DOWNSTREET IS PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE…

DownStreet Art is pleased to announce its V edition: exhibitions, pop-up galleries, murals and much much more…

DOWNSTREET ART 2012 TO FEATURE MURALS THROUGHOUT CITY 

NORTH ADAMS, MA – Public art has never been so public in North Adams. DownStreet Art kicks off its fifth season on Thursday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m..

Now in its fifth year, DownStreet Art continues to use the art and culture of the City of North Adams as a catalyst for economic growth and stability.

Since its inception, DownStreet Art has brought tens of thousands of new visitors to the downtown area. It has directly created three new permanent businesses and has been the facilitator for many others.

Due to the continued success of DownStreet Art and other efforts to attract and retain year round business to downtown North Adams, the number of empty stores available for “pop-up” galleries is at its lowest.  “This is the good news,” says Jonathan Secor, director of Special Programs for the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. “The goal all along has been to put ourselves out of the temporary gallery business.  While we will be once again opening five pop-up galleries for four months, this has also pushed us to think in new directions.”

Along with the gallery openings and other festivities on June 28th, there will be the opening of the “Mural Project” in which four large scale public murals will be painted on buildings throughout downtown North Adams.

The MURALS, which will be unveiled over the course of the summer, will remain in the city to greet visitors and passersby alike for years to come. Five new, indoor galleries will also be part of this season’s offerings.

“DownStreet Art has always been a public art project aimed at revitalizing downtown North Adams,” explained Jonathan Secor“, up until now, our public art has all been done in private spaces. This year, we’re going to do public art in public spaces.”

This season’s DownStreet Art curatorial committee – represented by curators and staff from Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), The Clark Art Institute, Mount Holyoke Museum, Williams College Museum of Art, Ferrin Gallery, and MCLA Gallery 51- received dozens of applications for gallery spaces, as well as submissions for the murals.  From the submissions, the committee chose four large-scale, public mural projects to be unveiled over the next four months on DownStreet Art’s Last Thursday Celebration events.

“For each mural, the artist or artists will spend a month doing the installation, so part of the DownStreet Art this summer and fall will not just be the unveilings at the end of each month on DownStreet Art Thursdays, but the excitement of witnessing the creation process itself,” Secor said.

The five new galleries will include what Secor calls one of the more unusual settings for a gallery: the long entry hallway of the currently closed Mohawk Theatre.

“As the City continues to bring life back to the theatre, we were asked if we would use the entry way as a location to showcase artwork” Secor said. “As result, along with keeping the theatre’s doors open Wednesday through Sunday, visitors will be able to look into the theatre, so it’s a double treat: the opportunity to look at art and the chance to view the shell of an art deco theatre from the early 1900s.”

Joining DownStreet Art for the fifth year Kidspace at MASS MoCA has commissioned artist Victoria Palermo to create art on the bus stop in the center of Main Street. Her new public artwork will be unveiled on Thursday, June 28.

Also on Thursday, June 28, DSA will officially “unveil” and celebrate the work of Muralismo Publico, an artist co-op group from Vitoria, Spain known throughout the world for its murals. The artists will create a highly visible mural on the back of the Mohawk Theatre.

According to the artists, their mural will “reflect the meaning of change in any human context” as they believe that the “concept of change today is an important and central component of the mural because it is an opportunity to transform and improve society.”

The second mural will be completed by Thursday, July 26 by Maya Hayuk. Drivers on Route 2 who are coming into, or passing over North Adams, will have the opportunity to view the mural which will be on the side of the Juvenile Court Building, on a wall that faces this busy route.

Embracing sexuality and spirituality via symbolism evocative of radiantly woven geometries and beckoning parted orifices of the body, Hayuk’s work aims to decode a process towards continuity and wholeness while striking chords of an almost pathological optimism.

Along with her massive mural installations, Hayuk frequently collaborates with other artists and musicians. She has made a variety of art inspired by music to support musicians that can be seen on album covers, videos, and stage sets for Rye Rye/M.I.A, The Akron Family, TV on the Radio, The Flaming Lips, Devendra Banhardt, Seun Kuti, Prefuse 73, Awesome Color, Oakley Hall, Home, Animal Collective, Dan Deacon and The Beastie Boys, among others.

On Thursday, Aug. 30, artist Mike Lewis of Lewis Acrylics will unveil his mural on the Curran Highway underpass, adjacent to Hayuk’s mural.

Lewis is an artist who lives in Portland, Maine. He recently visited North Adams and MASS MoCA and found many similarities between Western Massachusetts and where he grew up in Lewis County, N.Y.  As a result of the similarities between the two landscapes, he decided to submit a proposal for a mural for DownStreet Art.

“I cull my inspiration from the street; wastebaskets, dumpsters, and scrap piles,” Lewis said (…) American culture tends to over-complicate life with products and services and ideologies that it suggests we consume.”

On the corner of Main and Holden streets, on the side of the Shima’s shop, North Adams resident artist Melissa Lillie will create a mural to be presented on Thursday, Sept. 27.

Lillie was recently featured in “10 Spots,” an exhibit organized by Cultural Pittsfield. That opportunity – which consisted in displaying an image of her work on a billboard – made her re-think her work on a larger scale.

In addition, MCLA will continue to involve its students with its associate gallery manager program. Six MCLA art and arts management students will participate while a B-HIP intern will work as the DownStreet Art coordinator.

DownStreet Art DESTINATIONS will engage the visitors in a wide range of exhibitions and site-responsive projects. Some of the participating museums, galleries, and other arts destinations for summer 2012 DownStreet Art include:

MASS MoCA – Located in a restored 19th century factory campus, it’s the largest center for visual and performing arts in the country.

Kidspace – Contemporary art gallery, studio and programs for families, located on the second floor of MASS MoCA.

