Westward and Eastward

Perhaps more so than any other event in the area, the annual Festival of Trees launch is the County’s premiere signpost marking the kickoff of the Holiday season.  This year’s “Westward Ho Ho Ho!” brings a cactiied, wide-brimmed, roundupped and rodeoed selection of conical, and otherwise, shaped trees to adorn the upper floor galleries of the Berkshire Museum.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

The party is always a heavily anticipated event, but at the same time always seems to arrive much quicker than its place on the calendar would indicate; and, understandably, this might possibly be a function of age, and not an objective measure of time.  Be that as it may, Friday the 13th, this November, was the date for this time around, and we were very glad for it.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

As has become the norm with so many of the big, high-profile Museum happenings, the Crane Room was the focus to gather and convive; a colorful, prairie-grassed spread of chuck wagon-style offerings sunned the center of the room, providing guests with a tasty hot-point to orbit.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

And, as with so many of these all caps level of events, the senses feast also included a fine and fitting musical facet; Andy Wrba and Friends provided a toe-tapping selection of hoe-down faves to keep all the pards and pardettes moseying.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

Berkshire Museum Executive Director Van Shields shared stage and microphone time to issue some very special thank you’s to the wonderful benefactors that made the program possible.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

On one of our orbits through the galleries, we were lucky to happenstance with Mayor-Elect Linda Tyer and give her our well wishes.  By a sweeping majority, Tyer will be Pittsfield’s first 4-year term mayor.  Congratulations!  arts indie happily looks forward to touching base now and again when our paths cross in the ‘Shire capital.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

And schmoozing with the regional glitterati, while a traditional photo-op expectation, wasn’t the only trigger to precipitate, no, necessitate pressing the white button on the iPhone camera app.  A chuck wagon loaded in Santa-style and more than a few of those put-your-head-in cutouts were scattered about; we couldn’t resist…

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

Ah, but the tour-de-force, must-do realization of a vision photo was to get the dress on the stairs; the evening wouldn’t have been complete without it.  I wish I had our Nikon with me, but I think the phone did OK…

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

So, with the trees up and this party in the books, I think we’re good to move forward with the rest of it all.

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

"Westward Ho Ho Ho!"

Instead of heading westward, though, but not without ho ho ho, the next day, we jogged a bit east to Dalton instead.  Our raison d’être for this Saturday was to pay a visit to The Stationery Factory, 63 Flansburg Avenue for the opening of “Some Favorites”, the latest, my editor hates when I repeat words, but I think I can throw this one by her, because it fits, tour-de-force exhibit of work by the inimitable Scott Taylor.

"Some Favorites"

This time out, the show, the second Taylor has presented in this venue since he left the Nuarts artists collaborative, centers around work that are personal favorites of the prolific artist.

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

And, as we discussed with Taylor, it’s so hard to pick amongst ones’ children; beyond including one, do you feature it in a prominent, “favorite” spot?  Relegate it to an introductory scout position?  Perch it behind the musicians?

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

The evolving areas to display art in this venue definitely lend themselves favorably to these kinds of thoughts and options.  Taylor certainly had to make some hard decisions with placement, but the depth of his catalog is wonderfully in sync here with this new, vibrantly reclaimed space.

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

We see great samplings from several fan-favorite series in great landing spots here; Taylor, in addition to being a superb artist, is also a superb gallerist and has laid out a very thoughtful, big gallery show.  Color pops in every corner!

"Some Favorites"

If you missed the opening, “Some Favorites” will be on view through the month of December by appointment through the artist.  Contact information for Scott Taylor may be found on his website >>>HERE<<<.  This one is a must see!

"Some Favorites"

"Some Favorites"

So, again to the end of another post.  Hope you enjoyed, and we hope to see you soon somewhere!

Article and photographs by Leo Mazzeo.