'New Horizon's' reflective material mirrors the world around it.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A traveling art installation by Doug Aitken, "New Horizon," will float over the Berkshires this week.
The 100-foot tall mirror hot-air balloon is the fourth installation in The Trustees of Reservations' "Art & the Landscape" series that was launched in 2016 to inspire new and expanded audiences at some of the organization's most scenic and highly visited gardens, historic houses, beaches, and public parks.
Aitken set off in New Horizon on July 12 on Martha's Vineyard and will end his journey on Thursday, July 25, at Field Farm on Sloan Road.
"When we invite artists to respond to our landscapes through their art for our 'Art & the Landscape' program, we expect inspired responses, but this project by Doug Aitken surpasses our expectations," said Barbara Erickson, Trustees president and chief executive. "He has taken not just the concept of the landscape but also the ideals of conservation, the values of social consciousness, and the nostalgia ofthe best summer road trips andblendedthem all in to a visually poetic manifestation of the New England summer."
Aitken is known for working in numerous mediums, from film and installations to architectural intervention, as means to inspire the viewer to interpret the world around us with a new perspective. His works are often platforms for engagement that provoke innovative thought and dialogue. New Horizon was conceived and commissioned specifically for the Trustees to be presented — and to reflect — at some of its most iconic natural landscapes throughout Massachusetts.
At Field Farm's Family Day on Thursday, the balloon will tethered above the farm's 300 acres to reflect the landscape and surroundings. There will also be nature-inspired crafts and activities along the Pond Trail and a music and conversation event on the "Future of Culture" that evening with Aitken and curator Pedro Alonzo. Crooked Stick Pops, SoCo Ice Cream, Ooma Tesoro and the Notch Brewing Traveling Biergarten will be there as well.
On Saturday, New Horizon travels to Naumkeag in Stockbridge for a garden party and a Naumkeag After Dark event with desserts, a cash bar and Bang on a Can. The balloon's more than 3,500 LED light nodes will respond to the music. Sunday morning, the New Horizon will be back at Field Farm for a sunrise experience from 7 to 10 with balloon rides and breakfast.
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The new Williams Inn is positioned to be a catalyst for the town's retail center on Spring Street as well as a bucolic retreat for guests — as exampled by the deer grazing near the patio this week.
"We really want to be an indoor/outdoor experience," said Kevin Hurley, the inn's general manager, during a press preview just days before the hotel's opening on Thursday. "We will see a lot of those features, again with the windows, and just the way the hotel feels is really connecting ourselves to the outside."
The $32 million, 64-room hotel at the bottom of Spring and Latham streets replaces the 100-room original hotel at Field Park that closed on July 31. The older inn, purchased by Williams College in 2014, was considered outdated and energy inefficient for an institution that's committed itself to sustainability.
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