Rural Intelligence: The Online Magazine for Eastern New York, Western Connecticut and the Southern Berkshires
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Search Archives:
Newsletters Signup
Close it
Get The New App!

Newsletters Signup
Close it

RI Archives: Parties

View all past Party articles.

RI on Facebook    RI on Instagram       



Parties & Openings

Oct. 14 - Stockbridge
LitNet American Dream Gala

Oct. 7 - North Adams
Liz Glynn Opening Reception

Oct. 7 - Stockbridge
Schantz Galleries Reception

Keeping The American Dream Alive With LitNet

Amy Krzanik reports from Stockbridge. Is “the American dream” still achievable in 2017? The Literacy Network of South Berkshire (LitNet), its staff, board members and dedicated tutors would answer that question with a resounding “yes.” In fact, the non-profit’s annual gala — held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Berkshire Country Day School — was the culmination of its American Dream Campaign. Since 2016, the number of new LitNet students has increased by 30 percent, and the fundraising effort began as a way to guarantee that tutoring will remain free for any local adult who needs it. As an added incentive, The Gilson Family Foundation agreed to match any money raised by up to $30,000. Going into the evening, the campaign had amassed $20,000. During a speedy live auction, author-performer Alison Larkin easily was able to raise more than double the $10,000 still needed to receive the full amount of funding offered. A balloon drop marked the happy occasion. The gala, which honored the organization’s tutors, was again catered by The Old Inn on the Green.

LitNet President Lucy Prashker with Michael Ury and board member Sue Weintraub; LitNet’s Mary Spina with her son-in-law, Brian Schmidt, and her daughter, Michelle Schmidt of the Gilson Family Foundation.

Catherine Shearn Chester and board member Matthew Chester with Shela Hidalgo and Gary Levante of gala sponsor Berkshire Bank; Francis Spina, Loretta Scheel and Robert Bujalski.

Tutor Lee Glazerman with Maria de Melendez, Marcelo Melendez, who is a student of Glazerman’s, and Young Kim and her tutor Fran Wolk.

Tutor Justin Burke, Ellen Boyd and Kevin Allan; Roy Kozupsky and LitNet tutor Leslie Kozupsky with Wendy Federer, a gala benefactor.

Tutor Sue Arkans, Howard Arkans, Erick Schafler and tutor Sharon Schafler; Cathy Deely with board member Marianne Deignan Ellrodt.

LitNet Executive Director Jennifer Vrabel and husband Matthew Vrabel [center] are flanked by guests from Greylock Federal Credit Union, a major gala sponsor, including Christhian Cabrera and Katherine Phillips [left] and Meghan McGrath and Dan Dillon [right].

Major gala sponsor Jane Iredale with board members Merle Kailas and Bob Montgomery; Stephen Boyd poses with Eleanore Velez.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/16/17 at 01:15 PM • Permalink

Artist Liz Glynn Uncovers The Future At MASS MoCA

Amy Krzanik reports from North Adams. “Build something out of nothing” reads the wall text on the second floor of Liz Glynn’s exhibit, The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, now on view in MASS MoCA’s Building 5 gallery space. Piles of single-page newspapers make other succinct statements, also in black handwriting on a white background: “all that is solid melts into air;” “repair, refashion, reimagine;” “in ten thousand years ____________.” Glynn, in her largest-ever exhibit, which opened with an artist’s reception on Saturday, Oct. 7, ponders the past, present and future of human experience through its daily materials. Record players, wooden pallets, scrap metal, cement and soft felt mix with 3D printers and their output, delicate metal tumbleweeds, a series of catwalks, and hospital gurneys placed under tanning lamps. The goal? “Liz Glynn asks us to consider perhaps the biggest question,” says MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson, “What’s next for us humans?”

Liz Glynn with outgoing museum board president Hans Morris; Bridget Rigas, MASS MoCA’s director of development, with the exhibit’s curator, Susan Cross, and Richard de Maat.

Curator Denise Markonish with David R. Harper and Karen Patterson; Clay Hensley and Joyce Shu.

Photographers Brianna Rettig and Chris Janaro; MASS MoCA exhibition manager Caitlin Tucker-Melvin, Pint Locke and artist Joanna Klain.

Guests venture into the third cave, SMELL.

