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BWLI Students and Committee

DownStreet Art Expected to Draw Thousands

06/16/2010

DownStreet ArtFor the third consecutive year, MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center will showcase North Adams as a cultural and artistic haven by presenting DownStreet Art, a public arts project. In addition to increasing MCLA's visibility, DownStreet Art was designed to revitalize the city and showcase what other local arts organizations have to offer.

From June 24 through Oct. 31, DownStreet Art once again will draw thousands of visitors to downtown North Adams. Over the past two years combined, it has brought some 35,000 people to downtown North Adams.

MCLA President Mary K. Grant said it is exciting to see how DownStreet has grown, thanks to the college's many partners who continue to support it.

"With more venues and artists than ever before, we expect another terrific season as local residents and visitors alike enjoy the wide variety of art to be found across the community," Grant said. "It's also a great opportunity to sample local restaurants and support local businesses."

The celebration will kick off on Thursday, June 24, with an enormous block party from 6-9 p.m., to be attended by the participating artists. The event, which will feature gallery openings, live music and specials offered by local businesses, is free and open to the public.

According to Anita Walker, executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), "DownStreet Art continues the North Adams tradition of innovative approaches to building community through the arts. The MCC is pleased to support DownStreet Art's efforts to revitalize North Adams and enhance its attractiveness as a place to live, work and visit."

With artists from throughout the world showcasing their work, this year's DownStreet Art has become much more global in scope. At the same time, the themes of the most of the exhibitions will look at different kinds of communities.

The project's 34 visual arts destinations will include an exhibition by Philadelphia-based, Puerto Rican artist Pepón Osorio, who will create an expansive, multi-media work that looks at the North Adams and Williamstown; Boston-based artist Liz Nofziger, who will install a site-specific exhibition in the former Artery Lounge; and a series of contemporary art exhibitions by Haitian-American artists, with the proceeds going to support the arts community in Haiti.

Visitors to the MCLA Gallery 51 Annex will find an interactive installation work produced by Greylock Arts that they can control from outside the window by using their cell phones. In addition, for the first time ever, the art of three generations of Rockwells will be exhibited in the Berkshires.

Along with the art of Norman Rockwell in nearby Stockbridge at the Norman Rockwell Museum, Jarvis Rockwell and his daughter, Daisy Rockwell, both will show their work in DownStreet Art galleries.

DownStreet Art Thursdays will continue on the last Thursday of every month from 6- 9 p.m. These events will feature music, performances, gallery openings and other downtown activities.

DownStreet Art is a project of MCLA's Berkshire Culture Resource Center, partnering with the City of North Adams, Develop North Adams, Orbit Visual Graphic Design and Scarafoni Realty.  The program is made possible through lead sponsorship support provided by Greylock Federal Credit Union and Greylock Investment Group.  Additional support is provided by: Adams Co-Operative Bank, Berkshire Bank, the City of North Adams, Gramercy Bistro, Hoosac Bank, The Hub Food and Spirit, Doug Morin MD, Papyri Books, The Party Place, Petrino's Café, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA , Supreme Pizza and Wings, Taylor's and TGL Photoworks.

For a complete listing of DownStreet Art galleries and performances, go to www.downstreetart.org . For more information about the BCRC, go to www.mcla.edu/bcrc .