DownStreet Art, a history


The Beginning:

DownStreet Art launches as a four-month series of storefront art installations and art destinations in downtown North Adams in partnership with the City of North Adams, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), Scarafoni Reality and the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition.

pop-up galleries:

MCLA Gallery 51 Annex featuring Lumens, an interactive light installation.   2885768916_90d3edf44d_z 2885766588_8c1c0efb0f_z

The North Adams Artist Cooperative, which becomes a permanent co-op gallery, closing in 2014.


Maya III by Jarvis Rockwell.

Organized by MASS MoCA,

The work of the Sol LeWitt draftsmen at

Primary/Secondary Volumes 1 & 2.



“DownStreet Art Thursdays” created with extended gallery hours, special events, and performances on the final Thursday of each month.

pop-up gallery spaces:


AVALON SEAFOOD GALLERY: Curated and managed by Andrew Davis, focused on emerging artists in painting and sculpture.

MASS MoCA Downtown: Chapter 3 of Brooklyn-based painter George Cochrane  Long Time Gone, a 24 chapter graphic novel he is creating with his 6-year-old daughter, Fiamma.

800,000: Acknowledge, Remember: A collaborative, community and commemorative project for the Genocide in Rwanda. Curated by Melanie Mowinski.

HOOSAC RIVER LIGHTS II: The Hoosic River between Eagle Street and MASS MoCA. A Celebration of the Hoosic River with Food, Music and Lights

MAYA IV – Jarvis Rockwell: At first glance, Maya IV is a giant dizzying ziggurat covered in toys.  Simple enough – it’s just a pile of toys, right?  Or is it? Maya IV is an explosion of pop culture and media overload, a temple to consumerism, an altar to the gods of the moment, a voluntary indulgence in obsessive-compulsive disorder, and a mirror reflecting ourselves and the stories of our lives.

ON SHORES OF PITCH: JOSHUA FIELD –  an installation examining the history and mythology of the Pitch Lake in Trinidad, a natural fissure in the earth where tar seeps to the surface.

CRIBS TO CRIBBAGE: Kidspace’s satellite space at 107 Main St. in North Adams.  Students from the North Berkshire School Union (Savoy, Florida,and Clarksburg) will work with Matt Bua this spring to create art for this space installation pieces for CRIBBAGE, an off-shoot of Kidspace’s CRIBS exhibit.


downloadKinodance Company – The Refractive Kinescope
commissioned by DownStreet Art. Site specific and/or object based installations interweave sculptural elements with video imagery, creating complex and evocative spaces while conjuring experiences of dance through abstract and representational video imagery. For the durational performances, the choreography of bodies in this re-imagined theatrical space will be influenced by silent film, vaudeville and early musical theatre.

5988185158_c9be2e515a_zBang on A Can





10_Pepon_Install1_x220Pepon Osario’s Drowned in A Glass of Water, commissioned by Williams College Museum of Art.  In 2009, the Williams College Museum of Art commissioned artist and MacArthur Fellow Pepón Osorio to create a work of art, using the themes of food, community, and culture as a starting point. Osorio, whose artistic practice involves a process of social engagement, spent the past year sharing conversations, stories, and meals with many people in both Williamstown and North Adams. The resulting artwork represents the stories of two families, transforming personal memory into a collective narrative.


Solar energy based project by Victoria Palermo and local 7th grade. 53
Main St., installation on view 24 hours

NOT FOR SALE: An interactive storefront window installation by Ephraim & Sadie Hatfield.

WALL OF SOUND, A site-specific installation by artist David Poppie.

pop-up gallery spaces:

LOCAL COLOR, “Art is the symbolic expression of human feeling” as demonstrated by local artists.

GALERIE HAITI, Contemporary Haitian and Haitian American art that reinvents traditional work of Haiti.

BE YOUR OWN PLACEBO: Evolving group exhibition of contemporary multimedia art.
THE ARTERY: A site specific installation by Boston-based artist Liz Nofziger.

WENDY JAMES STUDIO: A working studio exploring various media.

WILLIAM OBERST STUDIO: The working studio of this realist painter of people and landscapes.

MAYA III: JARVIS ROCKWELL RETROSPECTIVE, Wall drawings by artist Jarvis Rockwell.
GALERIE INQUILAB: The Art of Dissent: Woodcut Prints from the ASARO Collective in Oaxaca, Mexico and Paintings by Daisy Rockwell.

Experimental art based in painting and drawing traditions.

