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Pittsfield Through the Lens

Nichole Dupont

'Lichtenstein Clouds' by Douglass Truth

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — "Celebrating Pittsfield," a photography show including the works of nearly two dozen local artists, opened Friday night at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts.

The photographs represented the many people, places, events and landscapes which come together to make up what is, and has been for the last 250 years, the city of Pittsfield.

The juried contemporary show kicks off the city's yearlong birthday celebration — thus the name.

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.

"Celebrating Pittsfield" runs through Feb. 26. For more information call 413-499-9348 or visit www.culturalpittsfield.com.
 

 

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