Arts Previews: New exhibits at Herter and Hampden galleries at UMass Amherst; Literary Series at the LAVA Center in Greenfield

  • “Untitled” by D. Dominick Lombardi is part of a new group exhibit, “A Horse Walks Into a Bar,” at Hampden Galley at UMass Amherst. Submitted image

  • “Awaiting the Results,”​​​​​​​ acrylic and flashe on canvas by Eben Kling, is part of the exhibit “From Sun to Cement” at Herter Galley at UMass Amherst. Submitted image

Published: 2/27/2020 9:03:26 AM
Pushing boundaries at Hampden Gallery

“A Horse Walks Into a Bar,” an exhibit featuring work from 26 different artists, opens Saturday, March 7, at Hampden Galley at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and will run through April 12.

The exhibit, curated by D. Dominick Lombardi, includes varied work by artists “who continue to push the boundaries of fine art toward wit and whimsy,” as publicity notes put it. “Some works are out and out funny, others will take time to reveal themselves, perhaps in a very dark way that may or may not resonate with everyone.”

The show includes a mix of photographs, paintings, sculpture, mixed media pieces, fabric collages and more. One example: painter Lucy White addresses the subject of gun violence by using Band-Aids to form images of pistols, affixing them to her canvas and painting over them, then removing them to leave ghostly images of guns visible.

There will be an opening reception for the exhibit on March 7 from 3-5 p.m., which includes a stand-up comedy performance by Margret Polsgrove.

Group show at Herter Art Gallery

Also at UMass Amherst, Herter Galley, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, opens a group exhibition Thursday, March 5, that is dedicated to the work of alumni from the university’s MFA programs in art.

The 15 artists whose work is represented in “From Sun to Cement” all received their masters at UMass Amherst between 1984 and 2018. Entries is this juried exhibit were evaluated by Laylah Ali, professor of art at Williams College; Emma Chubb, curator of contemporary art at the Smith College Museum of Art; and Ajay Sinha, professor and chair of art history at Mount Holyoke College.

An opening reception on March 5 from 3-5 p.m. will include a panel discussion with the artists, which will be moderated by UMass Art Department Chair Shona Macdonald and Graduate Program Director and Professor Young Min Moon.

Literary nights in Greenfield

The LAVA Center’s Literary Series continues on Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. with a presentation by poet and spoken-word artist Paul Richmond of Wendell, who is also the founder of the regional publishing group Human Error Publishing.

Richmond, who in recent years was named Beat Poet Laureate for both Massachusetts and the U.S., runs a monthly open mic to help promote the work of area writers and is also a member of Do It Now, an improvisational music group. On Monday, he will celebrate the work of a number of Human Error Publishing writers.

And on March 9, the Literary Series continues with a “readaround” of the play “Most Dangerous Women,” which celebrates over a century of the international women’s peace movement. The event will also recognize International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month.

The LAVA Center is located at 324 Main St. in Greenfield. Further information is available at and (413) 512-3063.


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