Gallerie Haiti to open as part of Downstreet Art
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. - Beginning Thursday, June 24, the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC) at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) will present Gallerie Haiti, a Downstreet Art gallery featuring contemporary Haitian and Haitian American Artworks.
The first exhibit, "HAITI, Beyond Mountains there are Mountains," originally organized by Art for Change, will begin with an opening reception on Thursday, June 24, from 6 to 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
"Gallerie Haiti will feature contemporary Haitian and Haitian American art. It strives to raise awareness about Haitian culture that goes beyond the stereotypic tourist depictions and to encourage dialogue about current issues in Haiti inspired by the artworks exhibited," said Melanie Mowinski, curator and assistant professor of visual art at MCLA. "The exhibit also provides an opportunity for contemporary Haitian and Haitian American artists to sell artworks knowing that the 30 percent from the 70/30 artist/gallery split will go directly to relief efforts."
"HAITI, Beyond Mountains there are Mountains," explores the political, economic and social landscape in Haiti prior to the recent catastrophic earthquake, and examines how this topography has played out in the aftermath of a crisis. It features the work of Jonathan Allen, Partricia Brintle, Yae Li Cho, Roberto De Jesus, Andrew Fish, Kathleena Howie-Garcia, Vidho Lorville, Isabel MacDonald, Sarah Olson, Tara Parsons, Michael Pribich and Courtney Puckett.
Art for Change (AfC) is a 501(c)3 organization that encourages the advancement of progressive social change by using art as a catalyst for disseminating information to people.
The second show, opening July 29, and the third show, opening Aug. 30, will continue to explore the ideologies and concepts raised in the first show by focusing on bodies of work by a select group of artists including: Michele Voltaire Marcelin, Rejin Leys, Vladimir Cybil Charlier, Jean-Patrick Icart-Pierre, Andre Juste, Didier William and Robert Henriquez.
The exhibits strive to raise questions in the visitors' minds, such as: What is the role of public art? Can art help make a difference in people's lives? How will the political, economic and social landscapes of Haiti evolve post-earthquake-both literally and metaphorically?
"Haiti, Beyond Mountains there are Mountains," runs through July 23. Gallerie Haiti is at 49 Main St. in North Adams and is open Wednesday-Friday, 12-6; Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-2. For more information, call 413-664-8718, or go to www.mcla.edu/galleriehaiti.
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 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 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 .