NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — DownStreet Art kicks off its 12th season of gallery openings, exhibits and performances this Thursday.
The annual summer event is a prelude this year to the Solid Sound Festival at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art that opens on Friday. But while Wilco and the gang have the weekend, DownStreet Art continues with monthly events through the summer.
Local and regional artists have decked out Main Street storefronts for the occasion, and three locations will host simultaneous gallery openings downtown from 5 to 8 p.m.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire Cultural Resource Center coordinates the summer art festival.
The kickoff features live music from Kids 4 Harmony and DJ BFG, a beer garden in Eagle Street's pocket park, live silkscreening demonstrations by Common Folk and a four-mile community bike tour of the city's murals.
Gallery openings include the Berkshire Art Museum's sixth year with the group show "Not Just Another Pretty Picture," "Dark Matter" and "Death of a Loved One," 1890s fashion from the collection of Greg Lafave, along with ongoing exhibitions from the permanent collection. Opening reception is from 6 to 9 with refreshments and appetizers from Meng's Pan-Asian.
MCLA Gallery 51 exhibits Jon Verney's "Burning at the Center of Things" through Aug. 24. Verney uses framed photographs, altered polaroids, light-boxes and video projection to embody his experimentation and embracing of chance.
Installation Space at 49 Eagle St. offers "Time-Link Present," an immersive and experiential installation by Studio HHH on view through Aug. 18.
And it's a last chance to see "Fused" at Ferrin Contemporary at 1315 Mass MoCA Way. The solo exhibit of "dimensional paintings" using clay by Philadelphia-based artist Lauren Mabry closes on June 30.
Two new galleries have also been added to the downtown scene: Gallery 28 on Holden Street and Robert Giardini on Wednesday was waiting for final approval to open at 70 Main St. Both pop-up galleries are exhibiting a range of artistic offerings and price points.
Browsers can also view the storefront art projects along Main Street: Gloria Calderon-Saenz' "North Adams with Strings Attached" and Eric Reinemann "Intersections" at 49 Main; Benjamin Lamb's "Torn to Pieces" at 68 Main; Sarah DeFusco and Megan Karlen's "Stratos-Fear" at 101 Main; Emilee Yawn's "Fake Nature" at 105 Main; and Hideyo Okamura's "Abstract" and Sara Farrell Okamura's "Fact vs. Fiction" at 107 Main.
Musical performances will be under the Mohawk Theater marquee with Berkshire Children & Family's Kids 4 Harmony at 5 p.m. and DJ BFG (aka Gabby Squailia), special events DJ for Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, spinning from 6 to 8 p.m.
Adults can relax at the Eagle Street Beverage Garden in the pocket park with beer from Bright Ideas Brewing or get a margarita at Desperados.
Bike to the Murals is a four-mile ride through downtown North Adams, coordinated by the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. Meet at St. Anthony's Municipal Parking lot at 6 p.m. and see the murals by bike.
Common Folk Presents will be offering live silkscreen printing demonstrations and an artist showcase and Frog Lotus Yoga will be on the lawn at BAM.
Food vendors will include The VinylDonut and Bounti Fare.
North Adams residents can also learn about woonerfs and the proposal to make Eagle Street a shared vehicle and pedestrian way. The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission will have information downtown and be taking feedback on the idea.
Downstreet Art events are held on the last Thursday of every month from June through September and are free and open to the public. In addition to the Thursday, June 27, DSA Thursdays will continue throughout the season on July 25, Aug. 29, and Sept. 26.
DownStreet Art is a program of MCLA's Berkshire Cultural Resource Center, which provides professional development training, resources, and support to the artists, art managers, and creative workers of Berkshire County run by MCLA. Since its inception in 2008, more than 150,000 visitors have come downtown and through the doors of DownStreet Art's galleries and exhibits.
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Estate Plans Can Help You Answer Questions About the Future
Submitted by Edward Jones
The word "estate" conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don't develop estate plans. After all, they're not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning, whatever your asset level. And you may well find that a comprehensive estate plan can help you answer some questions you may find unsettling – or even worrisome.
Here are a few of these questions:
* What will happen to my children? With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 21, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don't want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate plans, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a conservator – sometimes called a "guardian of the estate" – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit.
* Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate plan in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you have named.
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