Keeping Tabs on the Arts

Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2014
Award-winning musician

Former Hampshire County resident Laura Anderson Wood, aka LA Wood, was named “Best Female Pop Artist” for 2013 at the 6th annual Malibu Music Awards & Festival, held in October. At the festival, she performed with Brittany Cotto of Bella Strings and Jennifer Argenti, a former violinist for Willie Nelson, as well as with a full band led by Rod Castro, a guitarist who appeared on “America’s Got Talent.”

Wood is a pop, rock and country singer-songwriter who performs in the Tampa Bay area in Florida, where she is currently based.

When in New England, she was a frequent performer at the Iron Horse Coffeehouse and was named “Acoustic Underground” finalist in Boston, along with Catie Curtis and Ellis Paul. She has performed with musicians such as Ritchie Havens and June Millington, and recorded for indie record labels such as the Indiegrrl and Guitar Girl Record Compilations, and worked with such studios as Signature Sounds and Spirithouse, both in Northampton. In 2000, she released a self-produced CD, “South Station Slide,” on her label, MillRiver Records, and later re-released it as a bossa nova-style track under the name “I Am Your Lover.” Wood is well-versed in Latin percussion, and plays 6- and 12-string guitar and harmonica. Her recent material includes reggae and trop rock-influenced originals and tropical versions of popular songs.

By Michael Zide

“Michael Zide: Inspiring Landscapes” will be on display during the month of June in the Community Room of the Westhampton Public Library, 1 North Road. A reception will be held from June 10 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. followed by a presentation by Zide: “Evolution of a Photographic Vision.”

Zide, of Amherst, is a landscape photographer. During the event, he will share the insights he has gained from his more than 40 years of experience in the field. He will also give tips about taking better photographs by using the camera in a more intentional and creative way. Zide describes his talk as “geared for anyone who wants to take their photography to the next level.” A Q&A session will follow his presentation. For information, call 527-5386.

∎ On June 5 at 5:30 p.m., Zide will talk about a series of photographs he took in 1993 for The Pub, a restaurant in Amherst, that celebrate that community and its residents. The event is part of the Amherst Art Walk. The Pub is at 15 East Pleasant St. in Amherst. For information, call 549-1200.

At Sunny Avenue

Sunny Avenue Arts Studio will hold a one-year anniversary celebration and grand opening of its expanded studio space June 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Paragon Arts and Industry Building, 150 Pleasant St., Studio #348.

Guests may enter a drawing to win a free art class or workshop at Sunny Avenue. The event will also feature guest artist Charlie Braun, a singer-songwriter guitarist.

For information, contact Joanne at 695-3312, or by email at sunavestudio@yahoo.com.


Two new exhibits will be on view through June 30 in the corridor galleries at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust St. in Northampton.

In the Locust Gallery: “Donna M. Gulow, Photography Exhibit.” Gulow, of South Hadley, says she is passionate about photographing flowers and all their parts, dead or alive, large or small. There will be a reception June 5 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

In the New Gallery: “Stop, Look and See,” paintings by Marie Welch of Bernardston, will feature an eclectic group of oil landscapes gathered from previous exhibits throughout the Valley, and some just recently completed.

At R. Michelson Galleries

“In Memoriam: The Vision of Max D. Standley” will be on view from June 7 to Aug. 31 at R. Michelson Galleries, 132 Main St. in Northampton.

Standley (1942-2013) was a visionary artist who lived reclusively with his wife on a secluded 40 acres in the forests of Arkansas. His work begins in the realm of realism, and develops to include hints of biomorphic and magical imagery.

Gallery hours are Mondays through Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

A reception and celebration of Standley’s life and art will be held June 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. For information, call 586-3964 or visit www.RMichelson.com.

Opera at the Academy

Puccini’s “Tosca,” directed by Hugh Keelan and presented by the Windham Orchestra, will be presented June 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Music, 274 Main St. in Northampton.

The opera tells the brutal truth about what drives us, with raw humanity on display. “Opera is about us,” Keelan said. “Puccini knew it, and his music is hair-raising, scandalous, ravishing, heart-achingly tender, as the moment requires.”

Jenna Rae, of Putney, Vermont, will be making her soprano debut as the celebrated singer Tosca. Tenor Alan Schneider of Northampton will perform the role of Mario Cavaradossi, an artist and Tosca’s lover. Baritone Stan Norsworthy of Chester, Vermont, will play Baron Scarpia, the Roman chief of police who plots to possess Tosca and execute Cavaradossi. The supporting cast for “Tosca” all have local ties.

Joining the Windham Orchestra for “Tosca” are a children’s group, an adult chorus and military drummers. Works by local artists contribute to the set.

Tickets cost $20. To reserve, visit academyofmusictheatre.tix.com or call 584-9032, ext 105.

At Hosmer Gallery

“3 Objects/3 Perspectives,” an exhibit of work by members of the Wilbraham Art League, will be on view through June 27 at the Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library, 20 West St. in Northampton. There will be a reception June 7 from 1 to 3 p.m.

