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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Artful Magic, Magical Art on Park Street

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Saturday, July 16, 2005

Justin Meczywor, 4, appears suspended in air with just one chair under his head during a magic performance by John Nesbit.
View Slide Show
Adams – Famed author J.K. Rowling creates fictional mystical intrigue on the pages of the popular “Harry Potter” book series; on July 16, magician John Nesbit of Cheshire brought real-life mystery to Park Street when he appeared to make a human being float in the air.

Nesbit mesmerized about 35 children and about eight adults during an Armory Court performance, which coincided with the opening of “Art on the Green,” an art show that was staged on the Town Hall lawn.

Magic Moments

Nesbit selected audience volunteers to assist with nearly every mind-boggling feat, and his skills drew shrieks and applause from the crowd. Under Nesbit’s “spells,” small stuffed bunnies multiplied in the hands of a child, a borrowed diamond ring disappeared and then reappeared, and four-year-old Justin Meczywor appeared to hover without support over the pavement.


The plan: pull on the red squares and a blue square will mysteriously materialize...
There was one apparent glitch during Nesbit's performance; after seeking assistance from Abby Kline, 7, and children’s event organizer Mara Wooley, Nesbit tucked two red squares into Wooley’s blouse neckline. Nesbit predicted that when the two squares were pulled, a blue square would "magically" appear between them. Nesbit gave the command, and he and Abby gave a sharp tug on the squares’ ends, successfully pulling the material from Wooley’s blouse - but what appeared was a white brassiere. Nesbit assumed an innocent, perplexed demeanor –just how did that happen?- but as a practiced showman, he turned to his next trick, since, of course, the show must go on.

There were no such hiccups during Justin’s appearance; Nesbit asked the boy to lay prone on a plank suspended between two chairs,

...but something goes mysteriously awry!
wrapped his body in a large blue cloth, and then “hypnotized” the child. As Justin lay still and quiet, Nesbit removed the plank supporting his body and one of the chairs that supported the plank.

Justin appeared suspended in thin air, balanced only by a single chair supporting his head. The children were wild with delight as Justin “hung in there.” Nesbit then replaced the plank and the chair, and "awakened" a clearly elated Justin.

Gallery on the Green

Meanwhile, numerous people perused the art displayed on the rolling, lush Town Hall lawn. About 12 artists set up exhibits and the Town Hall interior art gallery was open and showing the oil paintings of John “Skeets” Richards Jr..

Event organizer Dawn Davis said that she was thrilled with the gathering of artists and the number of visitors.

“I am so pleased with the artist turnout and we’re seeing more people coming out to see the art,” Davis said. “I’m very, very happy about that.”

A second “Art on the Green” is set for mid-August and Davis said that there is room for more artists. Anyone interested in artist space for the August show should contact Davis at 413-743-1078.

There is no fee to set up and organizers take no percentage of any sales, which many of the artists said they appreciated.
Pittsfield artist Angela Brett focuses on watercolors and graphite drawings. The ability to showcase her work publicly without cost is wonderful, she said.

“I will definitely be back for the August show,” she said. “This is an excellent venue for local artists.”

Abstract artist Ruth Banner Epstein, who moved to the area from the New York City region, said that allowing artists to set up and sell their work without associated fees is “unheard of.” Her colorful abstract paintings were included in the show.

“I wanted to see if I was ready for people here, and if people here were ready for me,” she said.


Ingrid Evon of Dream Maker Dolls set up a booth during "Art on the Green."
Dennis M. Pinsonneault displayed pencil, pen, and ink drawings as well as carvings and oil paintings. Ingrid Evon, of Dream Maker Dolls in Cheshire, set up a large, fairy-land type display to showcase her handcrafted “fairy dolls.”

“Each doll is hand-sculpted, the head, hands, and feet,” she explained, and added that she uses polymer clay to fashion the dolls. “Each doll comes with an inspirational message.”

Evon said that she has had instruction with well-known doll maker Jack Johnson, who taught her to bring definition and personality to the doll faces.

“This is a fabulous way to showcase our art,” she said. “This is free to the artists and I will probably be back in August because of that.”

Evon has set up an Internet web site, www.dreammakerdolls.com for the business.

Artist Henry Klein exhibited numerous oil paintings of the Tophet Brook in Adams, and each painting was rich with texture and color. Framed wildlife watercolors by Dan Daniels of Hancock also occupied a corner of the tree-shaded lawn.

“This is wonderful for the less established artists,” Daniels said. “It lets us get out there. I plan to come back in August.”

Eric Socha of Cheshire was among the “on the green” artists. Socha said a youthful interest in art was intensified during his years at the Hoosac Valley High School.

“I always liked to create things,” Socha said. “My high school art teacher, Tiger Waterman, really brought out my creativity. I enjoy abstract and mystical art, representing the dynamics of emotion and ability to heal through creativity.”

The Lee-based Garay Ecuador Culture initiative established an art show booth.
“Many people do not know about my country,” said Carlos Garay. He noted that art is part of a larger concept designed to connect people in a spirit of learning.

Brett noted that the event seemed to attract people who appreciate the many forms of art.

Artist Angela Brett said that she will return to the Town Hall lawn for a planned August art show.


“There is a very nice atmosphere and the people who have come by are genuinely interested in our art,” she said. “ I have to say, I have found the Northern Berkshire art community very, very supportive.”

A multi-photograph "Art on the Green"/Magic Show slideshow will be posted at www.iberkshires.com during the upcoming week.

Susan Bush may be reached by e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.

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