Claude Monet is perhaps the world's most beloved artist, and among all his creations, the paintings of the water lilies in his garden at Giverny are most famous. Seeing them in museums around the world, viewers are transported by the power of Monet's brush into a peaceful world of harmonious nature. Monet himself intended them to provide “an asylum of peaceful meditation.”

Yet, as Ross King reveals in Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies his chronicle of both artist and masterpiece, these beautiful canvases belie the intense frustration Monet experienced at the difficulties of capturing the fugitive effects of light, water, and color. They also reflect the terrible personal torments Monet suffered in the last dozen years of his life.

The Teaching Gallery at Hudson Valley Community College presents Floating World, an exhibition of paintings by New Lebanon artist Maggie Mailer, on view through October 22nd.

The paintings in Mailer’s Floating World are richly layered, ambiguous landscapes that bravely embody the artist’s willingness to trust her viewers. Mailer says the title refers to the “floating world” of 18th century Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, a worldview based on hedonism, pleasure and escapism. It was a world envisioned to be safe from danger, sadness or disasters, both real and imagined.

Mailer’s painting process is an intentionally unscientific combination of instinct, skill, accident and trust. Upon close inspection, any particular moment of a painting might contain layers of sheer, luscious color, references to classical masterworks, day-glow colors seemingly thrown down or scumbled, or thin layers that barely cover the canvas.

Maggie Mailer and Founding director of the Teaching Gallery Tara Fracalossi  join us. 

Berkshire Theatre Group and WAM Theatre present the American Premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, by Kate Cayley at the Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge, September 29 through October 23.

In keeping with their double philanthropic mission, WAM Theatre will be donating 25% of the box office proceeds from this production to their ninth beneficiary, the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Suzi Banks Baum. 

The show is directed by Kristen van Ginhoven and features David Adkins and Corinna May. 


The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, NY is presenting the exhibition Circus Circus through October 16th featuring paintings of the American circus by artists from the 1920s and 1930s alongside circus-themed marketing materials used by the Beech-Nut Packaging Company in the 1930s.


The circus coming to town was a highly anticipated event in small towns across America, and many artists in the twenties and thirties painted the spectacle of the parade as the circus arrived, and the excitement under the big top. The exhibition includes paintings by Jon Corbino, Ogden Pleissner and Everett Shinn.


Images of circus cars, animals and acrobats were also used to market food products during the 1930s. The Beech-Nut Packing Company was one of the companies to use the excitement and nostalgia of the circus to sell its products. They created magazine ads with clowns and circus animals to sell their gum.


This circus-themed marketing campaign culminated in the creation of Beech-Nut miniature circuses that traveled across the country in busses, and a miniature circus was displayed in their pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

To tell us more about the exhibit we welcome Art Historian Karal Ann Marling and Museum Director and Curator Diane Forsberg.

  Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center is the House, Studio and Woodland garden of mid-century designer Russel Wright. It is a National Historic Landmark, an Affiliate Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and a World Monuments Watch Site.

Manitoga’s Artist Residency program was initiated in 2014 to foster creative responses to Manitoga that invoke Russel Wright's legacy of creative experimentation and celebration of place.

This year’s residency artist, Peter Bynum, is known for his light-infused sculptural paintings and large-scale installations. He creates his work by pressing paint between sheets of glass - allowing it to spread, span, and split according to its own plan. He then layers these branched paintings over each other and illuminates them from behind. The effect is singular.

Bynum’s work has been exhibited all over the world. His residency exhibition, Ecstatic Light, presents a site-specific installation of several pieces in Russel Wright’s House and Studio, marking Manitoga’s first presentation of a contemporary artist within the interiors of the property.

  The villains who abuse our monetary system get what's coming to them in The Capitalist, the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed Louis Morgon series, written by cartoonist, painter, and novelist, Peter Steiner.

  The current major exhibition at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA is An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting.

Sterling and Francine Clark began collecting art strictly for pleasure, but their discernment met with international recognition when they opened the Clark Art Institute in 1955. Sixty years later, the exhibition An Eye for Excellence: Twenty Years of Collecting reveals the remarkable story of how the Clark’s collection has grown and become stronger over the past two decades through the museum’s vision and the support of its generous donors. An Eye for Excellence is on view October 25, 2015 through April 10, 2016.

We visited the museum recently and took a tour of the exhibition with Kathleen Morris, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at The Clark.