BERKSHIRE ARTIST COLONY GALLERY,  Features fine art and crafts from the


MARTHA FLOOD DESIGN, Textile Gallery and Surface Pattern Design Studio



11_Weems_dsa_x2202The Williams College Museum of Art Co-presents Carrie Mae Weems ‘Slow Fade to Black’ at Downstreet Art. For this exhibition, Weems takes a critical look at the historical drama staging, presenting several interlocking narratives works that play across the historical divide. The project explores the slippery slope of memory as it considers the great debates of the 1960s amongst the likes of Marlon Brando, James Baldwin and William F. Buckley, and the extraordinary females performers, dance and singers from Josephine Baker to Dorothy Dandridge Abbey Lincoln whose voices both entertained us and provided the backdrop to our very lives.

dj-spookyDownStreet Art Late Night – DJ Spooky will perform with renowned violinist Todd Reynolds for North Adams Late Night Saturday  June 25 in front of the Mohawk Theater Marquis on Main St, midnight-2am.

NORTH/SOUTH and other works by Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky)  includes artworks developed during his Antarctica residency, and features digital media paintings, calligraphic artworks, and street signs.

Works in the series ‘Notations (Imaginary Landscape)’ are on view and  seen as topographical portraits by the artist, visually translating the Antarctic landscape’s mountains and ice.  Miller sampled sounds from the environment to create the mini compositions (which can be played) found in the portraits during his Antarctica residency. Flag-inspired artworks such as Royal Geographic Society Flag and North Pole Albert Hastings Flag borrow symbolism from flags used by past explorers to Antarctica.

pop-up gallery spaces:

Postal Instant Press Gallery – A window installation in the former PIP printing store.

XMALIA – An installation and performance series by C. Ryder Cooley.

Maya IV – An installation by artist Jarvis Rockwell.

Legacy Gallery

Sheer Madness Gallery – A space to explore a variety of artworks and artists from around the world.

PRESS – Letterpress as a public art project. Curated by Melanie Mowinski.

Grass Gallery – A space for showing anti-war art, multi-media work, theatrical interventions, music, lectures and more.

Everything Must Go! – An exhibition to explore gift and barter economies by making and giving away electronic art.


Launch of Mural Program

DownStreet Art launches Mural Program with the commission of three murals:


muralismo publico: Marta Gil and Vera Estibaliz


muralismo publico is an artist co-op. Their “mural will reflect the meaning of change in any human context. We believe the concept of change today is an important and central component of the mural. We are working on a twofold approach: The first explores change itself as a current paradigm for it relates to social, economic and cultural change. Specifically, we would like to transmit a positive attitude towards change, understanding it as an opportunity for improvement and also as values re-building process and transformation for a better society. The second idea is to use a different word but one that contains the word change: Ex-change. We use the term to describe our processes. Our mural will provoke and reflect an exchange of ideas between people of different cultures.”


Maya Hayukuntitled


Embracing sexuality and spirituality via symbolism evocative of radiantly woven geometries and beckoning parted orifices of the body, Hayuk’s work aims to decode a process towards continuity and wholeness while striking chords of an almost pathological optimism.

She has painted her iconic outdoor murals all over the world and, when not traveling, maintains an active studio in Brooklyn, sketching in paint to inform the large-scale works. She sees her studio painting practice and mural making as both inversely relational and symbiotic.

Melissa Lillie – That’s Gneiss

MelissaMatsukiLillie_That's_Gneiss_2012.jpgMelissa Lillie is a Berkshires-based artist whose artwork references natural forms using a personal visual language of vibrant colors and complex layers to reflect on the macroscopic and microscopic world. Her paintings evoke a sense of space that has been flattened and layered, revealing strands and structures of line and color interacting fluidly with hidden landscapes. In addition to painting she frequently works sculpturally, creating forms that celebrate both line and color.

That’s Gniess! is an abstract colorful interpretation of the geologic makeup of Main Street and its buildings which largely consist of the rock variety Gneiss.

MASS MoCA commissions,  Victoria Palermo – Bus Stand


Pop Up Galleries & New Installations

MAYA – Pyramid of toys, wall drawings and assemblage reveal the imaginative world of Jarvis Rockwell.

18 Holden Street GalleryExhibitions include the “Phylogeny Projects” a group show curated by Derek Parker and Anne Roecklein and “Art into Life, Life into Art: Matei Bejenaru’s Socially Engage Art Practice” curated by Izabel Gallieara.

Artery Gallery (18 Holden St) – Exhibitions include a 3 channel art film by video artist Molly Davies and the “Faces of Occupy Wall Street” photographs taken by MCLA art major Emily Breunig.

Grass Gallery (107 Main Street) – Exhibitions include installation by Erin Ko & Alex Chouls, “Re- Imagine North Adams” and interactive exhibition curated by Jennifer Krouse, and a solo exhibition artist Gil Scullion. 

Mohawk Gallery (entry to Mohawk Theater) – exhibitions include the photography of artist Virginia Vergara and “Trust/Fail” an installation piece by Jamie Mohr and Ven Voisey.

