Keeping Tabs on the Arts: ‘Funky-Tones’ at Northampton High School and other arts happenings in the Valley

Last modified: Thursday, March 26, 2015


Northampton High School’s a cappella group, The Northamptones, directed by Beau Flahive, and its improv troupe, Funktionlust, coached by Heidi Haas, will share the stage at “Funky-Tones” Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the high school.

Admission for the family-friendly show is $5. For more information, contact Heidi Haas at

Happy birthday, Bach

Peter Blanchette’s eighth annual “Bach Birthday Celebration Concert” will be presented Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Arts Trust Building, 33 Hawley St., Northampton.

The concert will include archguitarist Blanchette’s trademark arrangements of music composed by Bach, who was born 330 years ago. Duo Orfeo will also perform.

Tickets are available at (Advance purchase is recommended.)


ArtSalon, a social evening of presentations by established and emerging artists in the Valley, will take place Friday at the Bing Arts Center, 716 Sumner Avenue, Springfield. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m.; presentations start at 7.

The artists show their work in a format called Pecha Kucha (pronounced peh-chak-cha) of 20 slides, each shown for 20 seconds.

Presenting artists are:

 Priya Nadkarni, a painter interested in the peculiarities that pervade our culture — especially ones that reveal the underbelly of the American consciousness. She received a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was awarded a graduate school fellowship in her final year.

 Paul Hetzek seriously took up photography in 1994 while on a trek to Mount Everest. He has photographed in such distant lands as Nepal, Tibet, Patagonia, Namibia, and locations throughout the United States, but some of his favorite images, he says, were captured close to home.

 Andrae Green was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but moved to New York to attend the New York Academy of Art, where he received a master’s degree in 2008. In 2012, he was one of two artists chosen to represent Jamaica in the fifth staging of the Beijing Biennial. In 2013, he had his first solo show, at the Student Art Gallery at UMass.

 Beryl Salinger Schmitt is a painter, textile artist and art educator who works across a spectrum of fine craft and art media. She received a bachelor’s degree in textiles from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, where she specialized in the centuries-old Indonesian art form of batik, and other traditional wax-resist methods.

 Donna Beck’s work revolves around her handmade and surface-designed papers and pulp. Much of her inspiration comes from nature: an intricate, meandering grapevine tendril, a perfectly round, smooth, wave-tumbled stone from the coast, birch bark, manzanita burls, a carefully woven bird’s nest ... Beck is an adjunct professor in the art program at WNEU and teaches community workshops.

Suggested donation: $5. For information, visit

Children’s theater

“Once Upon a Bog,” an original theatrical adventure of fantasy, fun and friendship sponsored by Whole Children and Milestones, will be presented Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Hallie Flanagan Studio Theater at Smith College in Northampton.

Whole Children is a grassroots organization, started by parents, that offers enrichment programs for children of all ages and abilities, particularly those with special needs. Milestones offers similar classes for young adults.

Under the direction of Jeannine Haas, “Once Upon a Bog” was created by students in the Theater Studio program.

Tickets cost $10, available online at or at the door. For information, call 585-8010.

Artist collaboration

“Smith ArtsFest: Karlheinz Stockhausen Retrospective,” a three-day festival of music and film in celebration of Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mary Bauermeister, will take place March 24-26 at Smith College in Northampton. The events are presented in conjunction with Bauermeister’s March residency at Smith and in cooperation with the Smith College Museum of Art which is home to the exhibit “Mary Bauermeister: The New York Decade,” on view through May 24.

The collaboration of Bauermeister and Stockhausen is an important part of the interwoven narrative of art and music in the 20th century. A pioneer in electronic music, Stockhausen was a member of the avante-garde circle that gathered in Bauermeister’s Cologne, Germany, apartment. Stockhausen formulated the idea that the structure of Bauermeister’s visual art involved the same basic approach as his own serial technique to music composition.

 March 24, at 7 p.m.: A concert of the music of Stockhausen, Sage Hall, Sweeney Auditorium

 March 25 at 7 p.m.: The U.S. premiere of a documentary film about Bauermeister by Johann Camut in Wright Hall, Weinstein Auditorium

 March 26 at 7 p.m.: A concert, “Festival of Sound and Space: Hymnen by Karleinz Stockhausen,” Helen Hills Hills Chapel.

The festival events are free and open to the public.

At Augusta Savage Gallery

“Brooklyn LoL & the Bronx Man: Housner ReTRospective Project/4Decades: Painting, Art to Wear, Sculpture & Collaborative Work,” an exhibit of work by Marlene and Richard Hausner, will open with a reception Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. and will remain on view through April 15 at the Augusta Savage Gallery, 180 Infirmary Way at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The Housners have been collaborating for more than 50 years, working together on polyester resin sculptures, or in plaster or paint.

