Museums are changing seasons in the Berkshire calendar, Jan. 31 to Feb. 4. Bennington will celebrate a solo show by Jessica Park, known for her precise architecture and rainbow light, and re-open the Grandma Moses gallery with paintings they have not had on display in decades. And the Clark Art Institute will welcome Drawn to Greatness, a travelling show from the Morgan Library and Museum in New York that spans 500 years of artists’ drawings, from the Renaissance to the 20th century.
Wednesday Jan. 31
Laurel Hill Association — Lois and Denis Melican of The American Chestnut Foundation for MA and RI will speak at the annual meeting on the Chestnut Breeding Program, which is developing blight-resistant American chestnut trees with the goal of restoring the tree to its native forests along the eastern United States. The Laurel Hill Association’s Chestnut Preserve, on Route 7, half mile south of the Red Lion Inn, is one of the program’s breeding sites. 7 p.m. Stockbridge Library. Free and open to all. laurelhillassociation.org.
Thursday Feb. 1
Berkshire Botanical Garden — Anastasia Traina’s Fairytale Botanical World: More than 50 drawings representing her botanical subjects and fairy themes using pen and ink, silverpoint, watercolor, graphite, and colored pencil. A small, naturally lit gallery and temporary home to a cyclopean tree gnome will be hung with prisms to create beams of reflected light, and a children’s art table and bench will be stocked with paper and crayons to inspire drawings of fairies, elves and flowers. The show opens today and runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, and weekdays by appointment. Routes 102 and 183, Stockbridge. 413-320-4794, berkshirebotanical.org
Williams College Museum of Art — Titus Kaphar in conversation, 4 p.m. As part of Claiming Williams Day — when the campus engages in events and discussions about building and sustaining a more inclusive community — mixed media artist Titus Kaphar will join in a conversation about under-represented histories in art and museums. He will speak at WCMA with assistant curator Horace Ballard and students. Free. The conversation at WCMA follows Kaphar’s 2 p.m. artist talk at the Clark Art Institute. 15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Williamstown. wcma.williams.edu
Williams College — The annual Claiming Williams Day with three events open to the public: Writers and social justice advocates Julissa Arce and Janet Mock will give the morning and evening keynote addresses; Arce will speak at 10:45 a.m. in Chapin Hall, and Mock will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Chapin Hall. Mock’s address will be simulcast into Brooks-Rogers Auditorium. “Missing Books, Missing Voices” will take place in Sawyer Library from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Route 2, Williamstown. williams.edu
Green Living Seminar — Patrick Wittbold, quality assurance manager at the Water Innovation Network for Sustainable Small Systems (WINSSS) at UMASS-Amherst, will speak on Treatment Technologies for Small Water Systems: Innovation at the Water-Energy Nexus. This winter and spring, Green Living will focus on Sustainability and the Role of Technology, free on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. in room 121 of the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation, MCLA, Church St., North Adams. mcla.edu
One World Conservation Center — State archaeologist Jess Robinson will present An Archaeological History of Vermont, an overview of the state’s past, recent discoveries and current debates, including the site excavation for the Bennington Bypass. Part of the Valley We Live In lecture series, 7 p.m. 413 Route 2, Bennington, Vt. oneworldconservationcenter.org
Friday Feb. 2
First Fridays Artswalk — A dozen art shows highlight regional artists in Pittsfield’s Upstreet Cultural District, from the Berkshire Museum to Berkshire Medical Center, with opening receptions. Guided walking tour at 5 p.m. from Intermodal Center at BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave. Popup exhibits along North and South streets and in downtown Pittsfield. FirstFridaysArtswalk.com
IS183 Art School — Kids Create Show: A Learning Through Arts Showcase from the after-school program that has brought professional teaching artists directly to Berkshire County’s K-12th grade classrooms, on view as part of First Fridays Artswalk, Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave., Pittsfield. The show will remain on view until Feb. 26 as part of Pittsfield’s 10×10 Upstreet Arts Festival.
Williams College — Forklift Danceworks presents Served, a new work created and choreographed with Williams College Dining Services Staff and based around their stories and daily movements, 8 p.m. Tickets are free. Reservations required. Paresky Center, 39 Chapin Hall Drive, Williamstown. 62center.williams.edu
Oldcastle Theatre — Fanatic Heart: The Story So Far of Black 47, the fabled House Band of New York City. Larry Kirwan is a playwright, a novelist, a memoirist, and his songs are full of story, of heroes sung and unsung, linked by the fire of freedom. Friday Movie VT Premiere’s Series. Movies start at 7 p.m., with beer and wine available. 331 Main St., Bennington, Vt.
