more neutral state of being, so acceptance of “whatis” becomes possible. Calmly accepting a circumstance thenfosters new insights, wisdom and compassion for one’s self andthe situation. As a result, unexpected resolutions arise, as wellas a more positive and open outlook.CBT is also very helpful in discovering and changing one’s

negative perspectives. Often we are not aware of our pessimisticconscious/unconscious thoughts that create our view of theworld and ourselves. With help one can bring these out into theopen, discovering if they are true or not. Often by catching theseself-defeating thoughts, one can not only prove them untrue but,one can also alter one’s whole outlook: more choices becomeavailable and positive life changes occur.

The thought manifests as the word;The word manifests as the deed;The deed develops into habit;And habit hardens into character.So watch the thought and its ways withcare,And let it spring from love,Born out of compassion for all human be-ings.As the shadow follows the body,As we think, so we become

—Das, L.S. 1997.For more information and to make an appointment, contact

Kari Amdahl at 413-528-6121. Great Barrington area. Slidingscale available.


THE PRIME OF YOUR LIFEThere once was a curmudgeon who said “Youth is wasted

on the young.” Whether or not you agree with that statement,it speaks to the frustration many of us experience when ourbodies “betray” us right when we feel we are in the prime ofour lives in other respects—family, career, community.Sharon True of WholePerson Movement believes in aim-

ing for health and fitness targets throughout life to optimizethe chances of the body being an eager and equal player in en-joying the prime of life, however you define it, and to enjoy itfor as long as possible. In her work with clients, she is mind-ful of the physical challenges they face that they would like toovercome so they could enjoy life more. She approachesworkouts as a partnership: her clients contribute informationabout what is motivating and meaningful to them, while shetranslates this information into movement experiences that areeffective and enjoyable.

True has a fully-equipped Pilates studio in Great Barring-ton that provides an effective environment for muscle condi-tioning— improving muscle length, strength, coordinationand efficiency. Conditioned muscles look better, feel better,and function better in terms of posture and all activities.When your muscles feel toned and pliable, and when you feelyou can do whatever you want with your body, you feel great!

True’s private, quiet studio overlooks a wooded area fre-quented by wildlife. It’s a place where you can be yourself, bechallenged, and reach goals. She has worked with peopleranging from teenagers with scoliosis to elders in their eight-ies wanting to stay active, involved, and away from the doctoras much as possible. Most of her clients are people who rec-ognize the value of committing to a regular program of exer-cise as a means of enjoying their prime of life.In addition to one-on-one training, True offers Pilates Mat

classes at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Kine-sphere Studio in Lee, and starting in June at Berkshire FusionYoga on South Main Street in Great Barrington. In the matclasses she teaches how to organize the body to most safelyand effectively do beginning to intermediate-level Pilates ex-ercises.

For more information about WholePerson Movementclasses, workshops, and private sessions, call Sharon True at413-528-2465, 9AM-9 PM Mon—Sat, or email her at [email protected].

Comfortable Walking & Hiking Shoes for Men

and Women

Performance Footwear

Page 25: The Artful Mind June 2010


SABINE PHOTO ARTWhether it’s an amicable groom, an observant guest, a

family gathering, or a tree house, Sabine Vollmer von Falkenis in rapport with her subject. In the European photographictradition, her true talent and interest lays in photographingreal people and locations. The results are natural and direct,capturing the emotion of the moment or the mood of the envi-ronment.Sabine specializes in young children at play and creating a

photographic record of their growth. A master of the subtletiesof lighting and the nuance of background, her eye for detailprovides photos to be treasured for a lifetime. It is to no sur-prise that she is a sought-after wedding photographer, as well.Sabine’s photo studio and gallery is located in Glendale,

Massachusetts. She captures portraits there or on location.Each photo is tailored to meet her client’s needs—a black-and-white remembrance for a special occasion or a logoimage to create an authentic online presence.Her photographs have been published in a variety of maga-

zines and books. Her latest book Woodland Style will be pub-lished by Storey Publishing in August, author Marlene H.Marshall. Other volumes include Full of Grace: A Journeythrough the History of Childhood, Making Bits & Pieces Mo-saics and Shell Chic.A member of the American Society of Media Photogra-

phers, the International Center of Photography ICP and theWedding Photojournalist Association WPJA, Sabine offersoutdoor workshops for the advanced amateur photographersin June. The dates are: June 6, 13, 20 and 27.

Sabine Vollmer von Falken, 20 Glendale Road, Glendale,MA, 413-298-4933;,[email protected]

DON MULLER GALLERYFor the third year in a row, the Don Muller Gallery has been

named one of the Top Ten Retailers of American Craft in NorthAmerica by Niche Magazine, one of the highest marks of dis-tinction in the American craft industry.

