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Arts & Entertainment

The Arts & Entertainment world is a many-splendoured thing in Western Mass, Southern VT, and North Eastern NY. What are you're interested in? Send an e-mail to arts@greylockglass.com.

TLC#73: 2019 Sundance Film Festival
Short Film Tour

A poignant multi-generational slice of life film, The MINORS, written and directed by Robert Machoian, demonstrates how an immensely intimate and spare film can be a perfect selection for inclusion in the festival alongside shorts with wider focus; image courtesy Sundance Institute.

Hey, Greylock Nation!

This is TLC, Number 73, here at the Greylock Glass. I’m your host Jason Velazquez, and I hope your Independence Day week is shaping up nicely. I am very pleased to say that this episode is sponsored by the Hancock Shaker Village’s Shaker Barn Music Series, presenting The Mammals Saturday, July 27.

Sometimes fantastic interviews just sort of drop in my lap. Fascinating people I’d LOVE to hear from that I know you’ll enjoy hearing from to. Such is the case with Michael Plante, Senior Programmer for Short Films at the Sundance Film Festival. I had the good fortune of speaking with Doug Jones, Director of Images Cinema in Williamstown about the Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour which lands at Images Cinema for one day only — July 4 at 2:30 p.m. Turns out, Doug and Mike are friends from way back. Then Boom! I’ve got one of the countries foremost experts on short films on the line a few days later.

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Review: Kenneth Lonergan’s ‘The Waverly Gallery’ With Annette Miller

Photo from the play, The Waverly Gallery, (Left to Right) Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Annette Miller, and David Gow; photo by Daniel Rader.
(Left to Right) Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Annette Miller, and David Gow; photo by Daniel Rader.

We’ve had a running joke in our house about much how we enjoy a production that’s “ultimately life-affirming” after seeing one billed that way years ago. The show was superb, and I wanted to scrub the depressing, kinda icky residue out of my memory with a pumice stone and some strong lye soap for a few days afterwards. The life-affirming part, I think, was that none of the lives portrayed was my own. So I’m going to be cautious in describing The Waverly Gallery, on stage now at Shakespeare & Company.

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Film Review: The Biggest Little Farm

Emma, the pig, and Mr. Greasy, the rooster, are frequent scene-stealers in The Biggest Little Farm, showing just what's possible with a little inter-species understanding; NEON.
Emma, the pig, and Mr. Greasy, the rooster, are frequent scene-stealers in The Biggest Little Farm, showing just what's possible with a little inter-species understanding; NEON.

A folksy, daydream quality suffuses about half the frames of The Biggest Little Farm, out now from NEON, and showing in artsier cinemas and festivals around the country.

This cinematic pixie dust is the film’s greatest strength. It also risks placing the picture, written and directed by acclaimed wildlife photographer, John Chester, precariously at the edge of fictionalized memoir — not through untruth or exaggeration, but omission and artifice.

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It’s A Painting, It’s A Drawing, It’s A Sculpture, It’s Ceramics, It’s Beautiful — Lauren Mabry: Fused

Abstract scupture by Lauren Mabry, Loopy Cylinder Black Textured with Striped Interior Detail, ceramic; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura
Lauren Mabry, Loopy Cylinder (Black Textured with Striped Interior), detail, ceramic; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura

Enter Ferrin Contemporary, a gallery dedicated to ceramic artists, from MASS MoCA’s parking lot and find your self gazing at an array of beautiful, vibrantly colored vessels, relief paintings, and sculptures. What resemble the most vivid, glistening rubber band-like loops hang from a myriad of pegs on voluminous vessels and relief paintings that are round, rectangular, and square. The inside of each vessel is glazed in unexpected hues that play with the sense of depth and width. This is the work of Lauren Mabry, an artist re-imagining the definition, technique, and outcome of ceramics.

