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Artist Doug Aitkens' 'New Horizon' will be at Field Farm in Williamstown and Naumkeag in Stockbridge this weekend.

'New Horizon' Reflective Hot-Air Balloon Visiting Berkshires

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'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 of the best summer road trips and blended them 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. 
The Family Day at Field Farm is free but regisration is required here. Admission to the Garden Party is $10 per car. All other events are ticketed prices ranging from $20 per person to $250; see events at Field Farm and Naumkeag for more information.
The schedule is as follows: 
Thursday, July 25;  Field Farm, Williamstown
Family Day: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  | 1 to 2:30
Happening: 6 to 10 p.m. "Future of Culture" with Aitken & Alonzo; music by Destroyer, No Age 
Saturday, July 27; Naumkeag, Stockbridge
Naumkeag Garden Party: 4 to 7 p.m. 
Naumkeag After Dark: 8 to 10  p.m. Music: Bang on a Can plays Terry Riley's In C 
Sunday, July 28; Field Farm, Williamstown
Sunrise Experience: 7 to 10 a.m.

Tags: Trustees of Reservations,   

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Williamstown Playground Project Nearing Completion

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — After more than a year of planning, fund-raising and advocacy, efforts to rebuild a town playground are in the homestretch.
Last week, the poured rubber surfacing was scheduled to be laid at the new playground at Linear Park, off Water Street, and one of the volunteers helping lead the project said the hope is that the site will be ready for youngsters before the end of the fall.
"It's starting to look like a playground," Amy Jeschawitz said as she surveyed the partially installed equipment that will be finished off once the rubber padding and wood fiber infill are installed.
The brightly-colored, modern play pieces are a far cry from the dated equipment at the park just a couple of years ago, when a safety inspection found deficiencies at the town facility.
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