December First Fridays Artswalk, Downtown Pittsfield, MA

The December 1st First Fridays Artswalk will encompass a dozen art shows featuring over two dozen accomplished regional artists in Pittsfield’s bustling Upstreet Cultural District. Venues will reach as far south as the Berkshire Museum and as far North as Dottie’s Coffee Lounge. The December First Fridays Artswalk will kick –off with opening receptions and artists present throughout the “walk” from 5 to 8 pm on Friday, December 1st. There will be a free guided walking tour lead by Artswalk co-founder Mary McGinnis beginning at 5 pm on December 1st at the Intermodal Center at BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.


The Office of Cultural Development will host their third annual Holiday Wreath Art Auction on December 1, 2017 at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Avenue. The wreaths will be on display in conjunction with First Fridays Artswalk during a $10 ticketed event, with a preview from 5 pm to 6:30 pm on December 1st. The live auction of 10 featured wreaths will begin at 6:30 pm. All proceeds will benefit the Pittsfield Food Pantries. Light refreshments and beverages will be served. There will also be grab and go options for wreaths and kissing balls.


NUarts Studios & Gallery, 311 North Street, will host a NUarts Holiday Show on Friday, December 1st, from 5 to 8 pm. There will be interactive art making in the studios of Marney Schorr where visitors can design their own ornaments. Gift tags will be created in the studio of Caroline Kelley.


During this Holiday Show, NUarts has invited Taconic High School art students to display their art. At least 10 students, under the tutelage of Lauretta Saldo, their art teacher, will exhibit both two-dimensional and three-dimensional work. NUarts’ brand-new Youth Art Gallery, curated by Marney Schorr, will also be open to the public.


NUarts artists with open studios during the December 1st Artswalk include: Ellen Joffe Halpern, Karen S. Jacobs, Caroline Kelley, Sophia Lane, Marney Schorr, Laura Didyk, Joan Rooks and Gwenan Marshall.


“Fifth Annual Whimsy” will open at the Whitney Center for the Arts, 42 Wendell Avenue, with an artist reception on December 1st, 5 to 8 pm during Artswalk. This edition of “Whimsy” will feature an intriguing mix of whimsical artwork by Nancy Baumiller, Michael Boroneic, Misa Chappell, Ryder Cooley, Katherine Haig, Don Orcutt, and Marney Schorr.


An After Party will follow the reception from 8 to 10 pm with a live multi-media musical performance by the Dust Bowl Faeries. “Fifth Annual Whimsy” will be on display for the months of December and January.


New shows from local artists will also be displayed at the following locations as part of First Fridays Artswalk: Steven Valenti’s Clothing for Men, RJ Stohr Diamonds & Fine Jewelry, the Brothership Building Window, The Marketplace Café, Berkshire Paint and Sip, The Kinderhook Group Real Estate, Hotel on North, Berkshire Museum, and The Funky Phoenix.


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


Contact contributor Kimberly Cortes-Gritman at

Kimberly is a Downtown Coordinator and Lead Coordinator of First Fridays Artswalk.


Images: (left to right) Misa Chappell, Wreath Art Auction at The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts (Photo by Kate Drew Miller), Barbara Shea Tracy