The March First Fridays Artswalk will encompass fourteen art shows featuring over two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield’s bustling Upstreet Cultural District. Venues will reach as far south as the Unitarian Universalist Church, 175 Wendell Avenue, and as far North as Berkshire Medical Center, 725 North Street. The March First Fridays Artswalk will kick –off with opening receptions and artists present throughout the “walk” from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, March 1st. There will be a free guided walking tour beginning at 5 pm on March 1st at the Intermodal Center at BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.
RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, 137 North Street, will present the paintings of Jay Hall Connaway for the month of March. Jay Hall Connaway (1893-1970) was a well-known realist, landscape painter and art teacher, who was known primarily for scenes of sea and surf around Monhegan Island, Maine. There will be an opening reception on March 1st, 5 to 8 pm during Artswalk.
The Marketplace Café, 53 North Street, will feature drawings from Nicholas Russo’s Simple.Pittsfield for the month of March. There will be an opening reception on March 1st, 5 to 8 pm during Artswalk.
Russo is a Pittsfield native who lives on North Street and loves to admire the many old buildings that line the corridor. The inspiration to draw some of Pittsfield’s facades came from a project called Simple.City, created by a graphic designer in Atlanta who drew the facades of Atlanta’s historic and modern high rises in simple black and white. The Simple.Pittsfield project is still ongoing, with more buildings in the works to be drawn.
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Pittsfield branch at 66 Allen Street will feature mixed media artist Amanda Romanelli’s Peeled through March 29th. There will be a reception with the artist and an open information session about MCLA from 5 to 8 pm on March 1st during Artswalk. Peeled explores the human norms and behaviors, that overtime, we have grown to accept. Using bananas as a visual metaphor for mankind, the viewer is left to decipher concepts we rarely think about. The use of repeating forms, colors, and themes across the works create a visual language for the elusiveness of human nature.
Hotel on North, 297 North Street, will feature My World: Paintings by Scott Taylor from March 1st through April 26th. A reception with the artist will be held on Friday, March 1st, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
Scott Taylor is a Berkshire, MA painter who has been creating art for most of his life. Old rustic barns so prevalent in the New England landscape are a major influence for him, as are wooded pathways, garden flowers, old rusted trucks and treed ridgelines. Taylor’s use of color has become his signature and is apparent when looking at his work. Vibrant color first catches the eye, and through its movement and energy one is drawn further into the painting.
Create your own mini clay sculpture at a free session open to all at Berkshire Paint and Sip, 305 North Street: “Come Play with Clay!” No reservations are needed, just pop-in and play with clay. All supplies and tools are provided, along with a professional artist on hand to assist and guide you in your sculpting endeavor. The free session will be part of the March 1st Artswalk, 5 to 8 pm. Refreshments will be provided.
New shows from local artists will also be displayed at the following locations as part of First Fridays Artswalk: Berkshire Theatre Group, The Funky Phoenix, The Kinderhook Group, Unitarian Universalist Church, Brothership Building Window, and Berkshire Medical Center.
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.
Featured images in header (left to right): Scott Taylor at Hotel on North and Anne Pasko at The Kinderhook Group