Stockbridge, Massachusetts is best known for its preservation of the past—the cozy, small-town feel that inspired Norman Rockwell’s most celebrated work. But for a month, its familiar Main Street landscape will be chock-a-block with contemporary art. Stockbridge does have a handful of permanent galleries dotted around town, but the first annual Stockbridge Art Lab is something different—a host of so-called pop-up galleries, borrowing space from existing businesses. The work on display—from paintings to pottery to site-specific sculpture—comes from nearly fifty faculty members at the IS183 art school in the village of Interlaken.Seated in a studio at IS183, which has repurposed a brightly painted 19th-century Victorian-style schoolhouse, director Hope Sullivan says the experiment will show Stockbridge from a different perspective.
“I think as you’re wandering from pop-up gallery to pop-up gallery, I mean these are all spaces that are being re-thought, re-conceived to showcase artwork. It’ll be a fun way to re-see Stockbridge, and to really explore the town and creep around it and look in new spots and see things in a new light.”
Lucie Castaldo, of the school, curated the work. She looked for art that would relate to its environment.
“So there’s everything from installation sculpture in Hall’s Garage to oil paintings hung in Berkshire Bank.”
For the opening reception, the garage will not only play home to two large sculptures, but a performance by cellist Paul de Jong, formerly of popular electro-acoustic band The Books. Around the corner [sfx up] at Seven Salon Spa, as stylists chat and patrons catch up on magazines while waiting for their hair treatments to finish, co-owner Maurice Peterson describes the art headed their way.
“Basically abstract but there’s some representational too. it’s all very delightful and worth coming to see. Because we love art, and also art lovers will come down to the salon to see the art, so it was great.”
At the stately Red Lion Inn, which is co-sponsoring the Stockbridge Art Lab, A collection of antique teapots will be removed to make room a new display and fiber art will share space in the lobby with the house cat . Things kick off with a reception at 5 p.m. tonight, and the art will be up through June 3.