More than 18,000 craft artists from the United States andCanada are polled each year and nominate over 700 galleries,retail stores, and museum shops. Criteria for selection include: treating artists with courtesy and respect; paying ontime; promoting and marketing American crafts; giving backtime and energy to the craft community; mentoring emergingartists; and maintaining an inventory that is at least 85% Amer-ican craft.Don Muller Gallery was honored to be named among the top

galleries in the United States, and is particularly proud toachieve such an award for owning and operating a business indowntown, Northampton, Massachusetts, for over 25 years.Being one of the top 10 galleries in the nation is a real tributeto past and present employees and all of the artists that havebeen represented through the years. The gallery has also announced the launch of their new

website. The site features the work of many artists in jewelry,glass, wood, fiber, and more; it includes a tour of the gallery, adescription of their services, and an introduction to the gallerystaff. The site was produced by Positronic, a web development company based in Northampton.

Don Muller Gallery, 40 Main St, Northampton, MA, 413-586-1119, Open Mon–Wed, 10-5:30, Thurs–Sat, 10–9, Sunday 12-5pm.

JULIANNE D. BRESCIANIGARDEN PHOTOGRAPHYAlford resident and avid gardener, Julianne D. Bresciani,

has combined her love of flowers, gardening, and yoga into ameditative art form of garden photography. While she claimsto have known nothing about gardening when she first beganher garden journey, a friend describes her as “a mid life flowerchild”.

Most, if not all of the flowers that she photographs comefrom Julianne’s garden. They have been planted in seed androot and bulb form and tended to by the artist herself. Ms. Bres-ciani states that her garden has seen her through many seasonsof her life and has fed her soul on a very deep level. She is hap-piest working in her garden!Her love for flowers became a passion. Ordering her seeds

in January, planting seedlings, planting the garden, tending tothem in the early morning hours or the late evening hours andenjoying enormous bounty with and from them whether insidethe garden or not. Her photographs invite the viewer to betouched by the generosity of nature and signs most of her work“from the heart of my garden, to the garden of your heart”. Ms. Bresciani’s background was in fashion and merchandis-

ing with degrees from Marymount College, Arlington, Virginiain 1968 and The Tobe Coburn School for Fashion in New York.She later went on to complete studies for social work and has amasters degree from New York University in Social Work. Ms.Bresciani has a private physcotherapy practice in New Yorkwhere she continues to work with people on a part time basis.She divides her time between New York and the Berkshires. Julianne has shown her work at Coppertops, The Lifebridge

Sanctuary, and The Capitol Arts Network; also at the BerkshiresArts Festival in 2008 and The Lenox Garden Club tour thatsame year. Her work was at the One of a Kind Gift Show &Sale in New York this past winter and can be seen in the win-dows of Guido’s this May and June. She will be exhibiting atthe Douglas Flackman Gallery of Fine Art in Great Barringtonthis July. Her work includes plexi mounted pieces as well asfine art pieces, cards, calendars, and custom contemporary wed-ding invitations.

Julianne Bresciani - Seen by appoint-ment. The artist can be reached at 413-528-3720 or 212-752-3344.

Micro TheatreAuditions for 2010 repertory castAll ages, All Levels of experience

To schedule an appointment:413-442-2223 or [email protected]

Micro Theatre(dedicated to experimental theatre) 311 North Street, Pittsfield, MA


The Preservation and Restoration of Oil Paintings

Works on Paper Objects of Art

CRAIG [email protected]

130 North Egremont RoadAlford, MA 01230



Page 26: The Artful Mind June 2010


What’s a Bronx boy doing in the Boonies? Ok, it’s not theboonies the way it once was, actually its pretty cutting edgearound here… That’s a great opener…it makes me smile. It reminds me of

the saying: You can take the boy out of the Bronx but you can’ttake the Bronx out of the boy.Actually, my Bronx days encompassed Greenwich Village.

My uncle, Alfred Crimi, a fresco muralist and easel painter, hada sky light studio on West 13th Street. I started apprenticing withhim when I was a teenager and the Village became a home-away-from home until I eventually set up a studio there.

My string of decisions over the years, lead me here to thiswonderful “Boonies” of the Taghkanic Hills and Berkshireswhere people are very well informed, kind, and have a let-it-roll sense of sophistication.

Can I assume that your uncle was an influence on you?Yes, he was…he was the Big Kahuna for me. He was

my best friend, surrogate father, a wonderful thinker, and spir-itual guide. He brought me the vibes of color through formaltraining.He’s no longer on this plane but I often get a deep yearning

for just one more discussion with him about linear composition,color relationship, or how his thinking landed him the great dis-tinction of being the black sheep of the family. I’m proud thatwe were like-minded.

That must have been interesting, to have a family memberbe a fresco muralist?It was great. Both Alfred and my father, Charles Crimi, ex-

ecuted murals through the auspices of the WPA…for MorrisaniaHospital, Harlem Hospital, Northhampton Post Office, as well

as other public places. This was during the Great Depression…which according to them, it wasn’t so great.

By the time I was apprenticing with Alfred he was doingeasel painting and was still doing murals, but with mosaic chips,for New York City schools. I had the honor of helping him withcartoons for the murals…helping to layout his concepts on thelarge, thick rolls of paper. In his later works on canvas, Alfredcreated the sense overlapping and transparent geometric planesthrough color mixing…very advanced stuff at the time. Eventhe mosaics have that feel. My father and Alfred were very European…and very excit-

ing. They were born in Sicily and came to New York duringtheir formative years. The richness of tone, brought by immi-grants that populated the boroughs, in the early part of the cen-tury, was still very much in the air then. It was in the Villagewhere they both discovered their artistic inclinations and bo-hemian ways.

