DownStreet Art

activating downtown North Adams, MA since 2008

Category: calendar (Page 1 of 25)

Martha Flood Design Studio Open for DSA Thursday!

Martha Flood Design Studio

38 Eagle Street
On DownStreet Art Thursday 8/28, Martha Flood will open her private studio to the public. She will debut “King Alfred’s Cake”, her newest Woodland fabric. The abstract arrangement of Moss, Lichen, Bark, Snow and “King Alfred’s Cakes” Fungi, has just been printed. It’s now the 17th fabric of “The Woodlands Collection”! Martha’s New England inspired textures and patterns are digitally printed upholstery-weight fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.


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Jarvis Rockwell “Wall Drawings” debuting at CONcourse Gallery

Jarvis Rockwell

Wall Drawings

CONcourse Gallery

Opening August 28


Jarvis Rockwell is the eldest son of famed illustrator Norman Rockwell. He is an artist as well as a collector of toys, knick knacks, googley eyes and other intricate objects. Known for his large-scale toy installations and wall drawings, Rockwell will be creating two 3-dimensional wall drawings that will debut as part of DownStreet Art Thursday 8/28 outside CONcourse Gallery at 85 Main Street.

His installations include hand drawn illustrations and miniature toy figures. His work is an exploration of life after death, “What happens to our soul? Where does it go and what does it do,” asks Rockwell. He believes that the human body is simply a shell that holds our inner spirit. His wall drawings are his interpretation of a place between earth and heaven when we die – a transitional space where our souls are floating up to a grander reality.

Rockwell uses miniature figurines as “smaller distortions” of human beings. He juxtaposes three dimensional sculptures with two dimensional drawings to present a realm that is in-between reality and fantasy. Rockwell explains, “Death is the sloughing off of the three dimensional.” By doing so, he hopes to provoke his viewer to question themselves about the place their souls will go after they depart.

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Leah Grimaldi O’Ryan at CONcourse Gallery

Leah Grimaldi O’Ryan

Worms Under My Skin

CONcourse Gallery

On view August 28 – September 25


“I began working on “Worms Under My Skin” in January of 2014. I began by making forms that reference the body and anxieties, phobias and joys that surround it. Such anxieties could relate to age, weight, athletic ability, beauty or lack thereof, etc. The kinds of joys I think about when making my work relate to animal tendencies and even subversive feelings and behaviors.

The work is part of my continued exploration of “jouissance” as it is used by Julia Kristeva in The Powers of Horror: an Essay on Abjection. My understanding is that Kristeva sees “jouissance” as a delightful and horrifying effect of abjection. I experience seemingly contradictory feelings related to my body on a daily basis. I have historically crippling food anxiety, but I delight in how I feel when I eat. I hate that my body often dictates my actions because of how it feels, yet I love to feel like an impulsive animal in my body. I suspect that my experiences and not rare, but are, rather, culturally shared.

While exploring forms that speak to such a “jouissance”, I thought of a storefront space as ideal for exhibiting the work. Storefront spaces are public, and I’m grappling with culturally shared anxieties and joys having to do with being in a body. I also like that a storefront space is like a three-dimensional canvas, and my installations are more like immersive paintings or drawings than they are like sculptures.

I feel that now is an especially good time to acknowledge the body’s weaknesses as we as a culture confront obesity, eating disorders and the looming fear of cancer. Now is also a good time to delight in my body, with all of its weaknesses, because every time is good for that.

The work consists of small cut paper figures, drawn with black ink, and black fabric figures. Some paper figures are as small as one inch in their longest dimension, while others are twelve inches in their longest. Soft sculptures play with the cut paper figures. I arrange the figures, paper and fabric, in a way that speaks to the surroundings. I want the affect of my work to be uncomfortable and a little overwhelming.”

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Art About Town at DownStreet Art 8/28!

Art About Town

Crosswalk About Project




Although the Crosswalk About Project was rained out last DSA Thursday, Art About Town will be back in full swing for DSA Thursday 8/28!

Led by artist Phil Sellars and organized by artists and community members, the Crosswalkabout Project is a public art initiative that encourages community engagement through art. The project invites all participants to help repaint the crosswalks of North Adams into bright, colorful artworks! On DSA Thursday, we will be repainting half of either two crosswalks on Main Street.

Sellars said, “It takes a community to paint a crosswalk. It takes a community to make it happen. We will need people to help with various tasks. So please save the date and help make this a memorable night. Look for our tents and check in to see how you can help.”

Materials will be provided and all are welcome to pick up paint and a paint brush and participate!

And even if we have a rainy day, Art About Town will be providing chalk to to create “chalk walks”.

Dress down and get down with us from 4-9PM August 28th!


For more information visit





John Michael Byrd at CONcourse Gallery

John Michael Byrd


CONcourse Gallery

On view August 28 – September 25


There will be an opening reception at CONcourse Gallery August 28 from 6-9PM and a closing reception on september 25 from 6-9PM. 

“Painting and drawing are tools with extraordinary revelatory power, picking up where words often fall short. They help to tackle the past and divine the future. My aim, as a painter, is to act as an archivist; merging the spheres of internal desire and external demands.

Growing up: my childhood in South Louisiana was an amalgamation of bad TV, Bible verses and strong Southern women – a gulf between decadence and repression. I eventually left that milieu, stronger, more aware, and with a lifetime of characters and experiences in tow. But somehow, it has never left me. And though my childhood doesn’t define me, it and the residual emotional stains certainly inform my life as an artist.

In practice, I avoid live models. I select imagery for my drawings from an archive I have amassed that enables me to categorize my sources. I then work to deconstruct the imagery in a manner that fosters new content. I begin to draw, connecting threads, fragment to fragment. And, through this collapsing of original context, I create new dialog and a more clarified reality.

By working from pre-existing images, I find the resultant paintings suggest a more compounded, complex narrative without being shackled to the original framing of the subject. My mode of re-contextualization empowers the viewer to interpret them more symbolically and metaphorically. This allows for greater charity within deviations of initial context and more variety of visual representation of the painted figure.The often charged nature of my source material hints at our innate need and capacity for catharsis. I use this dissolution of boundaries, as a conceptual tool, to remind my viewers that in order to restore humanity, we must first acknowledge and define objectification within the body/mind dichotomy.

My current paintings are an attempt to resolve the confrontation of the artificial and the real. And, I do this with the anticipation of mitigating some of the damage inflicted by learned shame and hindered exposure to a genuine, self-derived identity.”


John Michael holds a MFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Arts from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and is also an alumnus of Louisiana State University with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. He is primarily a painter, but also has worked in drawing, video, objects, performance and printmaking. John Michael’s work has been featured in numerous regional and national exhibitions and competitions. Also, he has been awarded several grants and scholarships including the J. Kenneth Edmiston Memorial Scholarship and the Carl M. Thorp Memorial Art Scholarship. John Michael is currently an Adjunct Instructor at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

For more information about the artist visit


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