While the title of the show is perfectly adequate, I would venture to say a subtitle or postscript should be added: "Pittsfield: One City, Many Lenses." Not only is the show representative of the many photographic talents we have hidden in our community, but it also illuminates the diversity of landscape, people and events that, combined, have come to call themselves Pittsfield.
One of the most obvious (yet silent) points made through viewing the photographs is that Pittsfield is urban and rural, stark and beautiful. A photograph of Onota Lake covered by autumn mist sits in stark contrast next to its neighbor, a shot of a young man sleeping on a couch that is sitting on the sidewalk; a heavily graffitied wall behind him acts as the backdrop. The symmetrical lines of trees that create architectural structure within a framed shot of the trees lining North Street are juxtaposed with the brightly painted faces of children sitting curbside during a Third Thursday celebration.
The opening reception of the 'Celebrating Pittsfield' photography show drew a large crowd.
Is this Pittsfield? Or is it Alaska? Paris? Rio?
The city's true (and vibrant colors) shine through in these photographs. Even a haphazard stack of red restaurant chairs in the middle of the street somehow gives meaning to everyday life in an everyday city. Suddenly, because of a great eye, commonalities like street lights and a baseball game and a barber shop are cause for pride. This IS who we are. Clearly these photographers take pride in that.
Whenever I tell anyone that I’m a writer, they laugh and ask me what I do for money. The same can be said of the artist, any artist. Artists, by nature, are very isolated when they are creating their work. But once the inspiration is complete, they share it with the world, to the awe of coworkers, friends and the very lucky community that nourishes artistic talent. That talent will be on display this weekend in the 6th Annual Pittsfield Art Show, July 17 & 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Downtown Pittsfield under the tents. Artists from all over the Berkshires (and beyond) will be out and about sharing their wares.
Jewelry, oils, photos, watercolors, mixed-media, and more will provide a feast for the eyes. And better yet, this juried outdoor show is free and open to the public.
If you’re confused or overwhelmed as to where to go and what to see, here’s a tip. Be sure to check out Jeffrey Gardner’s photos of old cars. I have one these beauties (the photo, not the car) hanging in my living room. The unique lighting and framing of these shots capture an essence of nostalgia that only a vintage junker can inspire.
Also, if oil paintings and rich, haunting layers are more your style (even if they aren’t) Leo Mazzeo’s work is an impressive display of vivid textured colors contrasted by a brilliant use of black outline and shadowing that literally makes these pieces come to life.
So, get to the Pitts this weekend, and see who and what has been hibernating and creating all winter long. For more information on the Pittsfield Art Show visit www.pittsfieldartshow.org.