DownStreet Art

activating downtown North Adams, MA since 2008

DSA 2016: Past, Present, and Future!

As DownStreet Art prepares for its final celebration on Thursday, September 29, we begin to reflect on the awesome past exhibits from June and July, as well as the equally awesome current exhibits for August. We can’t wait to see you all on the 29th for one last Thursday of fun before the summer ends! (Scroll all the way to the bottom for a sneak peak of what’s to come next month!)

In case you missed any of the great exhibitions presented DownStreet Art this year.. here is a recap featuring some highlights from June, July and August.

JUNE 30, 2016

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Gallery strolling and Common Folk couch gatherings

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Holden Street Night Market and Screen Printing Tuna at 87 Main St

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Crossing Guard Parade Brigade and Izzy Heltai and Anonymous Animal

July 28, 2016

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“Local Color” by Assets for Artists and Kevin Hill-Williams leading chalk art

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Some shots of the Holden Street Night Market

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Wayfinding Opening at Gallery 51 with coaster printing from Press on the Move

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 5.19.10 PM  Dysfunkcrew about to #getdown

August 25, 2016 (currently on view)

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“Unbeknown” opened at outside and “Polyvalent Spaces” opened at exPRESS

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And The Kids at the Elks Lodge and paint-by-number activity at Butterfly Effect

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Mortal Beasts & Deities and Kent Mikalson’s opening at MountainOne Bank

What’s Next?

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Rik Kent and Keith Emerling will both have show’s opening downtown

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“Secrets Too Beautiful To Keep”, a joint show by long time friends Michelle Daly and Shelley Chamberlin will wrap up DownStreet Art at Gallery 51.

..and for now, the rest of DownStreet Art activities are secrets so awesome we HAVE to keep them (at least for now). Check back for updates leading up to September 29! We can’t wait to #getdown with you one more time.


DownStreet Art and Common Folk present: And The Kids

13987465_611455435702439_6166627354669999811_oWho’s ready to #getdown and dance the night away!? After DownStreet Art Thursday, the celebration continues with an afterparty co-sponsored by Common Folk and Downstreet Art at Elks Lodge.

Tickets are just $10 for this all-ages show.

Western MA’s very own And The Kids will bring their high energy show back to DownStreet Art for a second time as they channel existential crises into pop euphoria. With this sleight of hand, the quartet manages to conjure chunky indie rock, blissful new wave, chamber folk, jarring avant-garde, and brawny classic rock.

And The Kids show’s us that when musical talent is combined with strong friendships, incredible things are born. Growing up, often the safest haven to plot your dreams and get a handle on your identity is within the confines of trusted friendships. For the musicians in the critically acclaimed band And The Kids, these bonds have been a life raft. But as friendships evolve from adolescence to young adulthood, sometimes the lines between friends, lovers and all that comes in between can grow murky. On the Northampton, MA-based band’s latest, Friends Share Lovers (out June 3rd on Signature Sounds), And The Kids examines blurred boundaries in close-knit relationships.

Click HERE to listen to some of their awesome music, and after you do that, click HERE to buy a ticket to see the show! THIS is truly something you won’t want to miss.

DownStreet Art Meets Pokemon Go

At this point, everybody knows that Pokemon Go is the new latest craze amongst children and adults alike. However, what you may not know is just how special of a place North Adams is for Pokemon Go players. “Pokestops”, places where you can collect supplies, and Pokemon Gyms, where you battle other trainers Pokemon, are generally located at points of public interest; i.e Public Art, Libraries, Museums, and Churches.

Well, lucky for North Adams, we are a cultural hub for museums and public art! Now you may be wondering “How does DownStreet Art come in to play?” Tons of Pokestops are located at murals that DownStreet Art has commissioned! (You’re welcome!)

DownStreet Art’s murals, paired with MASS MoCA and their outdoor installations makes for Pokestop central! (Not to mention that we are also the city of 1,000 churches, but we won’t get into that now)

To make your Pokemon hunting ventures a little easier and more well informed, we have compiled a list of all the art-based Pokestops and Gyms in downtown North Adams. So grab a buddy, or go alone, and take a walk around North Adams to open your eyes to some art that you may have never seen before..while collecting supplies and catching Pokemon of course.

