Art Exhibition

Weekend Events in the Northampton Area!

Hello Northampton Area Friends! We wanted to remind you of some fun and important upcoming holiday (and non-holiday) events going on in the area this weekend.

The 16th Annual Hot Chocolate Run for Safe Passage is happening in Northampton this Sunday, December 7th. The first event starts at 9 a.m. in the parking lot next to the Northampton Brewery. There are many local businesses present, giving away goodies. It's fun to cheer on the many walkers and runners who have raised money for this wonderful event!

The Cottage Street Open Studio Sale is on this weekend and next! The dates are December 7, 8 and 14th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cottage Street Studios in Easthampton.

The Easthampton Art Walk, which occurs on the 2nd Saturday of each month, is scheduled for next Saturday, December 14th, after the Cottage Street Open House. 

The 8th Annual Holiday Toy Exchange is happening next weekend. Toys can be dropped off on 12/13, the exchange itself is on the 14th. The event is run nearly entirely by volunteers, and is co-sponsored by the Northampton Department of Public Works and its ReUse Committee and by Northampton Public Schools/Coordinated Family and Community Engagement. Those wishing to donate used toys can do so from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at the cafeteria of Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. Toys should be clean and complete. More information can be found on this flyer

Lastly, The 39th Annual Northampton Winter Craft Fair will take place Saturday, December 7 through Sunday, December 8, 2019. The event will benefit CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Hampshire County in furthering its mission of creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. Join BBBS at Northampton High School to shop from a beautiful selection of goods produced by 90 artisans and a delightful children’s book sale. The event will feature live music, including local jazz artist Taylor McCoy, delicious food from Hillside Organic Pizza and Catering, and a silent auction taking place on Saturday. The fair is open 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Sunday. The price of admission is $5 for adults and free for children. There is free parking on the premises. McCoy will perform from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday and 12 – 2 p.m. on Sunday.

 

Smith Bulb Show in Full Swing!

Cold temperatures, mounds of snow and ice got you down? Head over to Smith College for the remaining 9 days of the Smith and Mount Holyoke College Spring bulb show. The variety of flowers, array of colors and floral scents, and the recently added corresponding art installation should help lift your spirits and remind you that spring and summer are around the corner! Winter can be tough in the Pioneer Valley. Northampton residents and visitors look forward to this annual event as winter draws to a close.

Get Growing: Inside the bulb shows

For the Gazette 
Published: 3/1/2019 2:04:02 PM

Every year in late winter, when we’re all desperate for the sights and smells of springtime, the botanic gardens of Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges bring us their fabulous annual spring bulb shows. This year’s shows will run from March 2 through 17, promising, as always, to delight visitors from all over New England. 

At Smith College’s Lyman Conservatory and Mount Holyoke’s Talcott Greenhouse, staff members and students have been busy for months preparing the stunning arrays of crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies, tulips and more that will come into their own during the first two weeks of March. A question that many visitors ask is: how do you make sure that everything is ready to bloom at the right time? 

Over the many years that the colleges have been putting on the shows, they have refined the technique of synchronized blooming. To prepare for the annual bulb shows, students at both colleges pot thousands of bulbs and put them in cold storage to simulate a period of winter dormancy. 

In January, the pots are brought into the greenhouses to wake up and start growing. Spring plants grown from seed, such as pansies, are started in the fall. Because the plants all have different blooming schedules, there’s an artful science to bringing the bulbs into flower during the same two-week period.

Timing and temperature control are key to creating the spectacular display. “We can push them or slow them down if we need to,” said Tom Clark, director and curator of Mount Holyoke’s botanic garden. “And we don’t want them all to be in full bloom on opening day.” 

But there are limits to what can be done. “When the temperature hit 60 degrees a couple of weeks ago,” he said, “all we could do to keep things cool was to open all the vents in the greenhouse.” 

