Arts happenings this week

  • Aaron Morse of Northampton will be exhibiting his abstract artwork at the Paradise City Arts Festival May 27-29. Aaron Morse

  • Members of the First Congregational Church of Ashfield’s Recital Chorus practice for their upcoming spring concert, May 19 at 7:30 p.m. Contributed Photo

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Spring Concert in Ashfield

On May 19, at 7:30 p.m., the First Congregational Church of Ashfield’s Recital Chorus will present their annual spring concert at the church, 429 Main Street, Ashfield.

The Recital Chorus is made up of middle school students, college students, and community singers. The group will present a variety of music in several languages for small chorus and soloists including rounds, folk songs, and Gospel, as well as music by Purcell, Handel, Brahms, Mendels-sohn, Thiman and Vaughan Williams. The audience will also have an opportunity to join in the singing.

This concert is intended as a benefit for the Capital Campaign at the First Congregational Church of Ashfield. The church is currently in the process of raising funds toward a $300,000 goal. The restoration of the historic George W. Reed organ is the major project.

A second benefit concert will take place on June 17, 7:30 p.m., when Amy Roberts-Crawford and friends will perform an evening of Broadway.

At both Capital Campaign benefit concerts there will be a suggested donation of $10 for adults. No one, however, will be turned away for lack of funds.

Upcoming events at Amherst Books

Two events are coming up soon at Amherst Books, 8 Main Street, Amherst.

On May 23, at 7 p.m., local author and poet Sharon Dunn will discuss her new memoir, “Under a Dark Eye: A Family Story.” Dunn uses photographs, letters, journal entries, dreams, memories and more to take us on a journey from 19th-century immigration, to the Great Depression, World War II, women in medicine, and finally her early family life on the grounds of the state mental hospital in Concord, New Hampshire — piecing together a compassionate vision of her disappointed entrepreneur father and her mother, a practicing psychiatrist.

On May 24, also at 7 p.m., Mary Dearborn talks about the first full biography of Hemingway in fifteen years, and the first one to be written by a woman: her “Ernest Hemingway: A Biography.”

Dearborn traces Hemingway through his youth, his early work in journalism, his adventures, wives and personal demons — alcohol, manic depression and brain injuries — all of which she believes eventually led to his suicide. Despite the challenges, Dearborn says, Hemingway changed the way we use language and even the way we think.

For more information, visit amherstbooks.com.

Can you ear me now?

Christian McEwen plans to exhibit her latest project, “The Listening Ear,” during the Saturday Farmers Markets May 27, June 10 and June 17.

“The Listening Ear” centers around a giant papier-mache ear, and will include a series of “open listening sessions” in which all are welcome to come by and share their story. No recordings will be made.

The project is supported by a small HATCH 2 grant from the Shelburne Falls Area Business Association, and McEwen is currently constructing the Ear at the Art Garden in Shelburne Falls, along with local artist, Laura Iveson.

For more on this artist, christianmcewen.com.

Aaron Morse at Paradise City

Pioneer Valley native Aaron Morse dreamed of displaying his work at the Paradise City Arts Festival, and that dream is coming true.

Morse is an abstract painter whose artwork combines dazzling color combinations with engaging textures.

The festival, set for May 27-29 at 54 Old Ferry Road in Northampton, will feature more than 240 artists. For tickets and other information, visit festivals.paradisecityarts.com.

For additional information about Aaron Morse and his paintings, visit aaronmorse art .com.

Contemporary printmaking

The Cherry Press Trio — Randy LeSage, Kathy Murray and Corinne Rhodes — presents a showing of contemporary prints at the Amherst Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Avenue, Amherst, as part of the Amherst Arts Nights Plus June 1.

The exhibit, presented by the Amherst Public Art Commission, will explore contemporary printmaking, including woodcuts, etchings, monotypes, collagraphs, traditional stone and polyester plate lithography and a new technique that was invented here in the Pioneer Valley: non-toxic, Century Plate Lithography.

The exhibit will continue through June 30.

For more information, visit cherrypress.org.