The Hatfields (art in public spaces, restaurants, bars etc) “FREE* As in Art” by Ephraim and Sadie Hatfield (Marianne Petite and Matthew Belanger)

Adams Bank Gallery – rotating exhibitions curated by MCLA art and arts management majors.


Highlights include:

Downstreet art murals include Andrew Davis & Peter Dudek.

Andrew Davis creates Pain it Big! Paint it Public with youth from the teen mural workshop at Clark Art Institute


Peter Dudek’s, House Dreaming (and then some)

IMG_0075_2NYC artist Peter Dudek‘s recent undertaking, “House Dreaming (and then some),” is a mural project that includes several related images of architectural structures displayed around North Adams, MA. Funded byDownStreet Art, an organization dedicated to revitalizing downtown North Adams through novel public art projects, Dudek’s series challenges the familiar notion of mural-making that many local governments have adopted as a placemaking strategy for reviving New England’s post-industrial downtown landscapes.

Over the past decade, Dudek has created a series of black-and-white Photoshop collages, which he calls architectural cartoons, using images from clip-art, advertising, and other print sources from the 1940s and 50s. “The images represent a world – perhaps ours – in which buildings not only have a consciousness, but also the desire and ability to self-perpetuate,” Dudek says. For the DownStreet Art commission, he selected several images from the collage series, had a local commercial sign maker print them on easel-sized metal panels that he hung in discreet locations around town, and then organized walking tours to see the compact murals. From a distance (say, from a car), they look like ordinary signs, but up close, they reveal funny, enigmatic images reminiscent of old soda cap rebus puzzles and indeed enliven the experience of walking downtown.


Pop Up Galleries & New Installations

cropped-ek_3470_imageCARAVAN Recently on view at MoMA, this exhibition involves the installation and utilization of a specially modified trailer as well as film installation and performance pieces by Japanese artists, Eiko and Koma.

GALLERY 53 Rotating exhibitions featuring: Beehive Collective, Messages From Iran curated by Solly Kh, works by Emmy Award-winning artist Rich Remsberg, and veterans of Bread and Puppet Theater, Great Small Works. 53 Main St.

GALLERY 105 works by artists Jenny Kemp and Richard Harrington, and a unique exhibition curated by the Contemporary Arts Center of Troy. 105 Main St.

BRANCH GALLERY Exhibitions include sculptors Geoffrey Booras & David Kaufmann, paintings by Michelle Lauriat from her series Phil’s Hill, and works by artist Matt Philips. 18 Holden St.

TRANSCRIPT GALLERY Featured artists include photographer Daniel Morgan, Jennifer Huberdeau, and photojournalist Gillian Jones. 85 Main St.

CAfE Community Art for Everyone: a community-based center for art-learning, exploration and growth. 107 Main St.


Nomadic Massive 

9138587038_76481e4d31_zThis multilingual, multicultural, super-group has become synonymous with energetic and crowd-moving live shows. Sharing the stage with such notable acts as Ariane Moffatt (2010) « An chante pou Ayiti », Wyclef Jean (2008), K’naan (2005), and Guru’s Jazzmatazz (2008); Nomadic has also performed at world class festivals including the Montreal International Jazz Festival (2007), and in Toronto at Yonge-Dundas Square’s Global Rhythms Festival (2008), and the Harbourfront Global Hip-Hop Festival (2006, 2007).

Timur and the Dime Museum


LA-based band Timur and the Dime Museum fuses sounds with fierceness and theatricality. Formed in 2010, following their collaboration with the Klaus Nomi songwriter Kristian Hoffman, the band is led by TIMUR, described by LA Times  as “extravagantly transgressive.”

After their successful debut on the prestigious ALOUD series and an appearance on “America’s Got Talent”, T&DM begun to perform around the U.S., opening for such artists as the Tiger Lilies, Mucca Pazza, The Red Paintings, and Ann Magnuson. They were featured at the Redcat Theater Gala with Jack Black, NYC’s Joe’s Pub, House of Blues LA, Lummis Day Festival and the Krampus LA Festival’s Ball, described by LA Weekly  as “haunting.” The band’s stunning intensity brings unconventional songs to cure the new depression with a bohemian attitude, combining Timur’s “stratospheric voice” (LA Times) with guitar, bass, keys and drums. 



DownStreet Art is awarded an Artworks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

DownStreet Art Mural program continues with 2 new commissions – “justice” by Egyption Artist Alaa Awad & “circumnavigate through” by Corwin Levi

Pop Up Galleries & New Installations

Wall Drawings: Jarvis Rockwell

Window Installation by Michael Chapman

Concourse/Discourse @87 Main St.

G107 @ 107 Main St.

