DownStreet Thursdays Continue on August 26


NORTH ADAMS, MA - DownStreet Art Last Thursdays continue on Thursday, Aug. 26, with exhibition openings, music, artistic performances, video screenings, opportunities to meet artists, an art treasure hunt, and specials at businesses throughout the downtown, 6-9 p.m.

The event, organized by the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), is free and open to the public.

New gallery openings include those at Gallerie Haiti, at 49 Main St.; Avalon Seafood Gallery, at 7 Holden St.; and Be Your Own Placebo, at 28 Holden St. 

At Gallerie Haiti, artists Jean-Patrick Icart-Pierre and Michele Voltaire Marcelin will be featured in "Reimagining HAITI, Part Two." They will focus on the interaction of text and image, and how to communicate the relationship of hope and struggle that's prevalent and necessary in contemporary Haiti and America.

At Avalon Seafood Gallery, view the results of a drawing marathon, an overnight event held at the Bascom Lodge on Mt. Greylock. An opening reception will be held 6-9 p.m. 

The Be Your Own Placebo (BYOP) gallery will feature new works by Kianja Strobert, Angela Zammarelli, Sasha Wiseman, Doug Anson, Peter Glantz, Chiara Giovando and Emily Shinada, with film screenings and live performances by Giovando and Glantz. Live music will be performed by Daily Life, a band from Providence, R.I. BYOP is curated by MCLA student Jamie Mohr '10. 

According to Valeria Federici, BCRC program coordinator, Be Your Own Placebo has been an important melting pot of new imaginaries, happenings and events.  

"A younger audience responded positively to BYOP's initiatives and openings which always guarantee intense, engaging and fun performances. Artworks on view offer a wide range of diversity in theme as well as media. From new technologies to more traditional paintings, BYOP features a number of emerging artists," Federici said. 

Last Thursday's events will include a site-specific installation on Eagle Street by local artist Amanda Hartlage, an MCLA alumna whose work reflects an introspective look at herself through figures and images that animate her life and thoughts. 

Other happenings include a performance by local artist and MCLA Gallery 51 Manager Ven Voisey, and the first DownStreet Art art treasure hunt, to begin at 6 p.m. with prized donated by Persnickety Toy Store and Shima. In addition, the North Adams trolley will transport visitors throughout the city to main art destinations. And, each gallery will distribute DownStreet Art passports, which give visitors the opportunity to obtain discounts in many restaurants and shops in North Adams. A number of downtown businesses will stay open later and offer specials.  

Ongoing exhibitions include "Drowned in a Glass of Water" by Pepon Osorio at 69 Union St., "The Artery" by Liz Nofziger at 26 Holden St., and "Linda Mieko Allen, Young Ja Yoon" at MCLA Gallery 51, at 51 Main St. 

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.

The initiative is designed to revitalize downtown North Adams by identifying the City as a cultural haven. The program serves not only to increase MCLA's visibility, but to showcase what other local arts organizations have to offer. For more information about DownStreet Art and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, go to and bcrc .  

"The Wilco weekend has been a big success and locals and visitors responded very well to our downtown initiatives, thanks to co-operation between Develop North Adams and DownStreet Art," Federici said. "We look forward to seeing our local visitors again in the downtown." 

According to Federici, the event will be the last chance of the summer to view local artist Jarvis Rockwell's MAYA III exhibit, which will close at the end of August and re-open in October in a different location. 

"Maya lived at the 73 Main Street for more than two years," Federici said. "The space has been rented and Jarvis Rockwell has been offered a different space so to guarantee his presence downtown. This is the proof that art can be a drive for business. Since 2008, DownStreet Art brought thousands of people on Main Street and the surrounded area and businesses are starting to realize the value of investing in storefront downtown. 

 "We are committed to North Adams and to art," she continued. "Last Thursday is a big art celebration and we invite everyone to enjoy every event and to stop by each gallery and business."