Snow is also a challenge, he added, because it does not melt when the greenhouse roofs are cool. “If we warm up the greenhouse to get rid of the snow, we’re making it too warm for the plants.” 

In addition to the usual spring favorites, the shows will feature smaller bulbs such as chionodoxa (glory of the snow) and muscari (grape hyacinth). “We like to have some plants that aren’t so common,” said Clark. “We like to introduce people to new things they can try in their own gardens.” One such plant is the fritillaria meleagris, or snake’s head fritillary. It grows only 8 to 10 inches and has nodding, bell-shaped flowers in colors ranging from white to dusty-wine and purple. Smith’s show this year will feature “a slew of anemone nestled together which makes for a great sight,” said greenhouse assistant Dan Babineau, who does much of the planning and execution for the show.

Both shows use “supporting actors” from the permanent collections to add dimension and texture to the displays. And both feature branches from spring-flowering trees that are forced into bloom with heat and moisture. “I'm particularly excited for the many new forced branches,” said Babineau. “The buds of cornus mas and officinalis, dogwoods, are on the way along with a couple varieties of cherry, some apple blossoms and more.” 

Last year, Mount Holyoke introduced a new feature: a complementary art installation created by students specifically for the show. The work, a sculpture evoking the college’s main gate and large fountain that created a rain-like effect, was so successful that this past fall, Clark asked sculpture professor Ligia Bouton if she might have students interested in doing a piece for this year’s show. Three students, Deborah Korboe, Emily Damon and Lauren Ferrara, took on the challenge, advised by Bouton and Amanda Maciuba, visiting artist in printmaking.  

“We gave the students a couple of possible ideas to work with,” said Clark. These included “an evocation of the Pioneer Valley” and “colorful spheres, perhaps hot air balloons, that are popular in the area.” From these themes, the students created a spectacular array of mobile pieces in metal, plexiglass and wax hanging from the greenhouse ceiling that represent fall, winter and spring, the three seasons they experience here in the Valley. 

“We liked that idea [of hot air balloons], but wanted to go with something a little more abstract,” said Damon. “We played around with the idea of hot air balloons, air, wind currents, then settled on the theme of ‘winds of change’ which is representative of the three seasons we have hanging above the flower bed.” 

The work consists of 625 handmade elements, each strung and hung individually. The delicate leaves of fall, the shimmering ice formations of winter, and the magnified spring seeds, buds and other organic shapes of spring, provide a magical counterpoint to the array of flowers beneath it. “The overall span and shape of the piece emulates a gust of wind that starts at the door and carries you through the amazing flower show,” said Korboe. “It is a journey as well as a transition. A journey between seasons while looking forward to the next and still experiencing the present.” 

“It was an amazing experience working on this project with such a creative and ambitious group of student artists,” said Bouton. “They really worked hard, and I feel the piece is a testament to their dedication, creativity and perseverance.”

The Smith College show will kick off March 1 at 7:30 p.m. with a lecture titled “Advancing Racial Equity Through Regenerative Place-Making” at the Campus Center Carroll Room. Speaker Duron Chavis is a nationally known leaer in urban agriculture and advocate for community-designed solutions to local challenges. His talk will focus on ways to mitigate the harsh realities of racism and racial inequality through place-making, a process that capitalizes on a local community’s assets, inspiration and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness and wellbeing. The event is free and open to the public. 

Both shows are open March 2-17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The Smith Show is open till 8 p.m. Fri. to Sun. For more information about the shows, go to: mtholyoke.edu/botanic and garden. smith.edu.

Mickey Rathbun, an Amherst-based lawyer turned journalist, has written the Get Growing column since 2016.

