DownStreet Art

activating downtown North Adams, MA since 2008

Thank You for #gettingdown with us this summer!

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The leaves are changing and the air is getting crisp, just a week ago we celebrated the last DownStreet Art Thursday of 2016. We’re still catching our breaths from an incredibly full four months of activating downtown North Adams. Thank You to all of our artists, community members, local businesses, interns and volunteers. We couldn’t have done it without you. Also, thank you to the City of North Adams for continuing to be great partners in supporting the work we do – from street closures to the Mayor Alcombright rolling up his sleeves and assembling our podcast booth with us.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be organizing opportunities for feedback. From listening sessions to community meetings to surveys. We want to hear what you like and don’t like about DownStreet Art and we’ll take your feedback to heart as we begin planning for the 10th DownStreet Art in 2017.


While some of our temporary spaces are coming to an end – there’s still lots to see and do in North Adams this fall. Currently on view are great exhibitions at outside gallery, ferrin contemporary, cynthia-reeves and our very own MCLA Gallery 51. Open studios at the eclipse mill October 15-16 and as always there are some exciting activities at Makers Mill in the next few weeks.



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May we recommend:

  • Sign up for the North Adams Happenings email – it’s an easy way to get a preview every week of what’s going on in and around the Northern Berkshires. From hayrides, to hikes, to art openings we focus on art, nature and family friendly activities – many of which are free to attend. Sign up here
  • DownStreet Art is a program of MCLA’s Berkshire Cultural Resource Center – with programming year round. From the Levitt AMP North Adams concert series, to rotating exhibitions at MCLA Gallery 51 to the Margaret Hart Scholarship concert with Tangina Stone – we’ve got a full few months ahead of us.
  • New things are brewing at MASS MoCA this fall as well. From what we hear there is an excellent pumpkin ale at Bright Ideas Brewing, to the long awaited (and much lauded) opening of Nick Cave’s most ambitious exhibition Until.

There’s also a full lineup of concerts and performances happening over the next few weeks including:

  • Two more LevittAMP North Adams Concerts with Peter Mulvey October 9 and the Seratones October 16. 2pm at Colegrove Park.
  • Benjamin Clementine at MASS MoCA, October 15
  • October 12 – 15 – MCLA’s Theater department kicks off their 16-17 season with Julie Kramer’s disarming new stage adaptation of Rona Jaffe’s 1958 “The Best of Everything.”

It bears repeating – thank you, thank you, thank you for another great summer of art and community.


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.




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