How did this affect you?I was thoroughly awed by their accomplishments. This awe

spilled over to another painter who was a major influence forme, Willem DeKooning. He just blew me away with what hewas doing. It still excites me to think that going to parties at hisloft on Lower Broadway and to gallery showings of his mostrecent paintings was a part of my life. I was an impressionableteenager. Like my family, his beginning was European and wasalso able to, not only get with the American groove, but con-tribute to it.I found myself between the blatant power of the Abstract Ex-

pressionism tidal wave and the long-standing calm and exquisit-ese of the painting of the Old World. A lot of painters did at thetime.

Alfred instructed me with the European approach to devel-opment while everyone around me was exploring slapping, drip-ping, and plopping paint. Knowing that Dekooning studied academic drawing in Hol-

land, underlined what Alfred was encouraging me to do; char-coal drawings from the antique, the time proven method ofdeveloping an informed hand and discerning eye. When I visitedfellow fledgling artists who were studying with Robert Mother-well at Hunter College, they were doing little Motherwells. I’dbring along representational studies that I did to his class but Icouldn’t wait to break loose.What I didn’t have in my paint box, at the time, was the un-

derstanding that any manner of applying paint to canvas requiresa strong foundation as well as a directed intuition. If your goingto do innovative work then you need to have something to inno-vate from. Motherwell’s work was very directed. He and theother terrific guys and dolls of the time, DeKooning, JoanMitchell, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler and Franz Kline,took on the monumental task of dealing with formal aspects ofform and color as a primary focus. Their works were emotion-ally applied but were intellectual in overall concept. They got ridof details and sentimentality…which is a good way to gothrough life. Instead of filling in linear compositions with color,they developed the composition intuitively as the paint was ap-plied…with change always being at the finger tips.

You mentioned a directed intuition. What does that meanfor you.

Intuition is our built-in navigational device. It always doesme well. I go to it when I pick up a brush…like Zen andarchery…keeping the intellect out of it…becoming the bow andarrow and, similarly, becoming the brush…sounds like DavidCarradine.

Did you ever give attention, in that seminal period, to otherdisciplines?

Well along with my studies with Alfred, were my visits tojazz clubs that were a few blocks from my studio…The HalfNote, The Five Spot, and the Village Vanguard. The brilliantideas and artistry of musicians like John Coltrane, SonnyRollins, and Miles Davis were an essential part of my develop-ment. They, and their fellow musicians, were some of the mostcourageous, individualistic, innovative thinkers that I cameupon.It was spontaneous combustion in all the arts in NYC of the

late 1950s and early 60s…very exciting, very compelling. Fab-ulous things were happening in dance, music, prose, poetry andsculpture. It was a renaissance without patrons…no singularmessage was being enforced. It was truly an uprising of the cre-ative spirit in what were very repressive and very provincialtimes…most incredible.

I have very vivid memories, like: watching TheloniousMonk’s fingers dance across the keys on the piano at The FiveSpot; meeting and conversing with Jack Kerouac at The HalfNote; laughing with Lenny Bruce at The Den in the Duane; orseeing and hearing the Jackie McLean Quartet in The Connec-tion at The Living Theatre. I’m so glad now, that I made the ef-fort then. Another way of looking at it is that it all captured myheart.

Does your focus on your style include an ongoing challenge?I don’t focus on style. I let the style come out of the mo-

ment…change it up when necessary. Style is the last thing thatI want to concern myself with.It’s important for me to pay attention to what the colors are

saying …to be intuitive with them and not try to bend them tomy will or squeeze them into a formula. It’s keeping my ego outof that’s the real challenge. A signature style as a fabrication of the marketplace…it’s re-

lated to mass production, unification, andhomogenization…concepts that come out of Western culture. Itwas never a part of primal cultures.

I have tendencies in painting that may be considered mystyle but I don’t always use all my tendencies in the same paint-ing.If I’m a collector buying a painting, I’m going to buy it be-

cause it looks really, really beautiful not because the artist hastwenty others like it…having twenty paintings that look alikedoesn’t give them all credibility. If it turns out that they havedistinct similarities then that’s fine, as long as the function ontheir own.

When I do a repeat a motif, and treat it freshly on it’s ownterms, I’m not stepping in the same river twice.

Looking at your colors, the widespread areas of pure colorand shape, I feel that they bring together a world of joy andexcitement. What do you feel?

BOB CRIMIInterviewed by Harryet Candee

Photographed by Julie McCarthy

Page 27: The Artful Mind June 2010


I’m delighted that they do that for you. The use of oil paint is a major part of the impact. Pigments

suspended in oil allow for a luminosity that isn’t achieved withacrylics. A layer of oil paint enhances the reflection of colorsbeneath, by allowing light rays to reflect through…it doesn’tblock them out. I lay paint on a blank canvas. I don’t use a preliminary draw-

ing. It’s a free space that I’ll alter at any stage of developmentin order to achieve balance of color and form. The alterationscreate additional layers which add to the luminosity not subtractfrom it. Moving the forms around only enhances the surface ef-fect.Oil paint is a very, very low-tech medium that insists upon a

lot of patience and a lot of time. It’s a joy returning to the easel…extremely exciting.

