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Getting Indoors with Culture

Posted on November 01, 2022Written by Gretchen M. Michelfeld

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The Berkshires Offer Lots of Indoor Beauty Too!

Do you prefer the après to the actual skiing? Does the thought of strapping on a pair of snowshoes or ice skates make you shiver?  Raise your hand if you’ve never been a snow bunny! For those of us non-chionophiles (it’s a real word–we looked it up!), the Berkshires offers plenty of opportunities to stay warm and cozy all while getting our culture on as well! 

The Berkshire Bach Society is a non-profit, member-based group devoted to the celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach and his Baroque predecessors, contemporaries, and followers through live solo recitals, choral concerts, chamber music and orchestral performances. Though most famous for their New Year’s concerti concerts given at various venues around the Berkshires, the free community Messiah Sing event is a kickoff to the holiday season that no one should miss! This year Berkshire locals and visitors alike are invited to the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington, to perform the popular choruses from Handle’s Messiah (including, of course, “Hallelujah”) accompanied by the Berkshire Bach Players. Mark Saturday, November 26th at 4:00 pm on your calendars and come sing along. Community singers may bring their own scores, or buy or borrow one from the Society. Non-singers can come along as well and enjoy listening to their friends and neighbors lift their voices high! 

If you’re more in the mood for visual art, the Berkshires is bursting with great museums. Aside from the world-famous galleries at well-known places like The Clark, MASS MoCA, The Norman Rockwell Museum, we recommend you explore some off-the-beaten-path options that are bound to impress and delight all kinds of culture vultures with unique exhibits. In November, The Virginia Bradley Art Studio in Great Barrington offers intimate open studio events and private studio tours featuring the exquisite abstract paintings of acclaimed Berkshire artist Virginia Bradley (joined this year by guest artist Chris Malcomsom) in her own inviting work space. 

The Smith College Museum of Art in Northampton, just a hop, skip and a jump from the Berkshires, is a leading academic museum with a mission to engage the public with firsthand encounters of art and artists, and to foster an environment with diverse perspectives. Check out Jeremiah Patterson’s Tempera Paint Making Demonstration on November 12th. Current exhibits include “Brought to Life: Painted Wood Sculpture from Europe, 1300-1700,” and Chien-Chi Chang’s documentary video “China Town,” which explores the experiences of undocumented workers in New York’s China Town. SCMA also offers a popular ongoing exhibit of the “Arts of Africa, c. 1825-1960.” 

Interested in contemporary African art? Check out Berkshire favorite ROAM: A Xtina Gallery in North Adams for African photography, fine art, and unique gifts. Upstairs, the gallery offers gorgeous contemporary African photography and fine artworks as well as exquisite African antiquities. Downstairs, the ROAM shop sells fair-trade African pottery, clothing, jewelry, toys, house wares, and home decor.

Let’s let our chionophile friends do the skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and sledding in the winter wonderland of the Berkshire Mountains. We’ll enjoy some indoor time and expand our cultural horizons

Photos: MASS MoCA, credit Kaelan Burkett; Virginia Bradley in Studio, credit Tasja Keetman; ROAM: A Xtina Gallery, credit Abby Leadbetter

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