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Artist Jan Ruby-Crystal works on a water-based oil painting on handmade paper Friday at her home studio in Northampton.

Art Maker: Jan Ruby-Crystal |Painter

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Before she could even walk, Jan Ruby-Crystal had already started to paint. That early interest, she says, blossomed into a life-long love of painting. She received a bachelor’s degree from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and a master’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology, both in fine arts, then followed that with a 36-year career as a professor of …

Bruce Watson’s Slice of Life: Campaign-English Dictionary: A translation for Orwellian times

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Let the trumpets sound! Let the bloviating blow! The first votes of the endless campaign of 2012-2016 have been cast! And as the contest continues, let my Campaign-English Dictionary help you translate campaign-speak into English. When last seen in these parts, my CED offered some 200 definitions of key campaign buzzwords. Among them: tea party n spontaneous political party, bankrolled by billionaires, consisting …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: But ... watch out for the worm

Thursday, February 4, 2016

“We’re overdue for cocktails,” my friend Amy gently admonished me when we ran into each other recently, and I couldn’t have agreed more. We made plans to meet at Spoleto Restaurant, at One Bridge Street in Northampton, after work the following day. I arrived first and settled in at the bar, where Chris …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: The City of Tomorrow at UMass; Paul Kaplan at Song & Story Swap

Thursday, February 4, 2016

MUSIC FOR HUMANITY Its name, The City of Tomorrow, refers to the acclaimed woodwind quintet’s approach to music and performing: The musicians combine contemporary classical and experimental music to give voice to concerns about environmental destruction and endless war, and other issues facing humanity. Among the quintet’s awards …

James Heflin’s Best Bets: Science meets art in Alicia Hunsicker’s exhibit at UMass; ice cream for breakfast at Herrell’s

Thursday, February 4, 2016

SMASHING Whoever said art and science don’t taste great together must not have seen the artwork of 1993 UMass Amherst grad Alicia Hunsicker. The Leyden artist visited Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider, and her visit spawned paintings inspired by high-energy particle collisions. Her work is vibrant, colorful, even whimsical …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Nellie McKay at the Parlor Room; Käthe Kollwitz exhibit at the Smith College Museum of Art

Thursday, February 4, 2016

NOT TO BE PIGEONHOLED Whether she’s singing jazz, rap, pop, or funk, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nellie McKay has been a unique voice on the music scene since releasing her first record, “Get Away From Me,” in 2004. On her most recent album, “My Weekly Reader,” McKay interprets a …

Headliners: ‘Accounting for Torture in Syria: The ‘Caesar’ Photographs’ at Smith; City of Tomorrow at Bezanson Recital Hall

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Horrific evidence out of Syria While Islamic State terrorists openly display their atrocities on social media, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad appears to have systematically kept evidence of its crimes hidden during the country’s five-year-long civil war. …

Movie times

Thursday, February 4, 2016

AMHERST CINEMA 28 Amity St., Amherst 253-2547 amherstcinema.org 45 Years (R) Daily 1:55, 4:30, 7:10, 9:45; Sat.-Sun. 11:15 a.m. 2016 Animated Oscar Shorts (NR) Daily 4:35; Fri.-Sat. also 9:05; Sat., Mon., Wed. also 1:30, Sun. also 11:25 a.m. …

Movie Capsules

Thursday, January 7, 2016

THE 5TH WAVE: Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie (Chloë Grace Moretz) is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. Also stars Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez. Rated …

New on DVD

Thursday, February 4, 2016

99 Homes: A recently unemployed single father struggles to get back his foreclosed home by working for the real estate broker who is the source of his frustration. Stars Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, Laura Dern. Rated R. Bridge …

Chris Pine on his accidental career and ‘The Finest Hours’

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looking at Chris Pine’s career, it’s hard to imagine that he hadn’t always harbored a lifelong passion to be an actor. In a little over a decade since his first big screen role (the sequel to “The Princess …

Ken Maiuri’s Tuned In: Soul singer Lee Fields, The Expressions at the Iron Horse

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Soul singer Lee Fields is the kind of give-all performer who works up a sweat and raises the heat, no matter what temperature the place was before he took the stage. It’s an old-school work ethic that Fields …

Book Bag: ‘The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition’ by Manisha Sinha; ‘The Berkshires Cookbook: Farm-Fresh Recipes from the Heart of Massachusetts’ by Jane Barton Griffith

Thursday, February 4, 2016

THE SLAVE’S CAUSE: A HISTORY OF ABOLITION By Manisha Sinha Yale University Press www.yalebooks.com As Manisha Sinha sees it, the story of the abolitionist movement has often been told in a fragmented fashion, with a particular emphasis on …