While living a wonderful and serene life in the country, doyou ever wish to drop everything and go back to the crazycity?No…never…I find equilibrium and truth living in the natural

world. It’s luscious to the eyes and palate and I have no desirefor craziness.

Ever want to move far, far away? Do you mean getting away from emotions and the relentless

flow of thoughts…the inner chaos?I like being on this planet and in this area…being steeped in

what we call “Nature”…realizing that I’m not an entity separatefrom it. Reason doesn’t exist in Nature and that suits my primal self

just fine. Reason has brought our species to a place of rockinessand hardness. Nature isn’t trying to get to anything. It has no objective. It

just is. Isn’t that great? You know when you love someone somuch you just want to hug him or her and break through…right?That’s the feeling…that’s the way it is.

How does your environment affect your persistence in paint-ing?

That’s very astute of you to notice that I paintpersistently…doesn’t everybody? The impulse to paint…thathas been with me for a long time. It’s still a mystery to me. Mypresent environment allows for that impulse to flow.…alongwith my diet, resistance training, bike riding, hiking, dancing,and love making.

How does one get around the survival / struggle with makingmoney?That’s not an easy question to answer…I guess…being con-

scious…staying on one’s toes…being agile and able to movequickly.There’s been a lot of propagandizing and conditioning com-

ing out of Mad Ave, instructing us how to lead our lives…formost of us, since birth. It’s a smoke and mirror game…establish-ing social mores that reek of consumerism. It’s a devious gamethat the corporations play with TV being its primary vehicle.One struggles less the less one consumes.

What do you think it takes to be a full time artist?If I were to advise a seventeen year old, whom I assume is

still unhindered, with a strong impulse for self-expression, I’dsuggest that they should use self discipline to be disciplined…Ican hear the magazine closing all over the Berkshires.I’d suggest:Don’t go to college, the debt will prevent you from maintain-

ing low studio/home overhead. This is essential. Work part timeor freelance at a skill you enjoy. Learn to be frugal. Don’t haveTV access in your studio. Read everything that you can get yourhands on about being involved in your chosen medium but be-lieve none of it. Seek out older artists, ask questions and keepyour eyes open.Be self-subsidizing. Don’t look for patrons.It’s essential that you be master of your desires. Don’t have

children unless your well is filled to the brim with gold

coins…otherwise your dreams of achieving art could be cur-tailed for a very long time.

You bring your life to your work so design it for maximumclarity…since you are what you eat, don’t ingest alcohol, nico-tine, caffeine or sugar. Give yourself time to develop before exposing yourself to the

undercurrents of the marketplace.Art doesn’t require competition.Embrace the change that always occurs in you.Do what you want to, but be sure of it.If you think that following your bliss will be exceed-

ingly difficult…you’re correct.

Lets talk about your barns. Why express your art withbarns?

Well why not? For the most part, they are colors and formsthat I’m attempting to bring together as an aesthetic image. I’mmoved by the abstract quality of barn structures, as they standin the fields as well as on canvas. I’ve always regarded the actof painting as a spiritual practice and these pieces appeal to thatidea. Is there an actual history you share with the Barn? With the

disappearing of them, the immenseness of their size, and pur-pose are you keeping them alive by using them as objects of artto paint?When I lived in New Paltz, I had a studio/home in an old

farmhouse. On the farm was a barn with a gambrel roof thathoused white-faced cows, horses, some pigs, their hay, and farmequipment. It was a proud structure with flying-buttress beamsthat were truly magnificent.That barn comes into play in several paintings that I did at that

time. Sadly, I've heard that it's been deconstructed…so in a wayI’ve kept it alive.My wife, Trudette, spent her formative years on a dairy farm

in Ghent. Barns were an essential part of her daily life. I look toher feedback about the paintings as being well rooted. Barns

Continued on next page...



Page 28: The Artful Mind June 2010

didn't enter my consciousness until later in my life, yet, we sharea depth of feeling for their simplicity and their beauty. A barn is a marvelously serene structure. It’s a Western icon

that ancient Taoist sages would have loved to habitat. I love the freshness and brilliance in your paintings, Bob. Doyou ever get bored of using color, and just break down to blackand white!?Once in a while, for nostalgia sake, I’ll use some white and

black house paint. It’s an excellent way of developing andshoring up a compositional sense while implying color.

What do you want your art to say to people at your first ex-hibit in Hillsdale this summer?Visitors to the studio have told me that some of the paintings

make them feel calm and serene and some, as you’ve said, joy-ful and excited. If that response occurs in Hillsdale, that will bejust fine.

