You were only waiting for this moment to be free — #Berkshireweekend

Scarlet runner beans wind up the feet of the iron arch. A ring of curves form a trellis, a dome open to the sky. In the heart of a Shaker garden, Pinaree Sanpitak has made an affirmation of life and force in a woman’s body and a Buddhist sacred space.

Snapdragons bloom at Hancock Shaker Village.
Photo by Kate Abbott

Snapdragons bloom at Hancock Shaker Village.

I’m walking through Hancock Shaker Village and soaking in the calm. The sun comes out from behind a cloud, and the tansy is golden and as high as my collarbones, and a monarch butterfly is drinking from a zinnia.

Ben and Scarlet will meet me here in a few minutes, and we’ll walk through the village in search of summer artists. Three international makers have created work here now. Sanpitak looks toward us from Thailand as she is representing her home in the Venice bienale.

Yusuke Asai of Japan paints bright-eyed creatures in earth-toned ink. In the two brick rooms of the poultry house, they spill across the walls and floor like the merganser ducklings I saw on the Hoosic a couple of weeks ago, charging after their mother, so fast and light they ran on the surface of the water.

And I’ll have to come back to see Korean artist Kimsooja and her threads of fiber art. The three of us walk around the circle of the round stone barn and out into the farmyard to watch the chickens bathing in the dust and the kid goats nuzzling at the water trough.

This weekend …

Events coming up …

Find more art and performance, outdoors and food in the BTW events calendar.

Berkshire Botanical Garden offers plants, swags and crafts at its annual Gallery of Wreathes.
Dec 10 2023 @ 9:00 am
An annual tradition continues at Berkshire Botanical Garden with the Gallery of Wreaths, as many as 100 unique wreaths and an assortment of holiday-blooming amaryllis and paperwhites and more.
Ventfort Hall houses the Museum of the Gilded Age in Lenox.
Dec 10 2023 @ 10:00 am
Venfort Hall will hold a juried show of handmade works of art — jewelry, fine woven garments, wood vessels, sculpture, raku pottery, quilts, paintings, photography and more.
Ventfort Hall hangs stockings by the chimney. Photo by Susan Geller
Dec 10 2023 @ 10:00 am
Ventfort Hall is decorated for the holidays in 19th-century style, with lighted tree and stockings by the fire and more, and open for self-guided explorations.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

If you’d like to see the website grow, you can join me for a few dollars a month, enough for a cup of coffee and a cider doughnut. Members get access to extra stories and multimedia, itineraries a bookmark tool. Let me know what you're looking for, and we’ll explore together.

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