  • That’s Gneiss” mural on Holden St by Melissa Matsuki Lillie, Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.42.41 PMcommissioned by DownStreet Art. This Mural is inspired by the microscopic and macroscopic views of geological formations found in the metamorphic rocks that made up many of the buildings in downtown North Adams.
  • Abstract mural on Center Street by Maya Huyak, commissioned by Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.42.33 PMDownStreet Art. This mural is Large, colorful, completely improvised.
  • Paint It Public! mural, located in an alley off Main St. This mural is a product of a teen mural workshop led by artist Andrew Davis as a program of The Clark, and DownStreet Art. Students created the mural based on Albrecht Durer’s sixteenth century woodcut, The Rhinoceros.
  • untitled” mural, located behind the Mohawk Theatre, was the first mural Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.42.22 PMcommissioned by DownStreet Art in 2012. Artists Marta Gil and Estibaliz Vera of cooperative Muralism Publico based in Vitoria, Spain, contributed to this optimistic mural about change.  
  • The “Pillars of Art”, a project created by Art About Town, are located on both sides of the street under the Rt. 2 overpass. These images depict animals, and factory workers. Art About Town is an artist and Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.43.05 PMcitizen based organization that builds community through public art projects. Images for the pillars were chosen from the cut and stitch cloth dolls that were printed by Arnold Printworks, which is now MASS MoCA.
  • North Adams Mural” by artist Matt McWhirt, is located on Eagle St in the alley next to Desperados. It is a scenic interpretation of Berkshire landscapes.Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.43.14 PM
  • Berkshire Artist Museum, open seasonally, is located at the top of Main St. The museum displays the work of Eric Rudd along with other select artists.
  • Mohawk Theater, a Pokemon Gym, and once beloved historic theater, is currently in major need of some TLC. Since the theater closed in the mid 1980’s, efforts to restore it to its’ former glory have been underway.
  • MASS MoCA – With vast galleries and a stunning collection of indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, MASS MoCA is able to embrace all forms of art: music, sculpture, dance, film, painting, photography, theater, and new boundary-crossing works of art that defy easy classification.
  • Les Pommes D’Adam, a sculpture series by Franz West, takes its inspiration from a distinct part of a male’s profile, the Adams’ Apple. The enormous sculptures are currently on loan from the Hall Art Foundation and can be viewed as part of MASS MoCA’s outdoor exhibits.
  • All Utopias Fell, by Michael Oatman, is an interactive installation part MASS MoCA’s seasonal outdoor exhibits. The installation resembles a full metal subway car that views can enter after climbing up through the Boiler House.
  • Mirror Pillar” is a smaller version of Hub Cap Haven, located next to the Hoosac River as part of MASS MoCA’s outdoor exhibits.
  • Primary Separation”, by Don Gummer, is an installation located right outside of MASS MoCA, as well as a Pokemon Gym. The installation Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.42.59 PMdepicts a large suspended rock that is cut in half with a separation in between the halves. The stone could be rising, falling, separating or re-joining, depending on how you interpret it. The thin margin between the two parts is charged with a powerful force, and it is not clear whether the force is repellent or attractive.
  • Crow Mosaic” is a mosaic of a crow on River St next to The Porches. The artist of this mosaic remains unknown.

Art About Town and DownStreet Art team up at Downtown Celebration

Local arts organization Art About Town is teaming up with DownStreet Art to bring a participatory street painting event to Downtown Celebration. Inspired by the abstracted hand and leaf images of Henri Matisse’s late cut-paper works, like The Parakeet and the Mermaid (shown below).  Hands on Holden will be created by YOU with provided materials. Join us to create a painted collage of abstracted hands on Holden St.




DownStreet Art Thursday, July 28 2016

DownStreet Art

Thursday July 28, 5-8 PM

Shop a variety of local makers at DownStreet Art’s monthly night market:

A little something for everyone from farm-fresh baked good,s to handmade creations, to works of art.

DownStreet Voices – contribute your story as we live stream the impressions of participants. 

Jason Velázquez, editor of Greylock Glass, describes the project as an artistic experiment that makes him a little nervous. “Anything that pushes the boundaries of public expression out significantly should make one nervous. That’s how you know you’re on to something.”

Visit local organizations including:
MASS CreativeMASS MoCA, MCLA Admissions and Hoosic River Revival

Berkshire Bank Stage

DysFUNKcrew 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM

Formed in February of 2013, and featuring eight MCLA Alumni, dysFUNKcrew commits to a variety of dance styles including Hip-Hop, Modern, Ballet, Bellydancing, and Step. Their focus is to give back to the Berkshire community that they love by showcasing both their skills and talents.

 Lita Williams 5:00 PM

Lita Williams, now a resident of Berkshire county, is not your average musician. Her Hawaiian roots mixed with her Nashville training have created a very unique sound and a show with something for everyone. She continues to reach new milestones in her career and has laid a heavy focus on using her gift to help others. Hers is a show worth catching!

Ray Gifford 6:30PM


Ray Gifford is a Performing Songwriter with an eclectic taste in music and wide variety of influences. A strong and clear unique vocal style paired with solid guitar work make for enjoyable listening and relatable music.




under the Mohawk Marquee

Bad Drama Theatre Club | 5:30-6:15PM & 6:45-7:30PM

Bad Drama Theatre Club will perform their original production of the second installment in a series of interconnected 15-minute plays that will be performed over the course of DownStreet Art Thursdays. The goal of the Club is to highlight the urban legends that are encompassed in North Adams history, and to provide opportunities for local community members to be involved with theatre productions about their town.