How are you preparing for this show? IS there a lot of workinvolved, like framing?It’s a real pleasure. The show is totally my own presentation

with Trudette as co-curator and promotional advisor.I don’t use frames. The image is painted around the

sides…this gives the paintings an autonomy and completeness.When I begin a blank canvas it doesn’t have a frame around it,so why add one? Frames are objects in themselves. If I add oneafterward, I’d be changing the dynamic and have to repaint thecanvas in order to harmonize the piece as a whole.

I will never want a show for my art … I feel that I cannotmix money and art together. My heart and soul doesn’twant the chaos. Do you think I am just insecure about mywork?

It’s a natural inclination to want to prevent drowning oneswork in a sea of commercialism…to want to let it breathe with-out a lot of noise. If you’re standing your ground with whatyou’re feeling, then that’s displaying a strong sense of security.I think of the wall paintings in the caves in Lascaux, France.

They still have a powerful impact, both in concept and imagery.One of the reasons for this is that it wasn’t a juried show, therewere no critics imposing their opinions, and no one took 50%.

The excitement of a new discovery, no matter how minor itmay be, can be the key to keeping the whole painting expe-

rience to continue. What have you discovered?That I know less than I think I do.

What was one of your stepping-stones and great learningexperiences you can share that relates to “You cannot live onArt Alone”?

My experiences have all been stepping-stones. They’veshown the importance of balance and the middle way…shownthat detachment is essential to involvement. Try this…take a piece of paper and a pencil and make a ges-

tural line. Look at it closely and notice how really interesting itlooks…how expressive it is. You really like it, don’t you? Now,tear it up. Do the same thing with a canvas and paints. That’s de-tachment.

How important is it now to show your work to the world?For quite a while, I just wanted to woodshed, stay involved

with only the work, and not have any other voices in my head.Eventually, as resolved painting accumulated, they banded to-gether and demanded that they wanted to be seen. I know your studio is open for people to visit; are you learn-

ing simple, powerful ways to get people to respond to seeingyour work?

That reminds me of a guy back in the 60s. He arranged ahappening in a gallery and when everyone arrived, under theguise of “art”, he shot himself in the arm…now, talk about get-ting a response. Ever since then, I use the word “art” very spar-ingly.The open studio idea has always been around and is a viable

alternative to galleries and museum. Each has its place. Gal-leries and museums also seek responses but I don’t think there’sany simple way.This is why anyone who is trying to make a painting or play

cello or use their body as a medium should beencouraged…self-expression affirms our true nature and takesa lot of huevos…so does publishing a devotional magazine likeThe Artful Mind.When did your artwork take off and become the importantfocus in your daily life?When I was about twenty-six. I was really sure of my direc-

tion then and became relentless, with a dash of obsession.Sometimes I was distracted but never far from the track.

If you had to write a short story to go with a favorite paint-

ing, can you share that with me? Maybe a poem alreadydoes exist to go with one of your art works?Here’s a poem that I wrote:

A wide brush, loaded with soft breeze green, poundsonto taut white canvas…as I age without being asked.

A fresh mark this one—a revolution at the flick of a wrist.

The time of my death floats like milkweed,privy to chance and thermal convections

The pigments whisper as to how they submit, how they yield,how they serve (me, all ears and heart).

These colors, these flourishes, solidifying no place for mein immortality…they’re just showing me a good time

What is going on in Hillsdale these days? Seems like gal-leries are starting to sprout there, any idea? What wouldyou like to see happen?Hillsdale has some people with vision. In the past few years,

outlets for fine art have opened up there. Tony Avenia has builta wonderful structure for his wine and liquor establishment toinclude a large, upstairs exhibition space. The Goliath Galleryopened last year and other galleries are opening along AnthonyStreet. That’s a lot of viewing space available for just one area.Trudy’s Beauty Shop/Hillsdale Barber Shop, also on Anthony

Street, is a hub for what’s happening, dialogues on creativity,and tales of hunting and fishing. It’s a town of good people withgood energy and a crossroad of city and country…a nice placeto spend some time in.

How would you describe your work?Lovingly.

An exhibition of Bob Crimi’s paintings will take place atThe Gallery at B&G Wines and Gourmet, 2633 State Route23, Hillsdale, NY. Open 7 days a week. 518-325-4882, A reception will be held on July 7th from5 -7pm.





Page 29: The Artful Mind June 2010


SCHANTZ GALLERIESSchantz Galleries is featuring “Individuals & Illumina-

tions: A Survey of Works by Dan Dailey”, and “Elements ofStyle: the Art of Linda MacNeil” which runs until June 30.The next feature exhibit, “Maestro Lino Tagliapietra” will runfrom June 20 – August 20.Schantz Galleries is one of the nation’s leading destina-

tions for those seeking premier artists working in glassSchantz Galleries, Elm Street, Stockbridge MA. Spring

gallery hours are daily 11 – 5. For more information, call(413)298-3044 or visit our website


Today it is possible to earn your MFA degree in paintingfrom a prestigious art school without being able to draw. I’mold school. I teach fundamentals. You wouldn’t expect to sitdown at the piano and play beautiful music without first learningthe basics. If you can’t play “chopsticks” how are you going toplay Mozart? I believe in fundamentals. For example, I believeyou will be a much better painter if you first learn how to draw.

