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Visitors to the virtual exhibit will feel as if they are touring the museumís galleries thanks to a cutting-edge technique that combines a three-dimensional digital model with crisp, colorful images of the artists' work and user-friendly navigation.

Berkshire Museum's 'Art of the Hills' Will Open On Time, Online

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Despite COVID-19 restrictions, Berkshire Museum’s featured summer exhibit, "Art of the Hills: Narrative," will open on its previously scheduled date, Saturday, June 6, with one major modification: Instead of hanging on the plaster walls of the community museum’s galleries each selected work will be displayed on the simulated walls of an immersive, high-resolution 3D rendering. 

Visitors to the virtual exhibit will feel as if they are touring the museum’s galleries thanks to a cutting-edge technique that combines a three-dimensional digital model with crisp, colorful images of the artists' work and user-friendly navigation.

The online exhibit will kick off at 5:30 p.m. on June 6 with a virtual tour of the show presented by jurors Amy Myers and Seung Lee followed by a live Q&A. The community is encouraged to register online to reserve their space at the free online event.

After the virtual opening event has concluded, the innovative digital exhibition will be added to the website so that visitors may "walk" or "fly" through the galleries using their web browser or virtual reality headset as they examine each artwork in high definition at their own pace as part of the museum's popular Berkshire Museum@Home online programming. Additional "Art of the Hills: Narrative" events and digital content will be added to the site throughout the run of the virtual show as they are announced.

"We are committed to carrying on our mission, fulfilling our promise to the many talented artists in the show, and above all else: keeping or community and staff safe," said Jeff Rodgers, executive director of the Berkshire Museum. "Bringing this exhibition online does just that. I’m thrilled that we are able to share the work of Berkshire artists with the public now and look forward to opening."

The new exhibit is the second installment of "Art of the Hills," a juried exhibition that celebrates the rich, creative culture of our region by highlighting the works of emerging and established artists that live or work within a 60-mile radius of Berkshire Museum’s location in downtown Pittsfield. The first "Art of the Hills" exhibition debuted at the Berkshire Museum in 2018.

"Art of the Hills: Narrative" features 78 works by 64 artists thoughtfully curated from a collection of more than 530 submitted works. Jurors Seung Lee and Amy Myers embraced the "narrative" theme in similar but unique ways: Lee sought pieces that "tell the viewer a story by using features such as character, scenes, time, technique, and purpose," with an emphasis on skillful interpretation of a perceived concept; while Myers reviewed the works from the standpoint of time and wonder, selecting pieces that left her with "a question or curiosity" rather than a conclusion.

"Art of the Hills: Narrative" is expected to open in Berkshire Museum’s physical galleries with a community celebration on Oct. 10. Guests at the October 10 event will have the opportunity to meet the artists and enjoy their work up-close and in-person.


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BCC Sees Increase in Enrollment Count

PITTSFIELD, Mass — Berkshire Community College (BCC) recently released its enrollment data for fall 2021 — a season still  impacted by COVID-19, but with a growing number of first-year and continuing students. 
 
 Key findings include: 
  • Overall enrollment is up 1.4 percent over 2020 
  • The first-year student population is up 16.4 percent 
  • Continuing students are up 3.9 percent 
  • Full-time equivalent (FTE) students are down 1.2 percent 
  • Readmitted students (those who leave college for less than a year and reapply) are down 27.27 percent
The number of non-degree-seeking students has also grown, largely due to BCC's Early College program, which offers up to 15 free college credits to high school juniors and seniors. BCC has increased the number eligible students for the program.  
 
"I'm thrilled that our new student and continuing student numbers are up. The BCC team has worked so hard to create an environment during the pandemic in which students could continue to thrive," said Adam Klepetar, BCC Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. "We continue to operate successfully in a very challenging enrollment environment, with decreases in the number of high school graduates and increases in competition." 
 
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