In the Galleries

Melanie Mowinski, Wayfinding
MCLA Gallery 51 – 51 Main St.
for more information

Join Melanie Mowinski in celebrating the opening of her solo exhibition of new works. In her words: Wayfinding is about trusting the way and understanding the many paths to get to the same destination literally and figuratively. Some are direct others are tranquil. Some avoid obstacles. And others are just variety and keep your mind alert for new things. I define this as cultivating a wilderness state of mind.

Max_image1Assets for Artists, a local initiative that helps artists to build their creative practices, will open an exhibition in exPRESS Gallery, 49 Main St. Each year, a group of applicants is selected to be part of their art community-building efforts. The exhibition, Local Colors: curated by Kathline Carr, includes work by 2015 North Adams Project Participants: Max Spitzer, Joshua Harriman, Sarah Pike, Michelle Daly, Megan Tamas, Jim Peters and Kathline Carr.


Exposed: Heads, Busts, and Nudes

Group show of ceramic figural sculpture by masters from 1970–present
Ferrin Contemporary, 1315 MASS MoCA Way
For more information

Tour the exhibit with Leslie Ferrin, gallery director and curator of the exhibition at 7:00 PM

This group of noted American and British sculptors explores themes that range from social realism to otherworldly surrealism to abstraction of form. The overview illustrates how early practitioners in California’s Bay Area during in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Robert Arneson, Viola Frey, and Stephen De Staebler, continue to inspire artists today. Known for their use of clay in combination with painted glaze surfaces, these artists challenge presumptions and their work defies easy categorization as sculpture, decorative arts, or studio craft.
Lionel Smit
1315 MASS MoCA Way
For more information

Tour the exhibit with Cynthia Reeves, gallery director at 7:00 PM

Smit’s interest in the themes of duality arose organically. He writes: “I wanted to merge the idea of the abstract and the naturalistic form. I love Rorschach images, and so I started doing drawings that incorporated two faces, identical but with different attitudes. It seemed to capture the whole idea of peering into the psyche, of seeing in a different way who we are. My work is very involved with identity and, in the past few years, I predominantly started working with the faces of the Cape Malayan woman, a culture of people that evolved through Colonialism. The image of the double head also has a relationship to Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and transitions, that of looking into the future while simultaneously looking into the past.”
Berkshire Art Museum
159 E. Main St.
This exhibition showcases the work of nine artists who had a close association with the Contemporary Artists Center and to the Berkshires –exhibition on Three Floors

Dale Bradley, Christopher Gillooly, Brandon Graving, Robert Henriquez,   Henry Klein, Barbara May, Robert Schechter, Maria Siskind, David Zaig.

COLORS  – Sarah Sutro

ART AND ARCHITECTURE: Keith Bona, Peter Dukek, Howard Itzkowitz, William Sweet

Creative Business Incubators

The Creative Incubator spaces are a new DownStreet Art initiative aimed to give artist entrepreneurs, a place to grow their creative businesses in a supported and inviting way. With the help of DownStreet Art, Creative Incubator spaces have been implemented in four formerly empty storefronts in downtown North Adams. Spaces range from working studios to gallery and performance venues.
Reber_Fix_outsideOutside – 10 Ashland StDirected by Mandy Johnson and James Jarzyniecki

Dedicated to solo exhibitions by emerging artists, Outside includs a small shop of art and design publications.

Current Exhibition: Allure a solo exhibition of new poetry, paintings and video Nicole Reber


gosh you look so great
as a living
beauty awards 2016
rewards careful
we prosecute
shoplifters to the fullest
extent of the law
of attraction
based on body first
mind second
home business
usual routine
makeup for ever
makeup for ever
I do this because it makes me feel beautiful.

Nicole Reber (b. 1989) is a New York based artist working within sculpture, painting, collage and language. Recent exhibitions of her work have taken place at HAP Gallery (OR), Black and White Project Space (NY), Knockdown Center (NY), and Kimberly-Klark (NY). She has spoken at NADA, MoMA PS1, and Printed Matter. She is a co-editor of Packet, a biweekly arts publication that has published over 80 issues in the past 3 years. The complete Packet archive was recently acquired by the MoMA Library.
Thin Walls Studio & Gallery –  87 Main StThis studio and workshop features the artwork of artist and visiting MCLA professor Joshua Ostraff who is working on a series of paintings and prints that examine what it means to be selfless, and to share with those around you. For DownStreet Art Thursday, Thin Walls Studio & Workshop invites the public to join artist Josh Ostraff to screen-print tuna which will be incorporated into an exhibition at MCLA Gallery 51 in January, 2017.

