The Berkshires are filled with art museums and galleries of all sorts and sizes. One gallery in North County that is garnering quite a bit of well deserved attention, is the recently opened Rudd Art Museum. Though the museum is now closed for the season, artist Eric Rudd has created a unique, new art museum in the vast space that once housed a Methodist church. The museum showcases a good portion of Rudd’s own artwork, as well as featuring the works of other local artists. During seasonal months, visitors can take a free tour of the museum, browsing the expansive, more permanent works. They can also view special exhibits and shows, like a recent one called, ‘A blueprint for preservation,’ or ‘Figuring In,’ which featured works of local artists, such as Leo Mazzeo and David Zaig. It is nice to see this commitment to the local community.
Rudd’s own art is often striking and extremely innovative. Some of his larger installations are on view both inside and outside of the museum. He frequently employs polyurethane and robotics in his art. Much of Rudd’s work has been displayed throughout the world, so we are privileged here in the Berkshires to have continuous access to his art. Rudd has also been instrumental in introducing several cultural events to the Berkshires. He is responsible for bringing Beaver Mill to North Adams, which is ‘one of the largest personal studios in the world.’ An important member of the community, Rudd serves on several cultural boards and helps to make art available for the entire community, through events that he has created and participated in. Along with the new museum, further down the road in another re purposed church, you’ll find his ‘Chapel for Humanity’, which is both an artistic composition, as well a space for contemplation. One could visit Rudd’s museums as an addition to touring the larger, more well known museums, but you could easily spend the entire day, with the Rudd Art Museum as your main focus. This newly opened space is a prime example of how arts are alive and flourishing in the Berkshires.