Upcoming garden events:

Landscape architecture book launch

On Mar. 2 at 10 a.m., Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbridge will host a talk by well-known local landscape architect Walter Cudnohufsky, about his new book, Cultivating the Designers Mind — Principles and Process of Coherent Landscape Design. Cudnohufsky is founder of the Conway School of Landscape Design. His book is a culmination of 60 years of studying, teaching and practicing landscape design. While the book is intended for all landscape architects, architects, planners and engineers, it is both accessible to and useful for all audiences. This talk will share some of the sources of personal inspiration, discovered principles and insights made in capturing on paper the elusive task called designing. There will be ample time for planned audience engagement and questions and answers in the one hour talk. Members: $10/nonmembers: $15. For more information and to register, go to: berkshirebotanical.org

Community tree conference at UMass

The 40th annual Community Tree Conference will take place at Stockbridge Hall at UMass on Mar. 5. This event is designed for tree care professionals, volunteers and enthusiasts including arborists, tree wardens/municipal tree care specialists, foresters, landscape architects and shade tree committee members. This year’s theme is Species Selection in the Urban Environment. Topics will include creating bird habitats in the urban environment, the effects of climate change at the local level, and choosing trees for storm resistance. Cost: $95 ($75 for each additional member of the same organization). For more information and to register, go to ag.umass.edu/landscape/events

Pests and diseases in the landscape: Q & A

One positive thing I can say about winter is that pests and diseases are less of a problem in the garden. But spring is just around the corner, and it’s not too soon to start thinking about how to deal with these problems. At Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, on Mar. 9 from 11 a.m. to noon, there will be a Q and A on the subject of insects and disease in our landscape. Gary Alia, field supervisor for Rutland Nurseries, will answer your questions about problems affecting trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns. Gardeners are encouraged to send your questions in advance to adulteducation@towerhillbg.org. Cost is included with admission.

Rainwater as a resource

The final clinic in Hadley Garden Center’s weekly series is about using rainwater as a resource around your home and garden. Mar. 2 at 1 p.m. 285 Russell St. (Rte. 9) Hadley. For more information, call 584-1423. The session is free but come early to get a seat. And while you’re there, consider buying yourself something nice for your garden to celebrate having almost made it through another winter. 

 

Two More Local Events for Your Calendar! Northampton and Easthampton.

Tonight, December 9th, from 6:30 until late in the Ballroom at Eastworks in Easthampton - STRUT, "a flamboyant fashion spectacle" and a reboot of Easthampton's annual "Light Up the Arts" Holiday Party, and includes a fashion show, live performances, art installations, a dance party and silent auction. It sounds like it will be a fantastic way to ring in the holiday season! This event is an ECA (Easthampton City Arts) fundraiser.

 

East Works Sign

 

Tomorrow, December 8th from 4-9 pm. The Northampton 2016 Holiday Stroll hosted by the Downtown Northampton Association looks as if it's shaping up to be an exciting event. There will be performances, shopping, artwork to view and make, and food. Main Street will be CLOSED to cars and trucks during the event. So get your parking spot ahead of time and plan to dress warmly and be on foot. All municipal lots will be open and accessible. Check out the hot link above for full details. 


Northampton Holiday Stroll Lights

 

Thinking Ahead to Fall

It has been a beautiful summer, much needed after the winter that wouldn't end. I'd like to be more zen, have more of a "be here, now" attitude and continue to enjoy these summer moments, however, as realtors, we tend to be thinking ahead much of the time. In winter, we often meet with sellers to advise them about prepping their homes for the selling season in the spring. In summer, we may be speaking to them about gearing up for the upswing that tends to happen in the fall market. In addition to this, as Northampton residents, here in the heart of New England with its' many seasonal changes, we need to think ahead with preparing our homes for the colder seasons. To that end, I happened upon this helpful piece on the Apartment Therapy website today that I thought I would share with our readers here.

 

10 Things to Get Done Before Labor Day

 
 

Esther and Brandon's personality-filled home

 

This is a public service announcement: The Halloween stuff is already out at craft stores. And I'm not sure how fall came to have a mascot, but I know that autumn is on its way when I hear people start talking about how much they miss pumpkin spice. While there are still several weeks left to enjoy the summer, it might be a good time to start thinking about the tasks you need to get done before cool weather really sets in.