Butterfly Effect- 85 Main StCollaborated on by three Elementary teachers – Christina KingCheryl Wildermuth, and Julianne Jock – the hope is that their paintings would become artistic responses to visitors, and neighbors alike that come in contact with the gallery space. It is through this project that we hope to become more deeply immersed in the beauty of the Butterfly Effect, both witnessed and experience though the various roles these artists have had in this truly amazing community.

Common Folk– 33 Main St
Together we, inspire creativity, strengthen our artistry, and encourage each other to positively contribute to our community.


Opening Exhibition: ArtDoors

ArtDoors is a program coordinated by UNiTY Youth Development at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. This teen summer program explores cultural organizations and local hiking spots for 5 weeks. The program includes introductory art workshops. The work that the participants have been creating through the program will be shown during the month of August.

What to expect?
A participatory art project! The group worked with local artist, Max Spitzer, to create a tree sculpture. Be a part of the piece and help us paint it the night of the opening.

DownStreet Art Exhibitions in non-traditional Spaces

Gwen Bird, Paper Cuts
MountainOne Bank Gallery – 93 Main St.

Early Reception 4 – 5 PM

Bird creates images by removing substance, cutting away layers to reveal the colors underneath. The pieces are composed of one to ten layers, and every part of each layer is connected, if tenuously, creating the challenge of designing the piece so it won’t fall apart. Sometimes this is accomplished by making the pieces like stencils, with the bottom layer becoming the shape and the top layer working as the background. Other times, shapes are layered on each other.

Ben Mancino, Welcome to the Berkshires
Holiday Inn, 40 Main St.

Join the Artist for a reception at the Holiday Inn

An exhibition of photos by award winning photographer Ben Mancino. “Welcome to the Berkshires” series gives viewers an insight into the most beautiful locations the Berkshires has to offer. Mancino’s unparalleled vision of photography is portrayed through the exclusive use of natural lighting and regional landscapes.

Don Orcutt and Pamela Acosta
Adams Community Bank Gallery – 31 Eagle St.

See the exhibition during normal banking hours

Both Orcutt and Acosta use their work to explore the theme of wonder, and the mystery surrounding the human psych.

IMG_6203When describing the inspiration behind her work, Acosta says “The idea of quests is something that has become a very important element for my work lately. I create visual narratives about a myriad of beings searching for the missing elements of their existence or simply their purpose. This community of curious seekers and wanderers represent different aspects of my own life voyage but they also act as a bridge to the viewer and others who also find themselves in a enveloped in a quest of their own.”

Don Orcutt, a Berkshire native, also uses his work to explore the theme of wonder. He mainly works with painting and sculpture and has had his work exhibited in various venues around the Berkshires as well as in St Petersburg, Florida.
Paul Chojnowski, Infrastructure Series 
Bright Ideas Brewing, 111 MASS MoCA Way

Stop in for a beer and see more art.

The newly opened Bright Ideas Brewing on the MASS MoCA campus will be host to Paul Chojnowski’s Infrastructure Series for the entirety of the DownStreet Art season.

Berkshire artist Paul Chojnowski creates drawings in a non-traditional way. He “draws” by scorching, sanding, and torching large pieces of plywood to create realistic works of art. Also on display are newer works in the series, which are smaller and created by manipulating water colored paper instead of wood, then suspending that paper from custom made mahogany boxes which are illuminated from behind by LED lights creating an image suggestive of stained glass.


Not to be missed…

Makers Mill – 73 Main St.

Join Makers Mill for an Open Studio. We will be opening our doors for Downstreet Art 2016! Stop in for a tour of the space, to see what our members are creating, and to learn more about our growing Makers’ Mill community!

After Parties!

Stay late and #getdown with Magic Island & Anonymous Animal
Common folk – 33 Main St
$5 – 10 tickets online or at the door
for more informationMagic Island is a 4-piece catchy, groovy, indie rock band from Leominster, Massachusetts. Since their formation in early 2013, they’ve played countless shows throughout New England and the East Coast supporting their 3 releases. Catch their hip-swaying, head-bobbing, dance-inducing live show as their island expands throughout the planet.

Hailing from many parts of Massachusetts, Anonymous Animal is electronic, indie, dance machine headed by collaborators Joe Aidonidis & Barny Lanman. With a constantly revolving line-up, it’s safe to say that no one has every seen the same Anonymous Animal set twice. Their music changes from venue to venue as well as the instruments they play.
After hours at the Chalet
MASS MoCA Chalet, 1040 MASS MoCA Way
Free, bring money for beer
for more informationSpontaneous music with Bang on a Can fellows and faculty in our summer beer garden, which careens wildly from bluegrass to jazz to salsa to avant-ballads.

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