Elie Miodownik, Alli Dillenbeck and Makayla McGeeney; Lisa Reile and Jodi Joseph, the museum’s director of communications.

Denise Ottina and Paul Glynn, the artist’s father; Xavier, Lisa Dorin, Williams College Museum of Art interim director, and MASS MoCA’s deputy director Larry Smallwood.

The outside of the “analog” caves; children play inside the TOUCH cave.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 10/09/17 at 01:37 PM • Permalink

Peering Through Glass At The Schantz Gallery Reception

Lisa Green reports from Stockbridge. It would not be an overstatement to say that I was gobsmacked by the virtuosity of the glass artists represented at the Schantz Galleries, but even the collectors among the crowd expressed wonderment for the pieces on display. Jim Schantz and his team invited a select audience to a reception to view “Cast, Cut and Cold” on Saturday, Oct. 7, at which several of the exhibiting artists were present. “Come help us celebrate the art, the artists, and the beautiful autumn colors of New England,” read the invitation, but clearly, the works by these internationally recognized glass artists, some of the best known in the world, were the real stars of the weekend. Following the reception, guests strolled around the block to the Red Lion Inn, where Jim Schantz and Kim Saul hosted a dinner for the art glass community — of which I now proudly call myself one. Above, a piece by Dale Chihuly hovers over the main floor exhibition area.

Hana Rosol, whose husband’s work is in the gallery, with glass artist Robin Grebe, whose work is also on display; Stanley Wooley of Schantz Gallery, with Susan Baker of Art New England, and her sister, Gail Baker.

Nick Minglis and Erica Minglis traveled from their home near Woodstock to enjoy the gallery reception.

Eric Federer and Wendy Federer with gallery owner Jim Schantz; Robert Shaloff and Michelle Shaloff of West Stockbridge and New Jersey.

Glass artist Eric Hilton and Ed Yasuna; Sidney Hutterer stands by one of his magnificent pieces.

Kim Saul and Jim Schantz, gallery owners and gracious hosts of the reception and dinner.

Janet Kawada and glass artist Dan Clayman; Gallery artists William Carlson and Martin Rosol with Pedro Alexander.

Steven Baum and Dorothy Baum of Newton, Penn. are avid glass collectors.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 10/09/17 at 01:03 PM • Permalink

A Movable Feast: Berkshire Grown’s Annual Harvest Supper

Lisa Green reports from Great Barrington. At Berkshire Grown’s Harvest Supper, it’s definitely helpful if you can eat and walk at the same time: you’ve got to keep moving to get a taste of all of the dishes provided by member chefs. The 19th annual food feast on Monday, Sept. 25, held again at the Ski Butternut lodge, offered a showcase for restaurants, markets and beverage purveyors who outdo themselves every year with ingredients from producers in our area. It’s an evening where chefs, farmers and enthusiastic eaters can help Berkshire Grown further its mission: to celebrate and support local food and farms. [Above: Tom Curtin, Berkshire Grown board treasurer, with Executive Director Barbara Zheutlin, Molly Comstock of Colfax Farm, Schuyler Gail of Climbing Tree Farm and Allison Bayles, board president.]

From Kripalu, Steve Sherman and Shelby Drosehn; Doria Polinger of H.R. Zeppelin Chocolates prepares her display.

The mother-daughter team of eaters, Ava and Margaret Lindenmaier, get set to do a round of feasting.

Sue Arkans and Sharon Schafler; Fabien Riviere, director of food and beverage at The Red Lion Inn, with Anne-Juliette Maurice, vice president of operations for Main Street Hospitality.

Good news for those who miss the former Cafe Reva in Pittsfield: Its owner, Aura Whitman, is bringing her company, nAtURAlly, to Berkshire Mountain Bakery.

Castle Street Cafe’s new chef, Luis Zambrano; Williams College Dining chefs Mike Militello and Jerry Byers.

David Rothstein, owner of Race Brook Lodge, with Laura Werntz.

Shakespeare & Company’s Ariel Bock, Ruth Dinerman, Barbara Zheutlin, Allison Bayles, and Lianna Toscanini, executive director of the Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires; Ryan Chandler and Ashley Chandler of Brattle Farm.