In the 1960s, the two worked and lived in New York City. They taught art and worked in set and costume design and construction. In the early 1970s, they moved to Heath. While there, Marlene exhibited extensively and served as director of the UMass Arts Council in the 1990s. Richard’s work took a turn as he applied his sculptor’s insights to the human condition and began a career as a psychotherapist.

In 1995, they moved to New Mexico, where Marlene’s attention shifted to producing wearable art. In developing her line, Artwearables, she tapped into a vocabulary that merges the antique and traditional with the new and unusual, taking a painter’s revisionist approach to clothing construction. The couple returned to New England in 2000.

Gallery hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 1 to 7 p.m. and Wednesdays through Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. For information, call 545-5177 or visit

Poetry of aging

“The Poetry of Growing Older: The Joys and Challenges of Aging,” a poetry reading by John Berkowitz and Pat Schneider, will be presented March 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Amherst Senior Center, 70 Boltwood Avenue.

Berkowitz, 68, of Northampton, is the author of “Saving — an Savoring the World.” Schneider, 81, of Amherst is the founder of Amherst Writers and Artists. For information, call Berkowitz at 387-8439 or send an email to

Call for artists

Historic Northampton, in collaboration with The Northampton Center for Arts and A.P.E, are extending an invitation to contemporary artists who would like to participate in “Contemporary Art at Historic Northampton,” a program that allows artists to show work at the museum that draws on, or is inspired by, selected objects from the museum’s permanent collection.

Solo and group submissions of 2- and 3-dimensional works in all mediums will be considered. More details and research will be available after the acceptance of proposals. Before submitting a proposal, artists must visit Historic Northampton to view the designated gallery space as well as selections from the collection. Artists must account for the dimensions of the room and the building when creating ideas for their piece.

The deadline for submissions is May 15. For more information and proposal requirements, contact Stan Sherer at

The museum is at 46 Bridge St., Northampton. Hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

Poet receives award

Hampshire College poetry professor Aracelis Girmay has received a 2015 Whiting Award, presented annually by the Whiting Foundation to 10 emerging writers in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and drama. The Whiting Foundation, based in Brooklyn, offers early support to scholars and writers.

Girmay has published two poetry collections, “Kingdom Animalia” (2011) and “Teeth” (2007).

In announcing Girmay’s selection on March 5, the Whiting Award judges wrote: “Her project seems to be in our deep and ongoing subjectivity. ... The beauty of these poems is always married to a deep, impeccable pang. Their consolation is always rooted in the unifying force of remembered loss.”

No submissions are accepted for the Whiting Awards. Judges and nominators work anonymously. Winners are chosen by a small group of literary scholars, writers and editors who meet four times a year to debate and select the winners.

Excerpts from the latest work by Girmay and other winners are available on

Moveable Bach

“Happy 330th Birthday! Bach in the Subways,” a performance by University of Massachusetts Amherst musicians that is part of an international movement to promote classical music by performing Bach’s music in public spaces, will take place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The musicians will perform in several locations, including Amherst Books, 8 Main St., Subway, 4 Main St. and The Works Bakery Café, 48 North Pleasant St., all in the center of Amherst.

At Amherst Cinema

“Alphaville,” directed by Jean-Luc Godard, will be shown Sunday at 2 p.m. and Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity St., Amherst.

Godard’s films are considered by many to be the driving force behind the French New Wave movement, with their amalgamation of pulp crime and existential love stories, bold visual inventiveness, and effortless cool.

With his 1965 “Alphaville,” Godard presents a radical dystopian science fiction story, going against Hollywood standards at the time. The film remains one of the least conventional films of all time. Regular admission. Tickets available at the box office at online at In French with English subtitles.

Rooney’s ‘Liberty’

“Blue Liberty,” an exhibit of work by Terry Rooney, will be on view through April 19 at the Arno Maris Gallery at Westfield State University. An artist’s reception will be held Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Rooney created two Amherst Biennials, in 2010 and 2012.

Rooney’s art focuses on aspects of liberty in the United States. Rooney’s ancestors were welcomed by the Statue of Liberty and she was raised under its shadow. The statue stands for a welcoming mat for immigrants and a symbol of American values. But Rooney’s art examines how the United States has strayed from these values. Her art asks political and philosophical questions to provoke gallery visitors to reevaluate our government’s response to terrorism.

In the exhibit, Liberty will be the subject of many drawings and paintings, with varied subject matter. The art is aimed to invoke critical thinking in its audience about liberty and freedom.

She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1970 and received a bachelor’s degree in painting from SUNY Empire State College. She has worked at MOMA and the New Museum of Contemporary art.

Gallery hours are Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.


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