1. Clean the Grill

After all those summer parties are over, give your outdoor cooker a deep clean before putting it up for the season. And you might want to think about getting a grill cover if you don't have one already.

2. Paint, If You Plan To

If there are any indoor painting projects on your docket, tackle them now while the weather's warm enough to keep your windows open for ventilation.

3. Wash Windows and Glass Doors

Summer comes with a lot of grime. Give all the glass around your place a good wipe down as fall creeps in.

4. Clean and Repair Your Outdoor Space

Take mental notes of any pressing tasks that need to happen on the balcony or around the backyard, then get going on them while there's still plenty of daylight and good weather.

5. Check for Leaks Around Windows or Doors

You'll want to inspect these areas for air drafts before the crisp fall air comes breezing in. Then install weather stripping as needed.

6. Vacuum the Vents

Clean built-up dust from vents, room fans, baseboard heaters, dryer vents and the range hood.

7. Test Your Heater

Don't get caught in a freeze with a broken heating system. HVAC repair professionals are notoriously busy towards the end of the calendar year, so get a jump on it and check now to see if your home is ready for heating.

Matisse at Mt. Holyoke

One of the reasons I love living in Northampton is that although it is a relatively small city - there is so much culture to take advantage of here, and in neighboring cities and towns as well.  Take, for instance, the exhibit of rare Matisse drawings currently on exhibit at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.  I think we will spend our Saturday afternoon digesting Halloween candy, and taking a beautiful fall drive down to South Hadley to view this compelling exhibit.  How about you?

Discover recent real estate listings in the Northampton, MA area here. For more information. any real estate needs, or to schedule a showing, contact us today!

Seldom seen: Rare Matisse drawings on exhibit at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in South Hadley


Copywright 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York" />Copywright 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

By STEVE PFARRER Staff Writer

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Henri Matisse was one of the giants of early 20th-century art -- an influential painter, printmaker, sculptor and collage artist who became particularly noted for the expressive colors and strong brushstrokes of his paintings.

But Matisse (1869-1954) also loved to draw, whether making studies for later paintings, stand-alone portraits or sketches he used for experimenting with new ideas or examining compositional problems. As John Stromberg, the director of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, puts it, "He was restless. He was often looking for new ways to express an image, and drawing was a key to that."

The college's museum is taking a fresh look at some of those drawings -- many apparently rarely seen even by Matisse scholars -- with an exhibit drawn from a collection built by Matisse's youngest child, the late art dealer Pierre Matisse. The show has been curated by noted American artist Ellsworth Perry, a printmaker and painter whose own lithographs have been inspired by Henri Matisse's work.

The exhibit, which runs through Dec. 14, includes 45 Matisse drawings, predominantly from the latter part of his career, when he became partly disabled and found drawing easier to do than painting or printmaking. There's a wide range of work, from quick sketches of the human figure, to more studied portraits and still lifes, to small series that look at the same subject from different perspectives.

But all of it, Stromberg says, shows "the sureness and economy of his line and his interest in shape and open forms. ... Matisse was always experimenting, looking for ways to innovate." Stromberg notes, for example, that the artist would vary the look of the eyes of many of the subjects of his portraits, even within a study of the same person or similar people.

In a sequence of images of a veiled woman ("Femme voilé") in the exhibit, for example, the first depicts a woman with slanted, slightly hooded eyes, while in a second and third drawing her eyes have become more rounded. In another sequence, this time focused on female heads, the contours all form heart-shaped faces, but the overall impression is of noticeably different faces.

Matisse lent a bit more detail to one of the exhibit's larger drawings: a 1937 self-portrait, done in charcoal, that shows the artist wearing a suit and tie, glasses, and a serious expression, his head tilted to the left.

