Arts Previews

  • Versatile singer Annie Patterson is the featured performer at this month’s Song & Story Swap in Amherst on Saturday. Submitted photo

  • An image from “America the Beautiful” by children’s illustrator and author Bryan Collier, one of the artists whose work will be celebrated beginning this month at R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton. Image from R.Michelson Galleries website

  • “Beginnings,” an oil painting by Northampton artist Laura Radwell, is part of her new exhibit at Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery in Amherst. Submitted image

  • Pastel landscapes by Richard Cohen are now on view through Januart at the Jewish Community of Amherst. Submitted image

Thursday, October 31, 2019
Annie Patterson to head Song & Story Swap

Folk and jazz stylist Annie Patterson will be the featured performer this month when the Song & Story Swap returns to the Nacul Center in Amherst on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m.

According to press notes, Patterson, who plays guitar and banjo, draws from a repertoires of some 2,400 songs from multiple genres, including contemporary folk, ballads, gospel and country. A co-creator/editor of the songbooks “Rise Up Singing” and “Rise Again,” she also performs as a jazz vocalist with the swing band Girls from Mars, and as a singer with the R&B band The O-Tones.

Her latest folk recording, “Mountain Side,” offers her vocals as well as harmonies from performers such as Tracy Grammer and Katryna and Nerissa Nields.

The Song & Story Swap is held on the first Saturday of each month, except in July and August, and is jointly sponsored by the Pioneer Valley Folklore Society and the Nacul Center. Admission is free, with a suggested minimum donation to the artist of $7.50. More information is available at filbert.com/pvfs or nacul.com.

Climate activists host dance party

Local activist group Arise for Social Justice is staging “Arise and Dance for Climate Justice,” a one-night dance party benefiting Arise’s climate and environmental work. The event takes place on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Hall in Florence.

According to press notes, multi-instrumentalist and peace advocate Jo Sallins will head a live music performance, and he’ll be joined by bassist and vocalist Heshima Moja, keyboardist Jordan Johnson, saxophonist Ed Linehan, and drummer Matt Penza. The band will offer a range of music, including jazz, R&B, and Latin dance.

The concert will commemorate the organization’s founder and longtime executive director, Michaelann Bewsee, who died this summer after a battle with cancer.

Tickets are available at the door on a sliding scale from $25 to $15. Free snacks will be offered; a cash bar is also part of the event.

The 30th Children’s Illustration Celebration

Northampton’s R. Michelson Galleries will honor renowned artists in children’s literature at their 30th annual Children’s Illustration Celebration, beginning with an opening reception on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. that kicks off the two-month event.

According to press notes, it’s the “biggest party of the year” for the Main Street gallery, featuring the work of over 50 illustrators and authors, including Jane Yolen, Jean Birdsall, Mark Teague, David Macauley and others.

Reader to Reader, a local organization dedicated to supplying books to underprivileged schools and libraries, will present its Norton Juster Award to Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser for founding the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

Oliver has written over 50 children’s books and co-authored the acclaimed series “Hank Zipzer: The World’s Greatest Underachiever” with Henry Winkler. Mooser, meantime, has been writing since the 1970s.

The reception as well as the entire exhibition is free and open to all ages.

New exhibit at Hope & Feathers

“Embodied Landscape,” a new series of paintings by Northampton artist Laura Radwell, will open Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Hope & Feathers Framing and Gallery. An artist’s reception takes place Thursday, Nov. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Main Street business as part of  Amherst Arts Night Plus.

Radwell’s abstract work has been “characterized by atmospheric and dream-like components of landscape that drift, overlap, and morph into one another,” according to press notes. “She sees the work as a melding of gesture and body contained in landscape and landscape contained in the body.”

Radwell, who is also a designer, has explored a number of themes in her work and considers the new paintings an “exploration of a further point along the continuum” — more disciplined and more dynamic compositions that come from a place she hasn’t been before, where lines and shapes reflect not just landscapes but contours of the human body.

The artist’s reception is free, as are all other events that are part of Amherst Arts Night Plus. Hope & Feathers is located at 319 Main St. in Amherst. More information is available at (413) 835-0197 and hopeandfeathersframing.com/radwell/. The exhibit runs through Nov. 29.

Pastel landscapes at JCA

“Exploring Light, Dark and Color,” an exhibit of pastel landscapes by Amherst artist Richard Cohen, opens on Friday, Nov. 1 at the Jewish Community Center of Amherst. The exhibit runs through Jan. 30, 2020.

In a statement, Cohen said his paintings are inspired by his love of the outdoors and represent his best effort to “capture the beauty, awe and serenity of those experiences.” His hope is that viewers, even when inside, will feel “surrounded by natural beauty, and experience the play of light on hills, trees and water, and the drama of the sky.”

Receptions for the artist take place at the JCA, at 742 Main St., on Thursday, Nov. 7 and Thursday, Dec. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. Normal gallery hours are Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.