The object of the project is to show what artists can do with the challenge of taking three objects, two of which are not of their choosing, and creating a unique composition.

Seven groups of three artists were formed in October 2012, and each group met with the chosen objects. The artists then had three months to complete their pieces before passing the objects on to the next group member. Artists were able to work in any medium, but could not share their finished works until everyone had finished.

Gallery hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 587-1011.

Song & Story Swap

Lorre Wyatt and Michael Nix will be the guest performers at this month’s “Song & Story Swap,” June 7 at 7 p.m., at The Nacul Center, 592 Main St., Amherst.

Wyatt, a singer-songwriter, has been a popular folk figure since the 1970s, and collaborated with folk-singing legend Pete Seeger numerous times. At the swap, he will perform alongside Nix, a multi-instrumentalist.

As a tribute to Seeger, part of the performance will feature songs that Wyatt and Seeger co-wrote for their 2012 album, “A More Perfect Union,” as well as some of Seeger’s classics.

The theme of the swap this month is “Old Favorites,” and people of all ages are invited to share stories and songs that are traditional, newly written or of personal experiences. Listeners are also welcome.

For information, call Paul Kaplan at 687-5002.

Gallery talk

Photographer Sandra Matthews will present the last of this year’s “Closer Look” gallery talks at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Friday at 4:30 p.m. Matthews is an associate professor of film and photography at Hampshire College in Amherst, and the editor of Trans-Asia Photography Review, an online scholarly journal. She is a co-author of the book “Pregnant Pictures, published in 2000.

The talk, “Time and the Photographic Portrait,” will focus on two of Matthews’ works currently on display as part of the Mead’s exhibit “New Arrivals: Modern and Contemporary Additions to the Collection.” Both are composite portraits from Matthew’s “Timelines” project which is devoted to exploring what the artist calls “the temporal dimensions of portraits.”

Composite portraits are made up of multiple images and look at the same subject from different angles, or, as in Matthew’s work, from the same angle but on a different day, or even a different decade.

During the talk, she will also show and discuss works by other photographers who have a similar interest in capturing the effects of time of portraits. Free, with a reception to follow.

For information, visit www.amherst.edu/mead.

At Skinner Memorial Chapel

“Experience Music at United,” a performance by organist Larry Schipull and violinist Linda Laderach, will be held June 8 at 2 p.m. at Skinner Memorial Chapel in Holyoke. The musicians are professors at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley. The concert is a program of United Congregational Church of Holyoke.

Schipull will utilize the organs in both Skinner Chapel and the main sanctuary of the church during his recital. He will open with the “Three Tone-Pieces” of Niels Gade, followed by a performance in conjunction with Laderach of a set of variations on “Jesus, Priceless Treasure.” Schipull will end the first half of the program with a selection of chorale preludes by J.S. Bach.

In the main sanctuary, Schipull will perform Mozart’s “Fantasy in F.” He will once again play alongside Laderach, this time in a rhapsody arranged by Josef Rheinberger from one of his own organ sonatas, and the adagio from the Brahms Violin Concerto, with the orchestral role arranged by Schipull. The program will close with the “Choral in E major” of César Franck.

Tickets cost $10; $5 for students and seniors. A reception with the artists will follow. For information, call 532-1483 or visit www.uccholyoke.org.

At Amherst Cinema

The film “Mid-August Lunch” will be screened at June 8 at 7 p.m. at Amherst Cinema as part of the “Italian Film” series.

The film, a warmly vibrant family drama and a delicately balanced comedy of manners, has won numerous awards at international festivals, including Best First Film at Venice and the Satyajit Ray Award in London, plus the Golden Snail at the Academy of Food and Film in Bologna.

Broke and armed with only a glass of wine and a wry sense of humor, middle-aged Gianni Di Gregorio lives with his 93-year-old mother in an ancient apartment. In order to clear his mounting debts, Di Gregorio agrees to look after the building manager’s mother during the “Pranzo di Ferragosto,” Italy’s biggest summer holiday. However, the manager also shows up with an aunt, and then a friend appears with his mother in tow, leaving Di Gregorio responsible for keeping the four women happy in very cramped quarters.

Carolyn Anderson, a professor emerita at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will introduce the film. She was a founder of the university’s interdepartmental program in film studies, and her current book-in-progress tracks a century of American tourism to Rome.

The film is in Italian with subtitles. An additional screening that will not include Anderson’s remarks, will be held at June 12 at 7 p.m. Regular admission

∎ Encore screenings of National Theatre Live’s, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” will take place at Amherst Cinema on June 9 and July 7 at 7 p.m., and June 21 at 1 p.m.

Based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Marianne Elliott, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” won seven Olivier Awards in 2013, including Best New Play.

Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain — exceptional at math but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing a neighbor’s dog, he records each fact about the event in a book he is writing in an effort to solve the mystery of the murder.

Tickets cost $24 and are available to the Amherst Cinema box office 28 Amity St., and online at www.amherstcinema.org .