As the days start to get a bit shorter and colder, many think that just like our woodland 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.
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 concert 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 band members which included Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Buddy Whittington.
In February also check out the 10×10 Festival in Pittsfield, with so many great events to attend. One of our signature theater events happens during this Festival at Barrington Stage Company. They present a series of ten, 10-minute plays, don’t miss this unique Berkshire experience.
If you prefer to spend your time at the 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 Masters of the Golden Age: Harvey Dunn and His Students and The Love a Vet: Honoring Our Veterans exhibit open now until February. Also on display now is Norman Rockwell’s Spirit of the Holidays exhibit, which 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 which 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.
Just like our outdoor recreational activities and our farm-to-table restaurants, the Berkshire cultural scene is alive and vibrant year round.