Art memories


Taber Art Gallery reopens

After being closed for more than 18 months due to the pandemic, the Taber Art Gallery at Holyoke Community College has reopened and now hosts the “Cosmology of the Body” exhibition by Northampton artist Anna Bayles Arthur.

The 27 paintings and drawings by Arthur, who earned a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, represent the work she has created in recent years, including since 2020, when the pandemic, the climate disaster and other serious issues began to dominate media coverage. , she says.

“We live in a media saturated culture, are bombarded daily with images, sounds, symbols and stories,” Arthur said in a statement. “Yet somehow the old desire to create remains – the impulse to channel all that it is and reveal it to the world.”

Taber Gallery Director Amy Johnquest, after hosting a few online exhibitions through the gallery over the past year, says she is grateful to welcome people back to the space and welcome the work of Arthur: “[T]here, nothing like seeing the art in person.

“The Cosmology of the Body” runs until December 9th.

Pioneer Valley Symphonyback with streaming concert

Returning to performance with a series of concerts online and in person, the Pioneer Valley Symphony will kick off its 2021-2022 season this Saturday, October 9 with “Prelude to a New World”, a streaming concert featuring the tumultuous “Les Préludes” “Followed by Antonin Dvořák’s masterpiece” From the New World (Symphony No. 9).

The show, which begins at 7:00 p.m., will be prefaced by a talk at 6:15 p.m. with Professor David Schneider, Andrew W. Mellon music professor at Amherst College.

PVS, now in its 89th year, was recently filmed at the Northampton Community Arts Trust for the concert, using the building’s spacious and unfinished 3,800 square foot workroom to meet the challenge of having a large group of musicians playing at the amid the continuing health problems of the pandemic.

Symphony leaders are planning two more online performances this year and have scheduled three in-person shows in late winter and spring 2022.

Tickets for the October 9 concert are offered by donation, with a suggested gift of $ 15. To register for the concert, which can be watched on a smartTV or other internet-connected device, or via Zoom (with an evening of community monitoring and post-concert chat), visit

The exhibition showcases decades of work by the artist Amherst

Leverett Crafts and Arts Center is presenting a retrospective exhibit this month on the art of Sally Dillon, who is particularly known for her fiber art but who has worked in a number of mediums dating back to the 1960s.

Dillon started with bronze casting in the 1960s and turned to fiber art in the 1970s, making upholstered sculptures. She then devoted herself to felting, silk painting and wall art design; For the past decade, she has focused on watercolor and oil painting.

Many of his subjects are drawn from natural environments and activities: hiking in western Massachusetts, rafting in the Grand Canyon, visits to the Virgin Islands.

There will be an artist reception on Sunday, October 10 at the Crafts and Art Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibition will run until October; visiting hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Mass Humanities finances cultural organizations

Mass Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has awarded more than $ 84,000 to eight valley organizations through the U.S. Federal Rescue Program, an effort to help arts and cultural organizations that have suffered economic losses during the pandemic.

Local groups receiving support include the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation in Hadley, the Jones Library in Amherst, the Amherst Historical Society, the Nolumbeka Project in Greenfield, and the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke.

Known as the SHARP Grants – Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan – these funds were intended specifically for small organizations, with more than half going to grantees with budgets of $ 300,000 or less, according to Brian Boyles, executive director. by Mass Humanities.

Some 90 SHARP grants totaling nearly $ 1 million have been awarded statewide, according to Northampton-based Mass Humanities.

Group of writers launch ‘beyond borders’ program

Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop (PVWW) is launching a new project designed to promote dialogue among writers from all cultures and continents by organizing discussions with talented emerging writers from politically or socially unstable parts of the world.

The Writing Across Borders series, which will work with a writer each fall, aims to provide star writers with a platform to share their work and personal story, and in some cases, will also support writers seeking asylum and / or trying. to flee from dangerous parts of the world.

Joy Baglio, founder of PVWW, says her group, located in Williamsburg, is currently working with Nigerian writer Uchenna Awoke, whom she met in 2019 while they were both fellows at the Vermont Studio Center, which hosts a range of fine arts and writing residency programs. , especially for international artists.

Awoke, Baglio said in a statement, is “an immensely talented writer” who had just completed his first novel when the two met and “was preparing” to begin interviewing agents.

But she says the rural area of ​​Nigeria where Awoke lives has since been rocked by conflict between semi-nomadic herders and farmers, resulting in economic disruption and poverty in communities dependent on agriculture. Awoke, his wife and sister have now gone into hiding following attacks and threats in their community from a militant shepherd, Baglio said.

“Her hope is to flee Nigeria for a safer country,” she said. This fall, all donations made to PVWW’s free monthly community writing program will go to a fund to help him and his family escape Nigeria and relocate, most likely to Northampton.

To facilitate this, PVWW will be hosting a free online reading and chat on October 24 at 4 pm with Baglio and Awoke; the Nigerian author will share his fiction and discuss his journey as a self-taught writer at MacDowell Fellow. More information is available at

– Compiled by Steve Pfarrer


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