Opening of the Rudd Art Museum

Performances By:

2012Promo-Shot_584The Alchemystics – Fueled by their passion to explore beyond the edges of traditional musical boundaries and their diverse ethnic and musical backgrounds, the Alchemystics blend reggae, politically infused hip-hop, gritty soul, hard-driving rock, and pulsing Jamaican, Cuban and Trinidadian  rhythms into an utterly unique and distinctively original new sound. The result is modern-day roots music with global appeal – an alchemy of ancient musical traditions; intricate, intelligent wordplay; elementally raw soul; irresistible hooks; deep, driving rhythms; and old-school vocal harmonies – fired by the Alchemystic’s unique blend of intensity, passion, and sheer artistic chemistry into a powerful, contemporary, and unmistakable sound.

10653489_745396242199970_2717743581108462360_nMortal Beasts & Deities are professional purveyors of Controlled Mayhem and Earnest Frivolity!  Splendiferous Stilt Dancers and Larger-Than-Life Puppets!





7807370_origAnd the Kids – Recently called one of “the Western Mass. indie scene’s brightest creative lights” by Pitchfork, Northampton, Massachusetts’ And The Kids recently released their debut full-length album, Turn to Each Other (Signature Sounds). Turn to Each Other is more than an album title: it’s a statement of fact for the band, whose bond — as musicians, friends and creative foils — is as tight as they come. The album features 11 tracks full of ringing guitars from Hannah Mohan, knotty rhythms from drummer Rebecca Lasaponaro and bold accents from synthesizers and percussion by Megan Miller. Together, they create “apocaplyptic pop”, a dizzying stop-start ride with lush, intricate soundscapes that frame Mohan’s lively lead vocals. NPR Music recently raved, “Guitarist Hannah Mohan’s striking vocals rival the vibrato and boldness of Siouxsie Sioux… [And The Kids] make music that’s both fearless and entertaining.”  An ongoing struggle with border issues  for Miller, a Canadian citizen, initiated the addition of bassist Taliana Katz to the touring ensemble. 



19333753265_a53336b83c_z (2)Fantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it”, who “got it”, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn’t, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.

19992313489_771fd7b4f2_zArc Iris  broke musical ground when its critically acclaimed self-titled album was released in 2014. The Providence-based band quickly won over audiences in the US and Europe, supporting artists such as St. Vincent, Jeff Tweedy, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. The group has  performed at LA’s Greek Theater, London’s Palladium, and festivals including Bonnaroo, End of the Road and Rolling Stone Weekender.

Released on ANTI Records in the US and Bella Union in Europe, “Arc Iris” has drawn admiration for its innovative style and distinctive sound. “It’s hypnotic,” said the Boston Globe. The New York Times wrote of “songs that seesawed between the elfin delicacy of Joanna Newsom and some brassy raucousness.” London’s the Guardian talked of “a shape-shifting treat.” And new music blog site Line of Best Fit proclaimed, “Arc Iris is traditional music thrillingly positioned at the nexus of the old and new.”

Lead singer and lyricist Jocie Adams, keyboardist Zach Tenorio-Miller, and drummer Ray Belli form the core of Arc Iris, all virtuosic musicians in their own right. Adams spent eight years as a key member of indie darlings The Low Anthem, effortlessly zipping from hammer dulcimer to clarinet to bass to vocals, sometimes barely pausing to take a breath.

21808346652_60c27df873_zBridgman | Packer Dance – Truck encourages creative place making by bringing performance to nontraditional and unexpected locations. In Truck, a 17-foot box U-Haul truck is filled with live performance and video technology.

Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, co-artistic directors of Bridgman | Packer Dance and Guggenheim Fellows in choreography, are acclaimed for their innovative integration of choreography and video technology.

pop-up spaces include:

Jarvis Rockwell @ Gallery 107

Neck of the Woods Gallery @ 85 Main St. – featuring an Assets 4 Artists group exhibition, Cardburg a temporary installation created by the Teen Artist Residency @MASS MoCA with Artist Kate Carr, and Imagined Codes | Coded Images curated by Tony Merino

Commonplace Gallery @ 85 Main St. – A pop-up collaborative space for Commonfolk Artist Collective.

C Gallery @ 33 Main St. – Featuring exhibitions by Josh Field, Julian Gray, Richard Harrington, Zac Pritchard, Chung Chak, Chris Page and Joanna Gabler





including Stefanie Lynx Weber’s Creatures of Habitat Physical Poetry Public Performance Projectcrossing guard brigade, Francesca Shanks, Izzy Heltai, Flannel Dan and The Panhandle Band, and Jeb Barry

Temporary Installations:

20855325530_fa251edabc_z (1)19145996338_3bd05283d9_z (1)Pete Cormier, Meg Erlewine & Jade Hoyer, Michelle Daly, Linda Ford, Freeman’s Grove Benevolent Society Downtown Edition, Jarvis Rockwell