NAACO Gallery – A contemporary fine art and craft gallery created by regional, national and international artists.

MCLA Gallery 51 – Features emerging and mid-career contemporary artists.  Summer/Fall exhibitions include Ven Voisey, Sean Riley, Richard Criddle and Joshua Simpson.

Suncatcher Glass – Artist-run gallery and stained glass studio.

Wendy James Studio – The studio of this working artist, who explores various media, both figurative and abstract.

William Oberst Studio – The working studio of a realist painter of people and landscapes.

Wall of Sound – A site-specific installation by artists David Poppie and Roger Sayre.

PRESS ­ Gallery– Letterpress as a Public Art Project.  Curated and run by Melanie Mowinski.

Art @ City Hall – A celebration of local and regional artists.  Curated by Diane Sullivan.

North Adams Museum of History and Science – Celebrates the rich history of North Adams.

Martha Flood Studio ­– Textile Gallery and surface pattern design studio.

Brill Gallery – Museum-quality paintings, photography and sculpture.

River Hill Pottery ­– Pottery gallery and working studio for artists Gail and Phil Sellers.

Eclipse Mill Gallery – Artist-run gallery featuring works by residents and artists based in the area.

studio21south – Contemporary art in traditional media.

Living Well Gallery – Features artists from Northern Berkshires and Southern Vermont.

– POP UP Galleries and New Installations will include:

Jarvis Rockwell Gallery (previously MAYA) – Pyramid of toys, wall drawings and assemblage reveal the imaginative world of Jarvis Rockwell.

Branch Gallery(18 Holden St) – Exhibitions include the “Phylogeny Projects,” a group show curated by Derek Parker and Anne Roecklein, and the “Faces of Occupy Wall Street” photographs taken by MCLA art major Emily Breunig.

The Artery Gallery (18 Holden St) – Exhibitions include a three-channel art film by video artist Molly Davies and and “Art into Life, Life into Art: Matei Bejenaru” curated by Izabel Galliera.

Gallery 107 (107 Main) –  Exhibitions include an installation by Erin Ko and Alex Chouls, “Re- Imagine North Adams,” an interactive exhibition curated by Jennifer Krouse and a solo exhibition artist Gil Scullion. The gallery at 107 Main St. will be connected to MASS MoCA’s “Oh Canada!” and feature large scale work by Canadian artist Lynn Richardson.

The Hatfields (art in public spaces, restaurants, bars, etc.) “FREE* As in Art” by Ephraim and Sadie Hatfield.

Adams Bank Gallery – rotating exhibitions curated Kristen Parker.

Bus Stop Sculpture (Main Street) Kidspace will install a permanent, artist-created bus stop shelter on Main Street by artist Victoria Palermo.

– DownStreet Art THURSDAYS:

DownStreet Art in North Adams will kick off its fifth edition on Thursday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. All events are family friendly, free and open to the public:

On Thursday, June 28, from 6 to 9 p.m., the DownStreet Art Last Thursday Celebration will feature exhibition openings at galleries throughout North Adams  including MCLA Gallery 51, The Mohawk Gallery, the Jarvis Rockwell Gallery, NAACO Gallery, PRESS Gallery, The Artery Gallery, the Blackington Gallery, Gallery 107, and studio21south.  There will be live performances and business will be open late with DownStreet Art specials. This event will also include the unveiling of the first mural.

On Thursday, July 26, 6-9 p.m., the DownStreet Art Last Thursday Celebration will feature exhibition openings at galleries throughout North Adams, including MCLA Gallery 51, the Jarvis Rockwell Gallery, NAACO Gallery, PRESS Gallery, The Artery Gallery, the Blackington Gallery and Gallery 107, and studio21south. This event will also include the unveiling of the mural on Center Street by Maya Hayuk.

On Thursday, Aug. 30, from 6-9 p.m., the DownStreet Art Last Thursday Celebration will feature exhibition openings at galleries throughout North Adams,  including MCLA Gallery 51, The Mohawk Gallery, the Jarvis Rokwell Gallery, NAACO Gallery, PRESS Gallery, The Artery Gallery, the Blackington Gallery, Gallery 107, and studio21south.  This DownStreet Art Thursday Celebration will include live performances, business specials, and the unveiling of the third mural by Michael Lewis.

On Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6-9 p.m., the DownStreet Art Last Thursday Celebration will feature exhibition openings at galleries throughout North Adams  including MCLA Gallery 51, The Mohawk Gallery, the Jarvis Rockwell Gallery, NAACO Gallery, PRESS Gallery, The Artery Gallery, the Blackington Gallery, Gallery 107, and studio21south. The mural by North Adams based artist Melissa Lillie will be unveiled on Holden Street.

DownStreet Art will end with a final celebration on Thursday, Oct. 25, with exhibition openings, performances and more, including artwork and performances by MCLA students.

DownStreet Art is a project of MCLA’s Berkshire Culture Resource Center, partnering with the City of North Adams, Develop North Adams, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and Orbit Visual Graphic Design. The program is made possible through lead sponsorship support provided by Excelsior and Greylock Federal Credit Union. Additional support is provided by: Adams Co-Operative Bank, Brewhaha Café, the City of North Adams, Edward Jones Investments, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA , Moulton’s Spectable Shop Inc., Persnickety Toys, Jarvis W. Rockwell, Scarafoni Realty and The Sushi House.

An initiative of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Berkshire Cultural Resource Center (BCRC), DownStreet Art (DSA) is a public art project designed to revitalize downtown North Adams. By harnessing existing art organizations and events and transforming vacant and open spaces into art destinations, DownStreet Art defines North Adams as a cultural haven, driving tourists and community members.

For more information about DownStreet Art and the Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, go to www.downstreetart.org and www.mcla.edu/bcrc .

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