Arts Previews

  • Former Young@Heart Chorus member Jeanette Parks, called an “inspirational and beloved” part of the elderly singing group, died July 2 in Baltimore. Submitted image

Thursday, July 18, 2019
A close look at needlework

Wistariahurst, the Holyoke museum/cultural center, will open a new exhibit, “Stitch by Stitch,” on Thursday, July 18 that features textile collections reflecting over 250 years of fabrics and styles. A free opening reception for the show, which runs through Aug. 18, takes place Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“Stitch by Stitch” will showcase selections from Wistariahurst’s textile collection, including samplers from the U.S. and Great Britain from approximately 1690 through 1850. The exhibit, according to press notes, will illustrate components, look at who made samplers, and discuss how they were made and why, while reflecting on the lives and beliefs of the fabric makers.

Visitors will have an opportunity to try their hand at cross stitch and other patterns at the exhibit, which will be open to the public during Wistariahurst’s self-guided tour open hours, Sunday-Wednesday from 12-4 p.m. A suggested donation of $3 is encouraged.

Young@Heart Chorus loses a beloved member

Jeanette Parks, a key member and inspirational figure of the Young@Heart Chorus who was known as “Operator 11” from a stint as a long distance operator in Maryland, died July 2 at age 91.

According to chorus director Bob Cilman, Parks died peacefully in her sleep in Baltimore, Maryland. She had joined the chorus in 2010 and during that time fulfilled a life-long goal to see the world, traveling with Y@H on some 20 tours between 2010 and 2013 that took her across the country and to Japan, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway.

“She was a favorite of the Y@H Chorus and Band members who she kept in stitches with her joyous banter,” Cilman said in statement. “Jeanette moved back to Baltimore in 2014. It left a big hole in the group because she was definitely one-of-a-kind. [But] we were fortunate to spend time with her when she returned this past winter to celebrate fellow chorus member Steve Martin’s 90th birthday.”

New work from Ashfield Community Theater

“The Old Man and The Old Moon,” a fable about an elderly man who must abandon his duties of filling up the moon with liquid light to search for his missing wife, will be performed by Ashfield Community Theater this Friday through Sunday, July 19-21, at Ashfield Town Hall and also on July 26-27.

“The Old Man and the Old Moon,” according to production notes, is a “sea-faring epic that spans apocalyptic storms, civil wars, leviathans of the deep, and an old man’s struggle to confront change. Influenced by Celtic folklore and sea shanties, the show features original folk music and shadow puppetry.”

Director Jonah Godfrey, who first appeared on stage nine years ago in Ashfield Community Theater’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” has directed theater and music at Emerson College and now teaches music at Hawlemont Elementary School in Charlemont. The play’s producer, Theodor Gabriel, another veteran of Ashfield Community Theater, is pursuing an MFA at Columbia University.

Performances this Friday and Saturday and on July 26 are at 7 p.m.; this Sunday’s performance, and that of July 27, is at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and students, and are available at the door of Ashfield Town Hall.