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Hampshire Life

CAROL LOLLIS
Randi Stein at her home in Amherst.

Art Maker: Randi Stein | painter, collage artist

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

During the past year, Amherst artist Randi Stein has been investigating the qualities of the Hebrew letters — letters, which according to Jewish legend, called the universe into being. For her latest exhibit, “The Letters Speak,” on view at the Jewish Community of Amherst, Stein, 66, says, “I invited the letters to speak to me, and have let my hands respond with the media of paper and paint.” Hampshire Life: Describe the work you are doing now. Randi Stein: The images are produced using colored papers and paint — collages that are my response to the sounds, shapes and meanings of the letters. I am …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: Showtime’s ‘Homeland’; ECA+’s ‘Light up the Arts Holiday Bash’

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

COME BACK HOME(LAND) If you used to love Showtime’s “Homeland,” but tuned out because of mind-numbing boredom with last year’s extended focus on Brody’s daughter and her adolescent angst, take heart and get back onboard. This season, Carrie, Saul and company — “The” company — are back on track with great cliff-hanging episodes in what is, once again, a top-notch intelligence thriller. Warning: …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: Florence Christmas parade; ‘Messiah’ sing-along with Da Camera Singers

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

TIME TRAVEL For a homespun community event that makes you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time, check out the Christmas parade in Florence, now in its 25th year. The parade features city political leaders, Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Florence Community Band playing up a storm. It sets off Saturday from Trinity Row Park at 10 a.m., heads down Main …

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Style Stop: Patti Shields

Thursday, November 20, 2014

We spotted Patti Shields as she was parking her car on a recent afternoon in downtown Northampton. When we got a better look at her outfit — the vintage coat, the distressed tunic from Lekuin, those stylin’ boots …

I.D.: Mary Beth Annarella

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mary Beth Annarella wears a lot of hats — a few of which are hand-knit. She’s a bonafide science geek, and worked in basic molecular biology research labs for years before earning a master’s degree in education and …

Chef’s Best: For Hanukkah, these are some pretty sweet latkes

Thursday, November 20, 2014

During college, I took a class on global populations and food (affectionately known as “pops and crops”). I’m sure it was a fine class, but really only one lesson has stuck with me in the 25 years since. …

Art Maker: Bill Venman: VLO co-founder

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bill Venman says when he and his wife, Sally, founded Valley Light Opera 40 years ago, he had no idea it would become a permanent part of his life. Venman, 83, a UMass professor emeritus, used to play …

Slice of life: Finding the right words

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Editor’s note: Last week, longtime Gazette columnist Bruce Watson got the ball rolling on a new Hampshire Life feature, “Slice of Life.” This week, another Gazette regular, Marietta Pritchard, does the honors. They’ll share the space with local …

Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow’ — almost as rotton as stale candy corn

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Halloween has come and gone, all that’s left is stale candy corn. “The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow,” made in 1959, is almost as bad. Welcome to a meeting of the Zenith Hot Rod Club, where the number-one rule …

Kathleen Mellen’s Best Bets: ‘Madeline’ exhibit at Eric Carle; ‘RIFF’ Talk at Northampton Community Arts Trust

Thursday, November 13, 2014

IN AN OLD HOUSE IN PARIS ... In 1939 the world met the heroine of Ludwig Bemelmans’ book “Madeline,” a tiny girl in Paris who seems always to be in the midst of an adventure. At the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, “Madeline at 75: The …

Laurie Loisel’s Best Bets: Fast Forward Film Series at Historic Northampton; local author MB Caschetta reads from debut novel

Thursday, November 13, 2014

HAMP ON SCREEN It was fun seeing Shelburne Falls as the backdrop for the recent movie “The Judge,” but Northampton’s had its share of cameo — and bigger — roles as the setting for popular films. Among them are “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?” out in 1966, “The …

Steve Pfarrer’s Best Bets: Jill Lepore, author or ‘The Secret History of Wonder Woman, speaks;’ ‘Madeline’ exhibit at the Eric Carle Museum

Thursday, November 13, 2014

AN INSPIRATIONAL HEROINE The American feminism movement has its modern icons — Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem — but how about Wonder Woman? The comic book character, created in 1941, is the subject of a new book, “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” by New Yorker writer Jill Lepore, …

Jerrey Roberts’ photo gallery: Picture puzzle

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Occasionally, I like to take a photo that is a little mysterious — like it’s a puzzle to figure out. While at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center in Northampton last month for the seventh annual Giving Voice, …