Richard Tovell and Abby Tovell, who run T Square Design Studio, with Sam Ernst and Jovanina Pagano.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/25/17 at 10:15 PM • Permalink

New Milford Barn Quilt Trail Kicks Off At The Silo

Lisa Green reports from New Milford. One of the things we most love about covering events is bearing witness to (and yes, being embraced by) the warmth and enthusiasm of the communities in the RI region. On Sunday, Sept. 24, that “we’re all in this together” spirit filled The Silo’s handsome, restored barn at Hunt Hill Farm. The brunch, catered by Bonni Manning, honored the farmers, artists, volunteers, boards and commissions who banded together to make Connecticut’s first barn quilt trail a reality. Now, eight giant painted quilt panels adorn eight barns, with each design reflecting the history of the farm and the town’s agricultural past. New Milford Mayor Dave Gronbach presented certificates of appreciation to the many participants, praising the project as the perfect intersection of art, landscape and community. In a fitting cap to the event, Rachel Carley, an expert on barns in Connecticut, spoke about the styles of the eight host barns on the New Milford Barn Quilt Trail. [Above, the Quilt Trail committee: Suzanne Von Holt, chair, with Julie Bailey and Susan Bailey (no relation), whose barn bears the first of the quilts to be hung.]

Elizabeth Schrang of the Weantinoge Heritage Land Trust, which sponsored a quilt at Smirsky Farm, with her mother, Maridith Schrang; Rob Burkhart, president of the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation, and Lorraine Ryan, an artist who is creating a series of paintings of the barns.

Sharon Kaufman, executive director, and Jayson Roberts, studio director of the Village Center for the Arts, which played a leading role in painting the eight-foot-square quilt panels.

Sarah Carberry and her mother Janet Harris of Harris Hill Farm (the first to hang one of the quilts); Mayor Dave Gronbach hands out certificates to farmers who lent their barns to the project.

The Silo at Hunt Hill Farm created a quilt pattern that reflects its agricultural and cultural history: Skitch Henderson, founder of the New York Pops orchestra, long-time musical director of the NBC Orchestra and radio and television personality, and his wife Ruth, a writer, chef and entrepreneur, fell in love with the property and purchased it in 1968. Building by building, they converted the two farms into a much-beloved cooking school, art gallery, museum and kitchen store.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/25/17 at 10:10 AM • Permalink

Litchfield Historical Society’s Pig Roast Furthers Initiatives

Elyse Sadtler reports from Morris. The Litchfield Historical Society held its annual fall fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 17 at South Farms in Morris, Conn. This year’s event took the form of a pig roast, featuring barbeque from When Pigs Fly South of Sharon, Conn. as the main fare. As guests began to arrive, they were greeted by music from the band Switch Factory, which provided live music for the evening. Jack Baker from the Litchfield Distillery served up cocktails and mixed drinks featuring their bourbon and vodka, including their new cinnamon bourbon. Proceeds from the event go toward funding the historical society’s educational initiatives, which include offering programs to students at Litchfield Schools — at no cost to the school system. On display at a side table were the plans for the Tapping Reeve House and Litchfield Law School grand landscaping project. [Above, Dave Hunt and Curator of Education Kate Zullo.]

Tom Curran and Laura Lasker; Switch Factory, the band for the evening.

LHS President Jane Hinkel, Executive Director Catherine Fields and Vice President John LaGattuta in front a rustic gate locally crafted by Christopher Hawver. (The historical society is also raising money for the purchase of two gates by Hawver for the landscaping project.)

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/18/17 at 02:43 PM • Permalink

Equus Effect Event Tackles Trauma On Stage With “Cry Havoc”

Lisa Green reports from Lakeville. By the end of actor, playwright and veteran Stephan Wolfert’s one-man tour de force, “Cry Havoc,” the “why” of The Equus Effect became clear to anyone who may have doubted the need to help veterans successfully reenter civilian life. On Sunday, Sept. 16, The Equus Effect’s fundraising event at Quarry Hill Farm allowed supporters to bear witness to Wolfert as he performed his experience of trying to come home and re-connect with society. The Equus Effect, which began in 2013 working with 21 veterans, has grown to service 200 veterans in 2017 alone. The nonprofit organization in Sharon, Conn. empowers veterans to rebuild healthy relationships through purposeful engagement with horses. The horses help veterans focus on rebuilding trust, restoring healthy boundaries and both leading without force and relaxing without losing awareness. [Above, David Sonatore, co-founder of The Equus Effect, with Robert Caffrey, president of its board of directors.]

