Rockwell Museum Hosts Annual High School Art Show

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STOCKBRIDGE, Mass. — The annual Berkshire County High School Art Show returns for its 26th year at Norman Rockwell Museum with an exhibition opening on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The opening event will include refreshments, the chance to meet the artists behind the works on view, as well as a lecture at 2 for budding artists and their families provided by multimedia artist Ricky Bernstein.

This year's exhibit showcases 131 works of art in a variety of media from 16 different schools and organizations in Berkshire County. The show allows young artists ro learn how to prepare their work for a gallery show, acquire a personal understanding of the exhibition process, and have the opportunity to exhibit their work in a professional museum setting. Admission is free for the high school show, but it does not include regular museum admission. The exhibition is sponsored by Berkshire Bank Foundation/Legacy Region.

Participating schools include Berkshire Arts & Technology Public Charter School, Berkshire School, Drury High School, John Dewey Academy, Lenox Memorial High School, Miss Hall's School, Monument Mountain Regional High School, Mount Everett High School, Mount Greylock Regional High School, Pittsfield High School, St. Joseph Central High School, Taconic High School and Wahconah Regional High School. Student work from the Renaissance Art School and the 21st Century Spartan Launch Program will also be on view.

Bernstein is a sculptor who uses large glass and aluminum wall reliefs to tell a visual story. His oversized cartoon graphics recall a bygone era of coffee klatches and domestic dramas. His multimedia art presents a narrative of collage-style glass wall hangings with a distinct pop-art flavor.

The following Mount Greylock High students are participating:

Students of Jane-Ellen DeSomma are 10th-graders Alex Delano, Hannah Dubreuil, Kelsey Hadley and RoseMarie Mele; 11th-grader Heidi Lescarbeau; and 12th-graders Wesley Davis, Mary Laidlaw and Hallie Walker. Students of Michael Powers are Chelsea Dean and Nick Zimmerman, both in Grade 12.
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Review: 'Working: A Musical' Is Minimalist, Meaningful

By Nancy SalzGuest Column

Why do we work? It's usually for more than money. To express ourselves, perhaps. To make a better life for our children. To create a legacy. To contribute to our country, our society. We can love our jobs or hate our jobs, but our reasons for working and our emotions about our jobs – which take up so much of our lives – are always deeply felt.

To explore these reasons fully, the author Studs Terkel crisscrossed America in the early 1970s recording more than 130 people in all kinds of jobs, from blue collar to professional. The result was a best-selling book – "Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do" (published in 1974) – which was subsequently made into a musical. Over the years that musical, "Working," has been revised a number of times and presented all over the world.

A version of the 2012 revision with a score by multiple composers is now being presented at the Unicorn Theatre by the Berkshire Theatre Group. It's an excellent, though sparse, production that frequently cuts across the footlights and into our emotions. What comes through above all are the feelings and sincerity of the characters, all of whom are speaking the words of the workers first interviewed decades ago. We quickly realize that little has changed in the working world.

Except for 10 chairs, the stage is bare when we enter the theater. At the rear are five windows that resemble tellers windows at a bank complete with computer screens. The five people sitting behind them are members of the orchestra – too small, as everywhere these days, but composed of fine musicians led by Casey Reed.

After an opening number, "All The Livelong Day" written by Stephen Schwartz, the characters speak to us, sing or dance, one by one or in small groups. Particularly excellent is Denis Lambert. He has such a powerful presence it seems as though he is talking about himself. He's also a terrific singer and dancer as well. Farah Alvin as a teacher singing a song by Mary Rodgers and Susan Birkenhead and as a housewife (song by Craig Carnelia) is also very strong. Miles Wilkie, still in college and one of only two non-equity member of the cast, was most impressive as a retiree with growing dementia and as a UPS delivery man who loves to sneak up on people and scare them.

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