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March 27, 2019

Solo-preneur Spotlight:
Bell Bottom Bleus

Bell Bottom Blues, one of North Adams' emerging cottage industries, combines artisan sensibilities with a passion that make for a compelling local-girl-makes-good story; submitted image.
Bell Bottom Blues, one of North Adams' emerging cottage industries, combines artisan sensibilities with a passion that make for a compelling local-girl-makes-good story; submitted image.

By CASSIE LORD
Special to the Greylock Glass

NORTH ADAMS — It’s a cold spring morning as I enter a spacious Victorian home on the outskirts of North Adams. I’m welcomed in by a small, easygoing woman with a smile, and her well-behaved cats and dog. As we conversate throughout the house, we pass by antique rocking chairs and vintage furniture, wandering our way up to the second floor. The “work room,” the driving force of Bell Bottom Blues, is clearly the room she spends most of her time in. She gets to work as I take a seat and we continue talking.

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The Body Stops Here:
Works by Keiko Narahashi and Sarah Peters.

Installation, The Body Stops Here: Keiko Narahashi & Sarah Peters, Usdan Gallery, Bennington College; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.
Installation, The Body Stops Here: Keiko Narahashi & Sarah Peters, Usdan Gallery, Bennington College; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.

Editor’s Note: This exhibit closes March 31, 2019.

After arriving at Bennington campus through wrought iron gates, you ascend a meandering road until you reach the crest of a hill. Before you is a behemoth of a building—a 1000,000 square foot cathedral of wooden high beams and glass, dedicated to creating something from nothing in visual art, dance, and performance. This is VAPA (visual and performing arts) Center, situated on a summit against the surrounding vistas of the Green Mountains. Visitors enter by climbing the industrial stairs to the Usdan Gallery. It was modeled on the 3rd floor of the Whitney Museum when the museum was on the Upper East Side of New York, now the Met Breuer. Like the building, the gallery is mammoth. Constructed 40 years ago with the spirit of mid-century large scale color field paintings and minimalist sculptors such as Helen Frankenthaler, Jules Olitzki, and Anthony Caro, who were students and faculty at the college.

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