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Mighty Thunders and Borrowed Light open 2019 season at Hancock Shaker Village

Barbara Ernst Prey, School Room, 2019, watercolor on paper; [source Hancock Shaker Village].
Barbara Ernst Prey, School Room, 2019, watercolor on paper; [source Hancock Shaker Village].

by Jason Velázquez

This is the Top Left Corner. Today is Saturday, May 25, and you’re listening to episode #72. I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and as always, thank you for tuning in. We have a huge show for you this week. We start off with a short hop over to Lenox where we check in with Shakespeare & Company, whose 2019 season kicks off with the Wavery Gallery. Then we spend the remainder of our show at Hancock Shaker Village, which begins its season with the opening of two major installations, Borrowed Light: Barbara Ernst Prey, and While Mighty Thunders Roll: Popular Artists Sing the Shakers, produced by Jeffrey Gaskill. We’ll finish up with some key segments of my conversation with Matt Lorenz known by his one-man band — The Suitcase Junket. Oh, and we’ve got some boss tracks from his new album to share with you, too.

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Game of Thrones Has a Serious Girl Problem

Composite image of familiar "Game of Thrones" faces Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen; HBO.
Composite image of familiar "Game of Thrones" faces Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen; HBO.

Like most of the civilized world, I’ve zealously planted myself in front of the TV on Sunday nights for the past eight years to watch Game of Thrones unfold. I’ve largely enjoyed it, at least up until the rush-to-the-finish seasons 7 and 8, which have packed far too much character development and time hopping into a handful of episodes (how did Jaime Lannister and Arya Stark get to King’s Landing so quickly?), in an effort to tie up loose ends dangled but not yet resolved by author George R. R. Martin’s source material. As the series marches toward its final episode this weekend, I’ve come to realize that beyond poor pacing, there’s something more I deeply dislike about it: Game of Thrones has a girl problem.

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At the intersection of sound, space, and structure: ELEMENTAL

ELEMENTAL as viewed from the rear of the installation; photo by James Kennedy.
ELEMENTAL as viewed from the rear of the installation; photo courtesy Katya Popova.

Last Friday night I went to the 2019 opening of Installation Space in downtown North Adams to take in a new installation called ELEMENTAL.  The art exhibit is billed by Installation Space as “An immersive installation inspired by the basic structure of things. Its visual form explores the inner world of painting and cardboard, their visceral and abstract qualities—intersection, edge, line, negative space, texture, color, and movement. The installation is composed of sculptural visual elements, real time video re-projection, and sound.  The sound mirrors the visual net of  “the structures” by utilizing an algorithmic process of evolution of a complex modular texture.”  ELEMENTAL is the result of collaboration between two artists who both hold positions at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.

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A Wake-Up Call at MASS MoCA: Suffering from Realness

Cassils, Inextinguishable Fire, 2015, Single-Channel Video with Sound and Fourteen Encapsulated Breaths, 2017, Hand-Blown Glass, Each Unique; photo by Hideyo Okamura.
Cassils, Inextinguishable Fire, 2015, single-channel video with sound and Fourteen Encapsulated Breaths, 2017, Hand-Blown Glass, Each Unique; photo by Hideyo Okamura.

by Sara Farrell Okamura

It opened with a funeral procession. A mariachi band, the artist, Vincent Valdez playing trumpet, led a band of mourners channeling a New Orleans jazz–styled funeral march through the newest exhibit to open at MASS MoCA. Pallbearers hoisted Requiem, a black patina bronzed colossal carcass of an American Bald Eagle, to their shoulders, carrying him past the monumental charcoal drawings of Robert Longo, past Robert Taplin’s giant alabastrine clown, Punch (Punch & Judy puppets) silently preaching to an imaginary crowd, past the immense green squares of MPA’s examination of binaries, past Hayv Kahraman’s Three Celebrities, depicting an image of three women arguing over a pile of gold, a treasure secured by appropriating the suffering of refugees, past Christopher Mir’s paintings, symbolizing anxieties and hopes, past Titus Kaphar’s paintings and sculptures correcting history. The American eagle, created by Valdez and fellow artist Adriana Corral, was lowered to lie in repose in front of Corral’s white wall with 243 dates embedded into the museum’s drywall, submitted by 243 Americans (one for each year designating the age of the United States). Each of these dates symbolized a personal or historical event. Suffering from Realness was now on view to museum visitors.

