By Kelly Bevan McIlquham
There is never a lack of venues at which families can experience and create art together in Berkshire County. Be it a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge; art-making activities at the Berkshire Museum or Bisque Beads and Beyond in Pittsfield; Family Days at MASS MoCA, The Clark or Williams College Museum of Art in North County or a quick stop at one of the myriad galleries throughout the county — there’s art in the Berkshires for all ages to enjoy.
But if your family members would like to dip into the world of art for a little longer than a day during a trip to the region, you just might want to check out the year-round activities and classes available at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires in Stockbridge, with satellite programs in Williamstown and Lenox.
“IS183 after-school, weekend and camp programs for children are a great mix of creation and fun. Children work with a wide range of media to create memorable art and craft projects,” said Hope Sullivan, IS183’s executive director. Classes include Puppet-Making; Arts Discovery; Clay Creatures; Mythical Magic, and more are for children ranging in age from 3 and up. April’s Art Circuit, which explores a different art medium every week, with participants trying their hand (and brain) at two-dimensional projects (like enlarging a drawing to mural-size) and 3D projects (like model building), may be of interest to the teen set in your household.
Yet, IS183 art classes aren’t limited to just the kid. There is also something for mom and dad. Adult classes range in subject matter from fiber and digital arts to drawing, writing, and photography; from painting to jewelry-making and ceramics, just to name a few.
The annual IS183 gala, set for April 12 this year at Eastover Resort in Lenox, may also be of interest to the grown-ups in the family. This is one of the school’s biggest fundraisers of the year, and without it, IS183 staff couldn’t possibly bring families the amount of year-round programming it does. Even better, parents have an excuse to get dressed up in a costume and embarrass their children with their attire, as gala attendees are usually encouraged to dress up according to the evening’s theme (The Vermilion Cotillion is the theme for April). So leave the kids at home for a night on the town, and support an organization that provides so much fun for families in and around the Berkshires.