There are those who would argue that the ability to draw orpaint realistically is not a requirement for creating good art. Thisis actually true. Some of the most moving pieces of art I’ve everseen were created by people who had no artistic training at all.If you are a visionary genius you may not need classes in art toexpress exactly what you desire. For most of us however; if wemaster some basic skills, we will be able to create representa-tional, expressionistic, or abstract art that communicates ourartistic vision much more effectively. This course will teach the time honored method of oil paint-

ing in layers, in practice since the Renaissance. The rewardingresults of the mastery of oil painting can lead to a lifetime ofenjoyment with further exploration of this rich traditionalmedium. Introduction to Oil Painting will address aspects of painting,

art history, art criticism, and aesthetics through the productionof a representational oil painting. If you are looking to impresspeople with the bravado of your brushstrokes, this is not thecourse for you. If however, you are looking for a teacher whobelieves that great art is based upon a foundation of fundamentalskills, an understanding of materials and how to use them, anda desire to express something personal that goes beyond words,you may want to take this oil painting class. Invest time intolearning the rudiments and the subtleties of this medium andyou will be able to follow your muse and express your soul inways you never dreamed possible.

Jeffrey L. Neumann - private instruction indrawing, oil painting, and watercolor paintingat Neumann Fine Art 65 Coldwater St. Hills-dale, NY. Studio and gallery hours are Tuesday– Saturday 10 – 4 and by, 413-246-5776.


The bright fresh green of spring is upon us. That not-quite-lime, not-quite-kiwi green of the new season, this most antici-pated and colorful time of year. From equinox to solstice, as thecurtain is drawn to summer, redolent of warmth, we are onceagain welcomed out of doors to stimulate all our senses and cel-ebrate the death of winter.It is in this spirit that Lauren Clark has hatched a new show.

As the lambing season begins, four new artists have joined themore than forty represented at the gallery, with “Unwilted, Un-processed, Unconventional” highlighting their work, beginningon May 29th. Four different perspectives, mediums, attitudesand angles.Susan Dibble, a choreographer by trade, has “had the privi-

lege and freedom to fill spaces with people who can be colorful,dynamic, passionate, funny”. Working with mixed media onpaper, her work, reminiscent of Marc Chagall, abounds withplayfulness and movement. “The paintings are representative ofthe most treasured elements of nature and human placement inrooms, houses, and landscapes that live in my head, and in mybody.”

An artist who works in many different mediums, AbbyDuBow has contributed monotype prints to the show, colorfulabstractions that “do not replicate what I see, but rather reflectwhat I see and feel.” With an influence by artists as varied asHenri Matisse, Bill Traylor, and Franz Kline, her work is an ex-ploration of the unexpected, and not easily described by thewritten word. “For me art is not an end but a constant begin-ning, a path that continues to lead to new places with doors thathave to be opened.”In addition to the work of Ms. Dibble and Ms. DuBow, there

will be the vibrant and expressive oil paintingsof Joan Palano Ciolfi, the offbeat paper collagesof Lorraine Klagsbrun, and a freshly-painted,not-quite-lime, not quite-kiwi green wall.

“Unwilted, Unprocessed, Unconventional”Four Newly Picked Garden-Fresh Artists, May29-July 4.

Lauren Clark Fine Art Gallery is located at402 Park Street (Route 183) in Housatonic,Massachusetts. Business hours are Thursdaythrough Monday from 11:00 until 5:30 and onSunday from Noon until 4:00. For more infor-mation call 413.274.1432, or visit the website



PAPER, 18 X 24


18 X 24




6 X 7 1/2

������������� ������������� ������������� �������������

���������� ���� ���������� ���� ���������� ���� ���������� ���� �������� �������� �������� ��������

����������������� ����������������� ����������������� ������������������������������ ������������� ������������� �������������

�������������� �������������� �������������� �������������� �� ���������������� ���������������� ���������������� ��������������


�� ���� ���������������������� ���� ���������������������� ���� ���������������������� ���� ��������������������


Page 30: The Artful Mind June 2010


Greater Backfish Roundup

by Bob Balogh


On this date in history, in 1797, the Dutch Braid Zone wasturned over to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from fourof its neighboring states.Now, you’re undoubtedly asking the question: “What the hell

is the Dutch Braid Zone?Well, have you ever heard of a section of western Massachu-

setts known as Berkshire County? Maybe you have an acquain-tance or two who have spent some quality time there, breathingthat rarified air.Or perhaps you are among the true chosen people who have

a home there and you need no convincing that your citizenshipin Berkshire County makes you special. You can’t define exactlyhow Berkshire County makes you special, but you can feel it inyour bones. You just have this uncanny sensation of enlighten-ment and being in the groove, simply from being a resident ofBerkshire County.

And what’s wrong with that? Nothing. It’s cool to be cool.So, give yourself a hug. You are very hip.