But even here, Matisse was playing with a conventional image: Behind his self-portrait is a shadowy, partially visible second image of his head, like a double exposure photograph.

An appealing proposal

Stromberg said the genesis of the exhibit can be traced to last winter, when he had a conversation with the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation in New York City, which has a huge collection of art -- not just that of Henri Matisse -- and lends items for exhibits. The foundation had given a three-year grant to Mount Holyoke for arts education, and Stromberg says staff there told him they'd also be happy to lend the college some of Matisse's drawings for a show.

"That was a very appealing proposal, of course," he said. "But I also thought it would be interesting to have an artist curate it." His thinking was that an artist could bring a different perspective to the show than he would as an art historian.

With that in mind, he contacted Kelly, whom he's known for some time; Stromberg helped coordinate a show of Kelly's at Boston University when he worked there in the 1990s as the school's art gallery director. Kelly's drawings had also been paired with Matisse's a few times in exhibits elsewhere.

Kelly, who lives in New York state just over the Massachusetts border, said he'd be happy to curate a show, for which he initially reviewed some 500 high-resolution Matisse images from the foundation's collection, Stromberg says. Then, to get a sense for what he might select for the Mount Holyoke exhibit, and for how he'd display the work, Kelly had a scale model of the actual gallery space installed in his studio.

In keeping with the flavor of Matisse's generally spare drawings, there are no wall labels, only numbers, for the 45 works on exhibit. An informational pamphlet, available for use in the gallery, contains titles and dates of the works, although a fair number of the drawings are undated. However, Kelly also requested the drawings be given custom-made frames to highlight the shape and size of each piece.

There's no particular order or organizing theme to the exhibit, either, but Stromberg sees that as part of Kelly's different approach to the show. "I think he basically picked what he liked," he said with a laugh, "though he's made some great choices."

An inveterate drawer

In fact, the eclectic mix of drawings, and the fact they've been chosen by another artist, gives the show a certain sense of intimacy.

Aside from their detail, or lack of it, the drawings are made from a variety of materials -- pencil, ink, charcoal -- and Matisse's lines can vary in intensity. One undated work, "Tête de femme" ("Head of Woman"), consists of just a handful of very thick lines of ink. But they clearly convey the face and neckline of a young woman, with neck-long hair parted to the side, and a slightly pensive look on her face.

Another, the more finely drawn "Nu à la fenêtre" ("Nude at a Window"), from 1944, could have been the first draft of one of Matisse's colorful, semi-tropical paintings inspired by his long residence in southern France. A nude woman, seen mostly from the back and side, stands alongside a window frame that's largely filled with the spreading foliage of a tree. Other greenery can be seen in the room; in the drawing's lower left corner, the artist's hand is shown sketching the scene.

There are a few detailed still life drawings, such as a bowl of lemons on a table, and portraits of women in hats and in various hairdos; somehow, even with just a few lines, they all look quite sophisticated, with something of the legendary "je ne sais quoi" often associated with French women.

Stromberg notes that Matisse, though an inveterate drawer, may have done less of it earlier in his career, and that many of those drawings have since made their way into private collections and museums. But those in the college's show, predominantly from the late 1930s to early 1950s, are likely to be of considerable interest both to casual viewers and art historians, he added.

"I think it's safe to say that many of these have seldom been seen," Stromberg said.

As a bonus to the show, a collection of Kelly's lithographs from the mid-1960s is displayed in an adjoining gallery -- images of leaves, flowers and fruit that mix both detail and abstraction.

But the focus is on Matisse and what many consider his mastery of the "less is more" approach to drawing. As Stromberg said at the college when the exhibit opened, "A seemingly simple curve could simultaneously define a shoulder, establish its place in relation to the picture plane, suggest its volume, outline the shape of the upper torso, and lend an emotional tenor to the sitter."

via Seldom seen: Rare Matisse drawings on exhibit at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in South Hadley | GazetteNet.com.