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Sue Bush
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Sheeptacular sculptures reunite in downtown Pittsfield exhibit

12:00AM / Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Sheep are back in Pittsfield (Kevin Sprague photo)
Pittsfield - One year later, the first reunion of the colorful artist-decorated sheep sculptures from Sheeptacular Pittsfield! will be gathering together by popular demand, courtesy of their proud owners. An exhibition of dozens of the gaily painted public art sculptures will be on display for the month of June in the Howard Building, located at 126 Fenn Street in downtown Pittsfield.

The Sheeptacular Reunion Show will be celebrated with an opening street party on Saturday, June 4, from 1pm to 4pm on Fenn Street, which will be closed to traffic from First street to Pearl Street. The party is family-friendly, free and open to the public. Acclaimed folk trio Wintergreen will be perform on the city's outdoor Artabout stage, along with Cosicomica's clowns, Schmat and Schmurple, and more. Food and Sheeptacular memorabilia will be available for purchase. The party is generously sponsored by General Systems, Inc.

Last summer Sheeptacular Pittsfield! transformed the streetscape of the city of Pittsfield, MA into a outdoor street gallery of 70 artist-decorated Merino sheep, bringing flocks of tourists and local residents downtown. The oversized fiberglass sculptures celebrated the shear creativity of the local arts community, as well as honoring the role of Merino sheep in Pittsfield's vigorous woolen industry in the 1800s.

Sheeptacular Pittsfield! Chair Mary Rentz, who was honored last year as Downtown Person of the Year by Downtown Inc., noted, "Both locals and visitors have been clamoring for a reunion of the Sheeptacular sheep ever since they flocked to Hancock Shaker Village to be auctioned off to their new owners. We're excited to bring a selection of them back to downtown Pittsfield for all ages to enjoy, and hope everyone will come on down Saturday afternoon and welcome them back!"

Last year's Sheeptacular public art show underlined the vital link between the arts and downtown revitalization, and inspired this year's ArtShow Street Galleries, a series of outdoor fine art festivals in downtown Pittsfield. Rentz continued, "We were thrilled to find out that Sheeptacular inspired a young couple to open up a new restaurant downtown to be called the Black Sheep Brewing Company."

The Sheeptacular Reunion Street Party will be followed next weekend, June 11-12, by the opening weekend of ArtShow Street Galleries on the streets of downtown Pittsfield, featuring dozens of local and regional contemporary artists showing and selling their work. Participating artists in ArtShow Street Galleries on June 11 and 12 will be coming from Maine, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire, as well as from the Berkshires. ArtShow Street Galleries in Pittsfield is generously underwritten by Legacy Banks and Artscape. Major media sponsors include the Berkshire Eagle, CBS Channel 6 - Albany, and the Vox Berkshire Radio Group. For more information on ArtShow Street Galleries, visit www.artshowstreetgalleries.org or call 866-566-9278.

The Sheeptacular Reunion Party on Saturday, June 4, from 1pm to 4pm is free and open to the public. The Sheeptacular Reunion exhibit will be open for viewing Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through June 26. The hours are 10am to 6pm. For more information on Sheeptacular Pittsfield, visit www.sheeptacular.org.
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