Third DownStreet Art of The Summer to Offer More Artistic Performances and Happenings


NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - For the third time this summer, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center's (BCRC) DownStreet Art will offer a diverse variety of arts exhibition openings, musical and dance performances, and family-friendly street activities in downtown North Adams.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursday, Aug. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The third DownStreet Art Thursday will see the opening of eight new exhibitions, as well as artistic performances and more artist vendors. MCLA Gallery 51's exhibition and performance, "A Marriage: 1 (Suburbia)," will focus around the experiences of LGBT artists, Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin.

Vaughn and Margolin will present a blend of performance art, video, sculpture, drawing and sound for their exhibition, creating an immersive, building-wide mixed media performance that reveals the artists' experiences of their same-sex marriage and expresses their deep ambivalence towards their new status as a normal American couple.

"The summer may be winding down, but DownStreet Art certainly isn't! As always, we are providing a wide variety of truly distinctive and world-class artistic and musical experiences for the community," said Leeya Jackson, DownStreet Art coordinator intern. "Everything from entertaining indie-rock, Americana music to more thought-provoking visual performances will take place during this third DownStreet Art Thursday."

Headlining the night is Vermont Joy Parade, a seven-piece ensemble playing an eclectic blend of Americana, indie-rock, old-time, country blues, Dixieland, Cajun, jug and klezmer known as "all-time music" or "suspender fusion."

Their alchemical blend of alternately rambunctious and soulful tunes they have performed throughout America and Europe will come to the DownStreet Art stage near the Berkshire Bank. In addition, acoustic crooner Mike Wamba will perform outside of MCLA Gallery 51.

The current "CARAVAN PLUS: Collective Work of Eiko and Koma" exhibition on 69 Union St. will host a site-specific dance performance, "inhabit (artifact)," by local choreographer, Kerri Countryman, 6-8:30 p.m. The dance is site-specific in the sense that it is inspired, created and performed solely by the work in world-renowned, Japanese artist choreographers Eiko and Koma's "Caravan Plus" exhibition.
Throughout the night, the North Adams' city trolley will shuttle visitors, looping from Main Street locations to the "Caravan Plus" exhibition and "inhabit (artifact)" dance performance.

Exhibition openings include Rich Remsberg's found-footage videos in the "Historyland: Found Objects and Media" exhibition in Gallery 53, and the abstracted, colorful work of Matt Phillips in the "Both, And: Recent Paintings" exhibition in Branch Gallery. Tatiana Klacmans's current whimsical Gallery 105 exhibition, "The Forest of And, And, And," will be extended until Sept. 3.

Another artistic highlight is Daniel "Danny O" O'Connor's "Danny O on the Road" installation in the Artery Gallery on Holden Street, where an installation will be view only for the DownStreet Art Thursday celebration on Aug. 29.

Credited as the first person to make high art with Scotch tape, Danny O creates collage art using a range of media, from comic books and colorful magazine paper to vintage record album covers and old lottery tickets. In addition to the one day pop-up gallery, Holden Street once again will be shut down to vehicular traffic to allow for artist booths and activities on the street, including photographer Ben Mancino and jewelry-crafter Sarah Fischer.

DownStreet Art Thursdays occur every last Thursday of the summer months. The upcoming DownStreet Art Thursday Performances for the 2013 season are as follows:

On Thursday, Sept. 26, Great Small Works will perform excerpts from their "Toy Theater of Terror As Usual," a news-based series' trajectory from 1990 to 2002. The Great Small Works productions seek to renew, cultivate and strengthen the spirits of their audiences, reanimating the public sphere and promoting theater as a communal activity, a model for participating in democracy. Also, James McBride, an author, musician and screenwriter, who toured as a sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott, will cap off the evening with a musical performance.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, Ryder Cooley and Friends will present a macabre All Hallows Eve masquerade performance with live music, projections, costumes, taxidermy and mystical happenings. The audience will be serenaded with sinister accordion, gothic ukulele, chilling singing saw and disembodied voices. 

DownStreet Art will end with a final Halloween celebration on Thursday, Oct. 31, with exhibition openings, performances and more.

DownStreet Art is a project of MCLA's Berkshire Culture Resource Center, partnering with the City of North Adams, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Orbit Visual Graphic Design.

The program is made possible through lead sponsorship support provided by Excelsior Printing, Appelbaum-Kahn Foundation, Berkshire Bank, Scarafoni Associates, the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, Public eat+drink, and North Adams Chamber of Commerce. Additional support is provided by: Williamstown Motel, Limelight Productions, Luma's Muffin and Mug, brewhaha!, Adams Community Bank, Sushi House, China Buffet, Berkshire Emporium and Antiques, Mediterra, I Got Goodies, Christo's Famous Pizza, Desperados Fresh Mexican Grille, Jack's Hot Dog Stand, Lickety Split, MountainOne, O'Connell Oil Associates, Inc., Eagle St. Music, Shear Madness Salon, Bark N' Cat, Shima, Verizon Wireless Zone, Bascom Lodge, The Hub, Freight Yard Restaurant and Pub, MASS MoCA, The Party Place, and Persnickety Toys.

An initiative of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), DownStreet Art (DSA) is a public art project designed to revitalize downtown North Adams. By harnessing existing art organizations and events and transforming vacant and open spaces into art destinations, DownStreet Art defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members.

For more information about DownStreet Art events and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, go to and bcrc.

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