As the days start to get a bit shorter and colder, many think that just like our wooded, forest animals, our cultural venues go dormant over the winter season. While the local theaters might not be in full summer swing and some temporary museum exhibits may have ended, the Berkshires’ cultural scene is a year-round discovery and is waiting for your group.
Berkshire Theatre Group is well into planning their upcoming 2016 season and is hosting such musical acts as The Wailers this February. The band, that once together with Bob Marley, went on to sell over 250 million albums, will now be playing songs from the Legend and Exodus albums at their Colonial Theater in downtown Pittsfield. Also at the Colonial, this coming March is, the often referred Godfather of British Blues, John Mayall. Hosting an impressive musical career that spans over 50 years, the English blues singer, pianist, harmonica player, guitarist, and songwriter founded the band, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers in the 1960’s with members including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya, and Buddy Whittington.
In February have your group check out the 10×10 Festival in Pittsfield, one of our signature theater events happens during this Festival at Barrington Stage Company. They will present a series of ten, 10-minute plays, this is a not to miss experience in the Berkshires.
If the group prefers to spend their time at museums, the Norman Rockwell Museum located in Stockbridge is a famous, year-round museum and educational resource. Throughout the year, it houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of original Rockwell art and is currently hosting three exhibits, Masters of the Golden Age: Harvey Dunn and His Students. The Rockwell Museum, along with South Dakota Art Museum presents the first major exhibition celebrating the art and legacy of American illustration master, Harvey Dunn, who is best known for his prairie-intimate masterpiece, The Prairie is My Garden.
The Love a Vet: Honoring Our Veterans exhibit is open now until February. This exhibit features paintings, drawings and prints by a diverse group of contemporary illustrators; many of the artists have been involved in the military themselves, or have previously documented the activities of others who have served and was organized by Ella Rue, an award-winning graphic designer and artist living in Califon, New Jersey, whose son is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays exhibit, now through February, showcases the illustrations that for years brought good cheer to millions of Americans who encountered his images on the covers and pages of their favorite magazines, and on holiday cards that brought the spirit of the holiday’s home.
Those that love contemporary art will be thrilled with the new installations happening at MASS MoCA. Along with the eight ongoing exhibits, beginning in February, the new Richard Nonas exhibit will open. Nonas, who creates totemic sculptures made from earthy and industrial materials like wooden railroad ties, granite curbstones, massive boulders, and thick steel plates. This new exhibit promises that the sculptures will occupy and transform a nearly football field length building at MASS MoCA.
Starting shortly after Nonas, is the Alex Da Corte: Free Roses exhibit will take over MASS MoCA’s second-floor galleries. Labeled provocative, puzzling, and visually seductive, Alex Da Corte’s exuberant works merge the languages of abstraction and modern design with banal, off-brand items, ranging from shampoo to soda, tchotchkes, and household cleaning supplies. Contemporary heir to the pop artists, Da Corte combines these common consumer objects with pop cultural references, personal family narratives, and even other artists’ work, in vibrant sculptures, paintings, videos, and immersive installations.
Also open is Williams College Museum of Art, which is right down the street from MASS MoCA in Williamstown (and it is always free). While you are in Williamstown be sure to not miss the world-renowned Clark Art Institute.
All our cultural venues are happy to work directly with you to ensure that your group has a personalized and memorable experience while in the Berkshires. Also, don’t forget that no Berkshire itinerary is complete without an outdoor activity or a stop at one of our delicious farm-to-table restaurants. We look forward to seeing you soon in the Berkshires.