When you are seeking out a beautiful and unusual gift for yourself or someone else, you don’t have to search very far in this creative county. The Berkshires are a Mecca of sorts for artists from all over the world, coming here to explore their talents in a community that supports their talents, creating a synergistic energy that fills the air around us. There are artist’s studios, galleries, shops and even ‘pop-up’ markets, allowing the artists to share their unique works with the public. One such art studio/gallery is Hotchkiss Mobiles, in West Stockbridge, where artist Joel Hotchkiss designs and creates whimsical hanging mobiles to offer to his customers. These eclectic pieces have found their way into museum stores around the country(such as the Guggenheim Museum), in movies and also on television shows. His mobiles are made from lightweight metals and fabrics, allowing them to float seamlessly through the air. Many of the mobiles are made to be viewed from the underside, with their vibrant colors dancing above your head, while others are images and scenes, with detailed pieces of the mobile coming together to complete the view as a whole. Hotchkiss has been designing mobiles for over thirty years, and came to the Berkshires by way of California, where he first started Hotchkiss Mobiles. He now works in a West Stockbridge studio with his wife and another employee. Attached to the studio(which has a viewing window, so that customers can view his art in progress), is a gallery, where they sell mobiles of all shapes and sizes. Many people buy them for their homes or offices, and bigger businesses often purchase them to have an eye catching piece of art in their lobbies. In addition to the mobiles, they also carry a fine selection of other artist’s works, and include tableware, crocheted scarves and hats, beautiful frames and stylish, handcrafted jewelry. There are also many unusual pieces, such as cement clocks and decorative furniture, giving customers plenty of options to decide from.
Hotchkiss Mobiles is a wonderful place to visit, and you get the feeling of serenity and peacefulness as the artful mobiles slowly move above you. During the warmer months, you can also head next door to their ‘Perks Gallery Cafe’, where you can enjoy a meal or light snack, perhaps to meet a friend for a cappuccino on their outside patio. No matter when you visit, you are sure to find a visual feast for your eyes and a bit of enrichment for your soul. The Berkshires have many inspirational artists in their midst, and Joel Hotchkiss and his beautiful, hanging mobiles are a fine example.
Take it from me, your Berkshire Girl Around Town