Georgia By Dawn Tripp

Mar 1, 2016

  In 1916, Georgia O’Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O’Keeffe’s work and exhibits it in his gallery. Their connection is instantaneous. O’Keeffe is quickly drawn into Stieglitz’s sophisticated world, becoming his mistress, protégé, and muse, as their attraction deepens into an intense and tempestuous relationship and his photographs of her, both clothed and nude, create a sensation. 

Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for fiction, Dawn Tripp is the author of the novels Moon Tide, The Season of Open Water, and Game of Secrets, a Boston Globe bestseller.

Audrey Flack

 Audrey Flack: Heroines is currently on view in the Hoopes Gallery at The Hyde Collection in Glens Fall, NY. This exhibition, organized by the Lafayette College Art Galleries in Easton, Pennsylvania, is on view at The Hyde January 3, 2016.

The show features artist Audrey Flack, a pioneer in Photorealism, and a nationally recognized painter, printmaker, and sculptor. The subjects of the drawings and prints on view highlight women neglected or demonized by history.

We are joined now by Erin Coe, Director of The Hyde, and Audrey Flack.

  Arcadia, a exhibition of new paintings by Maggie Mailer, is on display at McDaris Fine Art on Warren St. in Hudson, NY through November 15th.

In 2009, Maggie became the first Artist in Residence at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA. In 2002 she founded the Storefront Artist Project in Pittsfield, MA, which for 10 years served to establish a transparent boundary between the artist at work and the public sphere. Her work has been featured in Art New England, with cover stories in The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times.

  Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1 (Portrait of the Artist's Mother) by James McNeill Whistler is one of the most renowned works of art by an American artist. It is considered by many to be the most important American painting not on American soil.

Better known as Whistler’s Mother, the painting has been owned by the French state since 1891 and is in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, presents the painting as the centerpiece of an exhibition on view at the Lunder Center at Stone Hill through September 27th.

Jay Clark, The Clark’s Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs takes us on a tour of the exhibition.

  World renowned, New York-based painter and sculptor, Zigi Ben-Haim's exhibit Made in the USA is now up at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.

Made in the USA exhibits a cross section of works: paintings, sculptures and drawings. It also includes a new series of paintings on burlap, created in 2015.  Ben-Haim has stated that his paintings on aluminum address the current state of environmental affairs, which concerns humanity's place in the universe. The large-scale, multi-layered works present nature as simultaneously fragmented and grand.

  From Maira Kalman, the author of the bestsellers The Principles of Uncertainty and The Elements of Style, comes a pictorial and narrative exploration of the significance of objects in our lives, drawn from her personal artifacts, recollections, and selections from the collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

With more than fifty original paintings and featuring bestselling author and illustrator Maira Kalman’s signature handwritten prose, My Favorite Things is a meditation on the importance of both quotidian and unusual objects in our culture and private worlds.

  Winslow Homer: The Nature and Rhythm of Life is a new exhibition at the Arkell Museum at Canajoharie. It will be on display through January 4, 2015.

Bartlett Arkell, the founder and first president of the Beech-Nut Packaging Company, brought Homer’s paintings and watercolors to his hometown of Canajoharie for the enjoyment of its citizens.


  Thomas Cole was the founder of The Hudson River School of painting – the mid-19th century American art movement of landscape paintings with an aesthetic vision influenced by romanticism.

The Thomas Cole Historic Site in Catskill, NY has a new exhibition entitled Master, Mentor, Master: Thomas Cole & Frederic Church which is on view now and will be until November 2nd 2014. They are also running a capital campaign is to bring back one of the few known architectural creations of Thomas Cole – his New Studio.

Here to tell us more are Betsy Jacks, ‎Director at Thomas Cole Historic Site and Kate Menconari, the site’s curator.


  Painter Darren Waterston's installation Filthy Lucre is the centerpiece of Uncertain Beauty, his new exhibition at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA (on view through January 2015). It is a contemporary re-imagining of James McNeill Whistler's 1876 decorative masterpiece Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room.

A soundscape featuring voice and cello composed by the New York-based trio BETTY can be heard intermittently through the space, punctuating the silence with hauntingly beautiful reverberations.

Edward and Jo Hopper first discovered Vermont in 1927, making day trips from the Whitney Studio Club's summer retreat for New York artists in Charlestown, New Hampshire. In 1935 and 1936 the Hoppers again traveled to Vermont, this time from their summer home in Cape Cod, in Edward's continuing search for new places to paint.

During these quests they identified the White River and what Edward considered to be Vermont's "finest" river valley, and they returned there for longer visits in 1937 and 1938, boarding at Robert and Irene Slater's Wagon Wheels farm in South Royalton.