But as wonderfully distinguished as the Berkshires and itspeople are, there exists a large body of underreported historicaldata documenting a wonderfully distinguished event that hap-pened on this date back in 1797, back when the Berkshires wereregarded as the Dutch Braid Zone. And the event in questionmay have been the key to whatever it is that makes BerkshireCounty so undeniably sublime.For on this date in history in 1797, the states of Connecticut,

New Hampshire, New York and Vermont gave the Dutch Braidterritory to Massachusetts, free of charge, no strings attached,thank you very much.The reason this monumental transfer of real estate occurred

is because of a mediocre, pre-impressionist artist and a herd ofcows. The artist was Marcel Degas, half-uncle of the greatFrench impressionist Edgar Degas. And just like his renownedhalf-nephew, who had an affinity for reproducing the backsidesof ballerinas and horses, Marcel Degas enjoyed painting his im-pressions of the rear ends of cattle.

And right there in South Berkshire County, someplacearound Monument Mountain I suppose, maybe in the vicinity ofthe dump…I mean landfill…I mean transfer station…way backwhen all of Berkshire County was officially named the DutchBelt, Marcel Degas set up his easel and kicked off his unspec-tacular Dutch Braid period. He captured the essence of a herd ofdocile Dutch Braided cows grazing contentedly, minding theirown business and getting their daily dose of roughage to keep

things regular.Well, Marcel Degas was fascinated by the unusual markings

on the cattle. The Dutch Braided cow is a mostly black cow ex-cept for a thick, white stripe around its middle. Marcel Degashad never witnessed such a magnificent sight. Until he saw theseDutch Braided animals up close, he thought a cow was just acow, which was out of character for Marcel Degas. He was thekind of guy who thought a cigar was more than just a cigar.

Nevertheless, Marcel Degas spent an entire summer rightthere in a pasture with hundreds of Dutch Braided cows, crank-ing out dozens of oil paintings, all featuring the tail end of eachbovine, but angled in such a way so that the cow’s big, whitestripe, circling its midsection, was featured along with its butt.When Marcel Degas’ work was done, however, the cows fol-

lowed him home, all the way back to Ronkonkoma, Long Is-land. The Port Jefferson Ferry had to make extra trips that day.There were thousands of Dutch Braided cows from all over thearea we now call Berkshire County, and each cow had devel-oped a wild infatuation for Marcel Degas, the mediocre, pre-impressionist artist.

Lucky for Marcel Degas, there was an abundance of un-claimed Ronkonkoma acreage right there and then in the year of1797, plenty of space up for grabs, just waiting for MarcelDegas to build a dairy farm. Which he did. But after a while,what with so much milk on hand, Marcel Degas experiencedhard cravings for cookies. So he decided to spend an entire Sat-urday afternoon in the kitchen just baking cookies that lookedlike his beloved, Dutch Braided cows.

Each cookie consisted of two dark brown wafers with acreamy, white frosting in the center. And he chose a catchy, littlename for the cookies in honor of the beautiful western Massa-chusetts hills where he first met the loves of his life. He pickedthe Greek word oreo.

Meanwhile, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York andVermont were left empty-handed. No more cows. Extensions ofeach state abutted one another in that Dutch Braided Zone, butthere were no more cows. High officials from the four statesblamed the Mahican tribe for the disappearance of the cattle,but the Mahican chief dressed them down in no uncertain termswith plenty of foul language. Of course, it was the Algonquianlanguage, but the high officials from the four states understoodthe spirit of the Mahican chief’s tirade, and they could think ofnothing better to do than to go home with their tails betweentheir legs.

The following day, this date in history 1797, Connecticut,New Hampshire, New York and Vermont signed over the DutchBraided Zone to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Nomoney changed hands. No promises were made. Everyone was

depressed. Except for the Massachusetts governor, who receivedthe news with so much glee, he treated himself to some cookiesimported from Ronkonkoma. After the first bite, the governorsaid to his brother-in-law: “My my, Beansie, these Oreo thingsare delectable. And the color scheme, the dark chocolate biscuitson the outside with the sweet white filling…well, it absolutelyreminds me of that pig out there in the barnyard. Do tell me,dear brother-in-law, what breed is that swine?”

“Why, governor,” said the brother-in-law, “that kind of pigout there, the black one with the white face and whitefeet…why, they call that thing a Berkshire.”

“Very well,” said the governor. “I hereby declare that theland we just acquired, until now known by the dreadful name ofDutch Braided Zone, shall forever be called Berkshire County.”The governor ate another Oreo cookie and said: “Oh, yum. Ifeel so inspired.”And you, too, will be inspired next time your feet hit that sa-

cred ground on the left side of the Bay State, where cows, cook-ies and a pig helped shape something beyond category.


Winifred W. Wexler died in her sleep after a long battle withinsomnia. Following a night of eight solid hours of uninter-rupted sleep, for the first time in many years, Winifred W.Wexler drew a final breath and passed away with a big smile onher tired face.

Her manservant, Courtney Stiles, was right there at herdeathbed and he insists that Winifred W. Wexler’s last exhalewas undeniably a sigh of relief.The Cracklefoot, Massachusetts medical examiner disagrees.

He thinks her last breath was just an involuntary burp. An offen-sively smelling burp from hot dogs and beer.

