Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson are reviving the literary legacy of Pittsfield through architectural design.
We talk to Tessa Kelly and Chris Parkinson, two architects who are designing five writers studios for the writing residency program component of Pittsfield’s In Motion: Pittsfield initiative. The writing residency program plans to place its first residents in the summer of 2016. The studios are based on five prominent Pittsfield authors who wrote in the area between 1840 and 1860: Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Henry David Thoreau.
Kelly and Parkinson are both Berkshire natives: Kelly was born and raised in Pittsfield, and graduated from Williams College in 2007; Parkinson was born in North Adams and grew up in Williamstown, then graduated from Amherst in 2007. Both are ecstatic about the opportunity to practice their trade on a subject so close to home.
You can see the designs for the studios in the exhibition The Mastheads, which is on public display at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts from November 6th to November 28th, then by appointment in December.
In Motion: Pittsfield is a city-wide initiative to preserve the literary community of Pittsfield by creating new works and opportunities for literary engagement in the community. From the Pittsfield Office of Cultural Development’s press release:
In Motion: Pittsfield will feature programs and events at the 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival and several Pittsfield cultural organizations including Arrowhead, the Berkshire Museum, the Berkshire Athenaeum with possible programming at the Colonial Theatre and Barrington Stage Company as well.