Arts Previews 

  • Wood and pencil-based artwork by Sanford Roth is on display at Henion Bakery in Amherst this month. Image courtesy Sanford Roth

  • Wood and pencil-based artwork by Sanford Roth is on display at Henion Bakery in Amherst this month. Image courtesy Sanford Roth

  • Cast members from a staged reading of the play “The Chalk Garden,” which takes place Aug. 18 at North Hall in Huntington. Submitted photo

Thursday, August 15, 2019
The art of the pencil

Through August, Amherst artist Sanford Roth is displaying his unique assemblages made of pencils, dowels and varied wood pieces at Henion Bakery in Amherst. His abstract designs, at times reminiscent of the patterns on Navajo rugs, blend color, texture and shape in surprising and interesting ways. 

In an email, Roth, who has previously displayed his work at the Jones Library and other locations in Amherst, said he’s been “tinkering around with art my whole adult life (73 years old), making stained glass windows, floor cloths, hooked rugs, electronic prints and as of two years ago, assemblages made out of pencils, dowels, and wooden shapes.”

Staged readingin Huntington

“The Chalk Garden,” a comedy by Enid Bagnold, author of “National Velvet,” comes to the North Hall in Huntington on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2 pm. According to play notes, the mysterious Miss Madrigal can coax flowers to bloom in the chalky soil of England’s Dover cliffs, but she has other comic tricks up her sleeve when it comes to calming an unruly household.

The staged reading features Susan Daniels, Margery Shaw, Kenneth Tigar, Michelle Joyner, Sandra Blaney and Mitch Giannunzio (who also serves as director), with cameos by members of the North Hall board.

Admission is free; donations are welcome. Audience members can join North Hall’s annual After-Party Summer Celebration for refreshments after the play, and an artists’ reception will be held at intermission in the hall's art gallery. Visit northhallhuntington.org or call (413) 667-5543 for more information.

Mead Museum receives major donation

The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College has received a gift of more than 170 works of contemporary art from an anonymous donor, which staff say significantly expands the museum’s holdings in that area.

According to the Mead, these donations — a mix of photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, mixed-media pieces and video — include works by established artists such as Mona Hatoum, David Hockney, Thomas Ruff and Cindy Sherman, as well as pieces by a number of newer artists from the U.S. and abroad.

In a statement, Mead Director and Chief Curator David Little said, “We are so incredibly fortunate to be the recipients of a gift of contemporary art of this scale and scope. The addition … supports us in our ongoing efforts to expand our holdings in ways that reflect the diversity of the Amherst College community.”

The new works will be part of an exhibit opening Sept. 10, “Starting Something New: Recent Contemporary Art Acquisitions and Gifts,” that will feature additional artworks the Mead has acquired in the last several years.

Painting groups marks 30th anniversary

Beginning Saturday, Aug. 17, members of the Old Deerfield Painting Group will mark 30 years of exhibiting together with a new show at the Deerfield Community Center, on Memorial Street, that runs through Sunday, Aug. 25.

Weather permitting, members will also be setting up their easels outside in various places in the community to paint during this time. A reception for the artists and the show takes place Sunday, Aug. 18 from 2-4:30 p.m. at the community center. The exhibit will be open daily from noon to 5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on Aug. 23.