Wassaic residents Robyn Cutler Rosenberg, a board member, and David Rosenberg; Riley David-Gagnon, Aimee Davis, Bridget Ford Hughes, owner of of Body Lab GB and sculptor Jon Prince.

Co-founder Jane Strong with actor, playwright and veteran Stephan Wolfert.

Cecelia Morris, Carr Ferguson and Mary Oppenheimer; Ann Marie Belli and Jeffrey Earls.

Juliet Hubbard, Tony Robinson, writer Roxana Robinson, and physical therapist Bente Busby; Rene Milo, with Cynthia Walsh and Kathleen Fuhr, both on the Audubon Sharon board of directors.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Lisa Green on 09/18/17 at 11:04 AM • Permalink

1Berkshire Celebrates North Adams And More

Amy Krzanik reports from Williamstown. More than 300 community members — from bankers, builders and politicians, to artists, educators and medical professionals — found their way to the new Bloom Meadows event space on Thursday evening, Sept. 14. 1Berkshire, the region’s economic development organization, had invited them there to once again “Celebrate the Berkshires.” The annual event recognizes individuals and organizations who strengthen the local economy and help the Berkshires grow. The 2017 Berkshire Trendsetter winners were announced and are as follows: Comprehensive Marketing Campaign – Shakespeare & Company; Entrepreneur/Visionary of the Year – Tad Ames of Berkshire Natural Resources Council; Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy – Allegrone; Under 40 Change Maker – Jessica Vecchia [shown left with her mother, Patti Bilodeau]; Nonprofit Impact – McCann Technical High School; Creative Economy Standout – Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival; and Newcomer of the Year – Adam Hinds. The award for Putting the Berkshires on the Map, whose winners were the only ones previously announced, was presented to the Community of North Adams. And what a community it is. MASS MoCA’s Executive Director Joe Thompson perhaps said it best when he introduced the recipients. “Not to diminish the natural beauty and history of North Adams,” he said, “but the people are our greatest assests.”

1Berkshire board member and award presenter Peter Stasiowski of Interprint with “Newcomer of the Year” Mass. State Senator Adam Hinds; Noel Henebury, Devin Shea and Andrea Sholler, managing director of “Creative Economy Standout” winner Jacob’s Pillow Dance.

Brad Felix of event underwriter Greylock Federal Credit Union, Pittsfield City Councilor Pete White, Lo Sottile, and Craig Kahn of All Seasons Realty; Glenn Diehl of nominee Berkshire Scenic Railroad with 1Berkshire president and C.E.O. Jonathan Butler and Michelle Butler.

Sam Russo of event underwriter General Dynamics, Tim Burke, Carrie Holland also of GD, and Maggie Barry and Cody Gavin of the LakeHouse Inn in Lee.

Adam Klepetar and Charles Stephens, both of Berkshire Community College; Tim Kiely, 1Berkshire board member Lori Gazzillo of underwriter Berkshire Bank, James Culliton, a principal of Allegrone who received the award for “Growing/Advancing the Berkshire Economy,” and Mary Verdi.

Siddhi Mehta, Katielynn Hoffman, Brandon Wong, Jessica Clayborn and Dr. Mahek Mehta of nominee Hillcrest Dental Care; Tony Dunne, Julia Dixon and North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright.

Stephanie Bosley, Meghan Stetson, Brent Bette, Ally Holmes, and JD Chesloff of nominee MCLA.

Chris Smith, Cheryl Richards, Michele Morin and Mark Placido of Hillcrest Educational Centers; Change Maker nominee and North Adams City Council president Ben Lamb with Otto, and Alexandra Mitchell with Kya.

Denise Marshall, Molly Fannon Williams, and Michelle Daly of nominee MCLA; Emily Bronson and Shela Hidalgo of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Gary Levante of underwriter Berkshire Bank and Sarah Tucker.

Berkshire Community College came out in force to celebrate the Berkshires: Christina Wynn, Adam Klepetar, Adams Select Board member Christine Hoyt, Linda Morelli and Jonah Sykes.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

Posted by Amy Krzanik on 09/18/17 at 10:36 AM • Permalink