Mr. Stiles and Winifred W. Wexler were more or less com-mon law husband and wife, with no children or pets. But theyenjoyed chain smoking unfiltered cigarettes, drinking bourbon,gambling at OTB parlors and disturbing the peace.

Winifred W. Wexler liked to sing old Janis Joplin songs atbedtime when she was drunk and unable to fall asleep. Her ren-dition of “Piece of My Heart” once earned her honorable men-tion at a Karaoke contest at The Lion’s Den in Stockbridge.Winifred W. Wexler’s manservant, Courtney Stiles, told the

Cracklefoot medical examiner: “It surely won’t be the samearound here without out her. But at least her insomnia is fixed.”Winifred W. Wexler, dead at 54. She was a Red Sox fan.

Page 31: The Artful Mind June 2010

SAFE PLACESSafety for me was a closet. More exactly, a slot of space ap-

proximately two feet high by three feet wide running from thetop of the bedroom closet back about six feet. At that time Iwas still two years away from the start of my architectural edu-cation and I knew almost nothing about building but understoodthat this space had been left over, unneeded headroom abovethe stairs which dropped to the basement below. It had beenconstructed to store things not truly needed but still kept.

That is how I saw myself at fifteen. My life was tumultuous,my adolescence colliding furiously with my father’s rage. Theincipient mental illness that would soon leave him a shell man-ifest itself at that time alternatively as sudden, incoherent furyaimed directly at me and my brother or, equally frightening, asan almost paranoid impulse to maintain control over every cor-ner of the house, permitting no door anywhere to be closed forlong and no lock ever to be secured against his entry. Outside,the world of the late nineteen sixties was annihilating and re-constructed itself, splitting along a fault line originating insoutheast Asia and running through many houses in the UnitedStates including the one in which I lived.

In that plaster and plywood cave I recall a feeling of calmnessand ‘center’ that eluded me otherwise. There, I felt no claustro-phobia; on the contrary I felt that the nearby walls, ceiling andpainted plywood shelf held me together, gently containing the

pieces of a fractured psyche and spirit. With the closet doorslightly open I could see but could not be seen. I was no longera player in the angst-ridden drama of my life but an observer,watching the acts unfold from a distant spectator’s box. Closingmy eyes I created vistas of pine forests and lakes, shale-bot-tomed streams and blue, clear skies, smiling girl friends, cheer-ing friends. I was alone and safe, blessedly invisible for at leasta little while, free to be me. Around me the world continued asbefore but it was momentarily not my concern, no threat to me.There, I felt safe.

This impulse for safety is paramount. It manifests more orless overtly in virtually every decision we make. In his book,How the Mind Works, Steven Pinker writes, “Some places areinviting, calming, or beautiful; others are depressing or scary.”Every animal, he notes, has a preferred habitat; none wants to bethe proverbial, “fish out of water”. What is the primary criterionin selecting a habitat? In a word: safety. Pinker notes that forHomo Sapiens the safest place is the savanna, ideally suited forthe procurement of food and mates and the avoidance of dangerand enemies. How and where we live is no exception. With alldue respect to it’s practitioners and devotees the currently pop-ular practice of Feng Sui is more or less simply design based oncommon sense notions of safety.

But safety is not exclusively physical. Perhaps even moreimportant is psychological safety, a sense that we are protectedagainst forces that would compromise not just our health, butour very being, the boundaries of our personal perception. For

this we need, from time to time, retreat, privacy. We need themythic safety of the cave, where, our back to the wall, we surveycreation inside and outside. Like Virginia Woolf, we crave aroom of our own, not only to imagine, refresh and create, but asa manifestation of ourselves. The Dutch painter, Piet Mondrian,reconstructed his home, ultimately making it indistinguishablefrom his paintings by covering every surface therein with a care-fully arranged geometric tapestry of color and line. The cele-brated French impressionist Claude Monet spent years creatinghis own painterly Garden of Eden at Giverny, and then paintedthe results again and again. Each created a safe place, a con-firming place, a place largely indistinguishable from his owninterior psychic landscape. I suspect - and many discussionswith friends have confirmed this - that everyone has or has hadsuch a place: a studio, a garden, a place along a trail, sitting be-neath or atop a tree, a chair, a corner, a hilltop.

There are dangers of course. One could be tempted to hide,to isolate, to separate completely from the world and its — in thewords of Francis Huxley — “unmannerly energies”. Rather, Isee the ‘safe place’ as a temporary retreat, not in an effort to re-move ourselves completely from the hurlyburly of life, but as aplace to recharge oneself in order to return invigorated and witha renewed sense of our own place within life’s flow.

~Stephen Gerard Dietemann


Architecture & Arcadia

Page 32: The Artful Mind June 2010


Dots, Lines & FiguresJeff Briggs �� Ben Shecter

�� works in mixed media Donise English�� bronze sculpturesMichael McLaughlin

Through July 5

� Carrie Haddad Gallery �

622 Warren Street, Hudson, NY. Hours: open daily 11 a.m. - 5p.m Thursday through Monday


Donise English, Bark Head, 14 x 14, 2010, encaustic on panel