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Kathleen Mellen’s best bets

The art and the fury

If you like to combine art and controversy, take this last opportunity to see the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum’s provocative exhibit, “Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated),” which closes Sunday at 5 p.m. In prints that vacillate between sumptuousness and fury, Walker juxtaposes Harper’s version of the Civil War with images of her own that question the notion that slavery ended with the war. The museum will be open today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Lower Lake Road, South Hadley. www.mtholyoke.edu/artmuseum

ANOTHER GOOD BET

It’s Christmastime, so it’s likely that somebody, somewhere, is performing “The Nutcracker.” Until now, East Street Ballet in Hadley had not hopped on that sleigh, but this year the school’s artistic director, Irina Vakhromeeva, has restaged the popular tale. “The Christmas Treasure Box” will be performed Dec. 22 and 23 at 2 p.m. at the East Street Theater, 47 East St., in Hadley. Tickets are $12, $10 and $8. 584-5535

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