The place to be


MCLA continues its celebration of the arts in North Adams with DownStreet Art Thursday, a night of exhibition openings and free performances July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Thursday's events include live music with the College's own Tom Byrne, a professor in the psychology department, and his daughters.

While playing the guitar and the saxophone is "strictly a hobby" of Byrne's, his daughter Cate, 9, began playing the violin when she was 4. She is a regular performer at local nursing homes and at a Pittsfield eatery, where Byrne accompanies her. His younger daughter Savannah, 6, joins them by playing the drums.

"Playing music with my daughters is a blast!" Byrne said. "We play quite a mix of stuff, including old time fiddle tunes, Celtic, blues, jazz, and a couple of classical pieces."

The family will perform at North Adams Co-Op Gallery at 33 Main St., where La Mesa, a month-long exhibition that focuses on traditional and nontraditional artworks for and about the table, will be on view through August 23.  Selected artists in this show include both gallery members as well as non-member artists from throughout the region.

Also on view at the North Adams Co-Op Gallery will be Video Portraits, which includes a "rockumentary," fictional Antiques Roadshow-style storytelling, and a look at popular culture icons.

Also opening Thursday is an exhibition by Bryan Heggie at Avalon Seafood Gallery, 7 Holden St. With this artwork, Heggie explores the spiritual reality he observes in the material Western world.

In Works and Days 1979-2009: A Survey of Selected Works, at 28 Holden St., artist Mark Mulherrin will present "Plausible Kingdoms," the second part of the three-exhibition series. The show includes a selection of oil paintings created by Mulherrin from 1990 to 1999 when he lived on the island of St. Croix, and from 2000 to 2009 after he relocated to North Adams. 

MCLA Gallery 51, at 51 Main St., will present the multi-layered paintings of Deb Pendell of North Adams. Her landscapes incorporate letters to explore the nature of language.

In the Gallery 51 Annex at 65 Main St., the KinoDance Company will reveal the second part of The Refractive Kinescope installation, the "OKNO-Scope."

The okno in "OKNO-Scope" is Russian for window, so it is not surprising that the front window of the Gallery 51 Annex hosts the new piece. The "OKNO-Scope" is an illuminated film poster in motion comprised of 48 frames from silent films.

Other events July 30 include the Twelfth Night Preview at the Main Street Stage, 57 Main St., at 7:30 p.m., The Art Olympics at Kidspace in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) from 7 to 8:30 p.m., and a performance by participants of the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival outside of the Berkshire Bank at 37 Main St.

DownStreet Art, a public art project designed to revitalize downtown North Adams with new and existing arts organizations and events, runs through October 31, with openings and activities taking place throughout the summer. 

DownStreet Art is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center and its partners, MASS MoCA, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Scarafoni Reality and the City of North Adams. The program is made possible through lead sponsorship support provided by Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional support is provided by Adams Co-Operative Bank, Berkshire Bank, Edward Jones Investments, Gramercy Bistro, Papyri Books, Photoworks and The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA.

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