MCLA

Downstreet Art Joins Downtown Celebration

08/15/2011

NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) has announced that its Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) will hold special DownStreet Art events during the City's Downtown Celebration on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 5-8 p.m.

The public is invited to participate in a number of activities, which include having their photos taken as part of an interactive art project, opportunities to create art and meet with artists, a printing demonstration, and a look at electronic and other mechanized art.

All activities - most to be held outside the galleries - are free, open to the public and child-friendly. In addition, every DownStreet Art gallery on Main, Holden and Eagle streets will be open late, until 8 p.m.

As part of MCLA Gallery 51's exhibit, "We are the Music Makers," a mixed media show by Erin Ko, the artist will make a series of collages built on its theme. Images that can be scanned by a smart phone with a QR reader will be available at the table in front of the 51 Main St. gallery.

Ko's collages will lead to text, a URL or other elements, some animated. Visitors are invited to piece together the codes and create their own composition using the existing technology, as they look at the creative potential of contemporary technology and art.

At 18 Holden St., the "XMALIA" gallery and performance series offers a selection of drawings, video, objects, garments and photographs about human-animal relations and the phenomena of vanishing creatures.

For the Downtown Celebration, inter-disciplinary artist, musician and performer C. Ryder Cooley will offer a free "Make Your Own Passenger Pigeon" activity. Visitors to "XMALIA" are invited to get creative with feathers to make their own passenger pigeon or make one to add to exhibit's flock of birds.

Also during the Celebration, "Us: Maya IV" at 49 Main St. will be open for visitors to meet artist Jarvis Rockwell. Enjoy his artwork of the last five decades and talk with him to gain a better appreciation of what he has created.

The "People's Hair Museum" in the Sheer Madness Gallery at 81 Main St. invites the residents of North Adams and surrounding communities to have their picture taken by gallery staff for inclusion in a showcase of current and past hairstyles.

This interactive art project on hair will be displayed alongside artists' works in the gallery's "A Social Geography of Hair" exhibition, curated by Izabel Galliera. All photographs will be marked and returned after Aug. 21.

In the PRESS gallery, at 105 Main St., "LetterPRESS as a Public Art Project," will offer a printing demonstration. In addition, outside the gallery, PRESS will open a booth from 5 to 8 p.m. where a variety of handmade prints, work and paper will be available for purchase.

Booth items include a $10 print box, greeting and all occasion cards, miscellaneous print items, as well as completely hand-made paper crafted by Fishbone Alchemy Paper Co. This will be the first time ever that their paper will be available for public purchase in various sizes, colors and dimensions.

At 24 Eagle St., Ephraim and Sadie Hatfield's "Everything Must Go!" explores art and commerce through gift and barter economies. Works on view include small electronic art items they have made throughout the summer, as well as some additional mechanized art. Some free items will be available to the public.

DownStreet Art is a project of MCLA's Berkshire Culture Resource Center, partnering with the City of North Adams, Develop North Adams, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The program is made possible through leading sponsorship support provided by Berkshire Bank, The Clark Art Institute, Excelsior Printing, Orbit Visual Graphic Design, Jarvis W Rockwell, Scarafoni Reality and Williams College Museum of Art. Additional support is provided by: Adams Co-Operative Bank, Hoosac Bank, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA and The Sushi House.

The initiative was 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 also to showcase what other local arts organizations have to offer.

For more information about DownStreet Art and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, go to www.downstreetart.org and www.mcla.edu/bcrc.