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TLC #70 — The Berkshire Music Project Launches with Lady Moon & The Eclipse

Lady Moon & The Eclipse released their debut EP, "Believe" in 2018, and are currently producing their full length album "Journey to the Cosmic Soul," due out in 2019; photo by Jose Cotto.
Lady Moon & The Eclipse released their debut EP, "Believe" in 2018, and are currently producing their full length album "Journey to the Cosmic Soul," due out in 2019; photo by Jose Cotto.

by Jason Velázquez

In this episode, we speak with Josh Bennett, founder of the Berkshire Music Project, which seeks to grow the area’s live music scene. The very first show features Afrobeat and R&B-influenced Lady Moon & The Eclipse at 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 26 at Mr. Finn’s Cabaret in Pittsfield.

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Panther on the Prowl:
Katherine Bernhardt GOLD

Katherine Bernhardt, Love Online, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.
Katherine Bernhardt, Love Online, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas; photo by Sara Farrell Okamura.

While making your way through Hudson Valley’s pastoral countryside, it is easy to understand what inspired the Hudson River School of painters such as Thomas Cole and Federic Edwin Church. Your destination is Ghent, New York, a present day farming community about 20 or so miles north of the city of Hudson, and Olana, Church’s family estate, now a historic site. Passing halcyon landscapes, dotted with yellow dabs of color emanating from forsythia and daffodils, you arrive at Art Omi, a contemporary sculpture park, gallery, and international artists residency that rests on 120 + bucolic acres. After initially being greeted by Chicago artist, Tony Tasset’s giant sculpture of a fawn, you enter a contemporary edifice, the Beneson Center, housing the Newmark Gallery. BAM, to quote Roy Lichtenstein’s early pop painting, you have left the serene world of idealized romanticism and entered the universe of master painter, Katherine Bernhardt.

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The Pillar Profiles:
Lindsey Schmid

Editors Note: What does it mean when we say that someone is a “pillar of the community?” How you answer depends a lot on your experiences and intersections with the people who, in your mind, help support and strengthen the areas of local life that are most important to us. In this new series, we’ll surely tread some well worn paths in search of those personalities. We’ll blaze new trails looking for emerging leaders, as well as expand our vision of where to look for these pillars of our community. Know someone you think fills the bill? E-mail us.

When most of us Berkshires dwellers encourage friends to visit, we usually highlight the traveler’s trifecta of arts, culture, and outdoor recreation. But for Lindsey Schmid, tourism in the Berkshires is a lot more specific and varied. It’s about mindfulness and wellness. It’s about glamping and hotspots for watching wildlife. It’s the craft beverage trend, farm-to-table foods, and cannabis tours. And it’s about interactive experiences and behind-the-scenes tours of well-known venues—all the better to attract thrill seekers jonesing to be the first person to post on Instagram and say, “I did this!”

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What We Leave Behind

Dan Devine, Calf, plaster detail; Dan Devine, Calf, plaster; Giroux Gallery (photo: Sara Farrell Okamura).
Dan Devine, Calf, plaster detail; Dan Devine, Calf, plaster; Giroux Gallery (photo: Sara Farrell Okamura).

Impact, New Works by Dan Devine, Thompson Giroux Gallery

Enter Thompson Giroux Gallery in Chatham, New York from now until May 5 and you are walking into Impact, the latest body of work by Dan Devine. Chalky white plaster sculptures cast from the metal remains from collisions and crashes are installed throughout the space. On the walls hang rubbings on creamy white paper, from ruined remains of motors, a melting icicle, a toy assault rifle, and the skeleton of a lamb. The immediate sensation is you have wandered into an anthropological museum, situated on some newly settled planet, circa 2100, dedicated to treasures recovered from the demise of Earth and the empire where we now reside.

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