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The June 1st First Fridays Artswalk will encompass seventeen art shows featuring over two dozen accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield’s bustling Upstreet Cultural District. Venues will reach as far south as the Whitney Center for the Arts and as far North as Berkshire Medical Center. The June First Fridays Artswalk will kick –off with opening receptions and artists present throughout the “walk” from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, June 1st. There will be a free guided walking tour lead by Cheryl Mirer, Executive Director of Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., beginning at 5 pm on June 1st at the Intermodal Center at BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.

 

The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue, will be hosting BCC’s Berkshire Immigrant Stories Exhibit in June. Berkshire Immigrant Stories are a grant funded program at Berkshire Community College, funded by MassHumanities, that collects and shares the stories of immigrants in the Berkshires through a website hosted by the Tenement Museum in Manhattan.

 

The Berkshire Immigrant Stories highlight immigration and migration stories of the past and the present. Each story reveals one person’s family experience. Collectively, the stories tell America’s story and highlight the patterns that bind us together, no matter where we came from or how long we’ve been there. In this exhibit, read about the reasons why people came here and learn more about the objects that they have chosen to tell their personal history. There will be an opening reception during Artswalk on June 1st, 5 to 8 pm, and additional events throughout the month.

 

RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, 137 North Street, is pleased to feature Gloria Finkelstein’s “Countries through their Fabrics”. The exhibit, on view throughout June, will feature handmade quilts made from fabrics from all over the world. There will be an opening reception on June 1st, 5 to 8 pm during Artswalk.

 

Susan Robinson will be showing a collection of her recent illustrations at Steven Valenti’s Clothing, 157 North Street, in a show entitled “Elements of Enchantment”. As an illustrator, Susan draws inspiration from the woods and mountains surrounding her home – forest animals and fairy tales, creatures – real and imaginary, whatever could be out lurking around, telling their own stories.

 

Artist Ilene Richard will display her vibrant artwork at Mary’s Carrot Cake, 21 Union Street, during the June 1st Artswalk and all summer long. Ilene’s figurative work is based on her observations of people involved in everyday activities. A strong design, vibrant color palette, and a narrative quality are features of her unique illustrations and paintings.

 

New shows from local artists will also be displayed at the following locations as part of First Fridays Artswalk: NUarts Studios and Gallery, The Marketplace Café, The Funky Phoenix, Berkshire Paint and Sip, The Kinderhook Group Real Estate, The Whitney Center for the Arts, Berkshire Museum, Hotel on North, The Berkshire Athenaeum, Brothership Building, Downtown Pittsfield, Inc., and Berkshire Medical Center.

 

First Fridays Artswalk is presented by Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. Most art exhibits are on display in participating venues throughout the month. Please check with venues for hours of operation. For more information on First Fridays Artswalk and to view a listing and map of all participating artists and locations, visit www.FirstFridaysArtswalk.com.

 

By Lead Artswalk Coordinator, Kimberly Gritman

 

Featured Images (left to right): Ilene Richard, Laura Didyck, Susan Robinson