Arts Previews for Aug. 25, 2017

  • “Allegory of Justice,” by Brian Gaither, at Augusta Savage Gallery

Thursday, August 24, 2017
Opening reception and exhibit at Augusta Savage Gallery

Augusta Savage Gallery at the University of Massachusetts will present “Allegory of Justice,” an exhibition of paintings by artist Brian Gaither from September 12 through September 29, with an opening reception from 5-7 pm on Tuesday, September 12.

Gaither’s large-scale monochrome paintings tackle themes about power and the way that it is used to manipulate the masses, to divide and conquer. Sounds… topical. Says Gaither: “My work gives form to my understanding of the individual’s place within the conflict of ideologies that shape social institutions and the need for social change.”

Gaither was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he currently lives and works as an adjunct professor of studio art.

For more information about Amherst’s Augusta Savage Gallery, located at 103 New Africa House, University of Massachusetts, 180 Infirmary Way, call 413-545-5177. 

Festivities in Northampton

Northampton’s “Arts Night Out” welcomes artists to create colorful chalk displays on the sidewalks of more than a dozen downtown sites during the eighth annual Northampton Chalk Art Festival on Friday, September 8. The competition kicks off a weekend of festivities that includes the Northampton Arts Council’s RETROFAIRE on Saturday, September 9.

Drawing takes place from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Friday the 8th. The public is invited to watch chalk-art drawings develop and to view finished work in the evening while enjoying Northampton’s monthly gallery walk from 5-8 p.m. Cash prizes of up to $300 will be awarded by judges for the top three creations. Presentations will be made by the Mayor on the steps of City Hall at 5 p.m.

The public is also invited to a casual family free draw from 5-7 p.m. Volunteers will be asked to help “decorate” the RETROFAIRE site located between Thornes Marketplace and the city parking garage. Lots of sidewalk chalk will be available for anyone who wants to join in the fun.

Maps of the chalk art locations, along with their assigned artists, will be available at nohoarts.org, and printed copies will be distributed by a variety of Arts Night Out venues. The Northampton Chalk Art Festival is sponsored by Chartpak, Inc., the Downtown Northampton Association and the Northampton Radio Group.  It is produced in cooperation with the City of Northampton and the Northampton Center for the Arts.

Song & Story Swap

The Nacul Center in Amherst will feature songwriter/folklorist Jeff Lee at its monthly Song & Story Swap at 7 p.m. on September 2 in the event jointly sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society and the Nacul Center.

Lee’s songs “tend toward the topical, and are often laced with humor and irony,” according to press notes. “En Viager,” for example, relates a strange episode in the life of the world’s oldest woman. “In Defense of the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf” gives a postmodern view of the classic children’s tale.

Additional information is available at Folklore Society’s website: filbert.com/pvfs.

Amherst reading series 

Peter Kimani, a Visiting Writer at Amherst College for the 2017–2018 academic year, will kick off this year’s Amherst reading series with a reading and signing of his new novel, “Dance of the Jakaranda,” at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, September 13, at Amherst Books, 8 Main Street in Amherst.

The novel is set in the shadow of Kenya’s independence from Great Britain and “reimagines the historic occasion that brought black, brown, and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the rebirth of a nation,” according to press notes.

Born in 1971 in Kenya, Kimani got his start as a journalist and also has published several works of fiction and poetry. He was one of three poets commissioned by NPR to write and present a poem to celebrate Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. “Dance of the Jakaranda” is Kimani’s third novel.

This event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow Kimani’s reading and discussion. For more information, call the bookstore at 413-256-1547 or visit amherstbooks.com.