This weekend’s cultural highlights include the opening of an exhibition by one of the region’s top outsider artists, a chamber music concert featuring Baroque holiday music; and a concert by the Diana Ross of the Hudson Valley.
Self-taught artist Paul Graubard is the subject of a retrospective exhibition of his paintings at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts in Pittsfield this month. The show opens today and runs through December 27. There will be an opening reception with the artist tonight from 5 to 8pm, during the city’s First Fridays Artswalk. Musician Paul Green will perform klezmer music during the reception. I’ve been a longtime fan of Paul Graubard’s work – I even own a piece by him. After a long career as a teacher and psychotherapist, Graubard turned to painting about 20 years ago and never looked back. His work is in the vein of what some call “outsider art,” and it includes images drawn from the circus, the Arctic, and Jewish life.
On Saturday night, works by Vivaldi, Handel, Pergolesi, Monteverdi, Telemann and J. S. Bach will be performed by members of Baroque ensembles, including the Diderot Quartet, Apollo’s Fire, the Handel and Haydn Society, Les Arts Florrisants, and New Utrecht Baroque, in “A Holiday Celebration — Best of the Baroque,” the second in Close Encounters With Music’s 23rd season of concerts, at the Mahaiwe in Great Barrington on Saturday at 6pm.
“Landscapes & Bodyscapes,” an exhibition of new works by three artists whose studies of landscapes and bodyscapes have catapulted them to national and international recognition, remains on view at Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson through December 14. The exhibition features works by Jane Bloodgood-Abrams, Mark Beard and Dan Rupe.
You can check out the artwork at Carrie Haddad while downtown Hudson has its annual WinterWalk this Saturday night from 6 to 9pm. There will be pop-up music events all over the city, culminating in a concert by Woodstock soul-rock singer-songwriter Simi Stone. Simi has been my favorite discovery of the past year – I first saw her practically exactly a year ago to the day at Club Helsinki Hudson, and it was musical love at first sight. Stone plays a unique style of what she calls “Mountain Motown” music, and her all-star band is comprised of bandmates of David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, the B-52s, and Gang of Four – all of whom live near her in the Woodstock area. Stone packs the soul vocals of Diana Ross and little Michael Jackson with the stage presence and charisma of Tina Turner. Her show is at Club Helsinki Hudson on Saturday at 9pm.
And looking ahead one weekend, it’s not too soon to make a reservation to a guarantee one of the few spots left for “Knish Night” at Valley Variety, next Saturday, December 13, from 5:30 to 8:30pm, featuring Laura Silver, the author of “KNISH: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food.” Laura will discuss the humble Jewish pastry, and lead participants in a cooking demonstration and knish-tasting.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkishire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com.