Music from Salem — Heart of Winter party, savory and sweet treats as well as wine and soft drinks, a raffle and a silent auction of gift certificates for local restaurants. Founder and violist Lila Brown will perform. The party benefitss 32d season, which begins with a spring concert on April 8. Music from Salem brings together established musicians of international reputation as well as emerging talent. 6 to 9 p.m. at the Plow 103 Main gallery at 103 Main St., Greenwich, N.Y. 518-232-2347. musicfromsalem.org
Williams College — Spirituality and Romanticism: Williams Chamber Players present Arvo Pärt’s “Spiegel im Spiegel” and his work “Fratres,” as well as two works by J.S. Bach: “Zerfliesse mein Herz,” from St John Passion, BWV 245, and “Hier in meines Vaters Stätte.” After the intermission they present Arensky Piano Trio in D Minor, op. 32., with oanna Kurkowicz, violin; Doris Stevenson, piano; Erin Nafziger, soprano; Carl Jenkins, oboe; Tiffany Sun ’18, flute; Ronald Feldman, cello; Edwin Lawrence, continuo; Keith Kibler, bass-baritone; Benjamin Mygatt ’19, violin; Elizabeth Morse, harp; and Nathaniel Parke, cello. 8 p.m. Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, 54 Chapin Hall Drive in Bernhard Music Center, Williamstown. 413-597-3146, music.williams.edu
Hopkins observatory — Motions of the planets, phases of the moon, the temperatures and colors of stars, neighboring galaxies, myths and constellations, the Southern Hemisphere’s sky, comets … Astronomy students explore the night sky, 8 p.m. with the the high-precision Zeiss Skymaster ZKP3/B opto-mechanical planetarium projector. Free shows for the public on Fridays in the spring semester. Williams College, Route 2, Williamstown. williams.edu
Saturday Feb. 3
Clark Art Institute — Drawn to Greatness exhibit opens. Jay A. Clarke, Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Clark Art Institute, presents Drawing and Experimentation from Van Gogh to Pollock, opening talk at 3 p.m. Over the past fifty years, New York art dealer and philanthropist Eugene V. Thaw assembled one of the world’s finest private collections of drawings, from the Renaissance through the 20th century. From Feb. 3 through April 22, 150 drawings at the Clark examine five centuries of western drawing, including sketchbooks belonging to Jackson Pollock, Francisco de Goya, Edgar Degas, and Paul Cézanne and illustrated letters from Vincent van Gogh. 225 South St. Williamstown. 413-458-2303, clarkart.edu
Bennington Museum — Community Day and exhibits opening: The newly installed Grandma Moses Gallery with paintings like Thunderstorm, 1948, which has not been at the Museum in more than 20 years; artist Jessica Park celebrating her exhibition Enthusiasms: Personal Paintings, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., work by a native of Williamstown, an internationally-acclaimed artist on the autism spectrum. A Century of Caring on view, a celebration of the Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s centennial, the new Early Vermont gallery, the Annual Student Art Show and more. 75 Main St. (Route 9), Bennington, Vt. 802-447-1571, benningtonmuseum.org
IS183 Art School — Super Bowl of Chili, 3 to 6 p.m. Benefit for the ceramics studio. Handmade bowls filled with chili or soup. Eat the Chili, Keep the Bowl: All tickets include a bowl of chili and visitors choose from a selection of more than 100 hand-made bowls created by IS183 Art School faculty and student artists. Also entertainment and a juried sale of local ceramic artists work. 413-298-5252, ext. 100 Citizens’ Hall, 13 Willard Hill Road, Stockbridge. is183.org
Stockbridge Library — Dr. James Hatt, author of the forthcoming book, Playing Chess with Putin: Memoir of an Accidental Spy, 4 p.m. Using original source materials, court transcripts, money laundering investigations and a fresh look at the US Congressional Leadership of 1996, James Hatt will explore examples of how Russia turned Western appetites for Russian cash and assets into targeted criminal conspiracies that create bear pits of treasonable activity. The talk is free. 413-298-5501, stockbridgelibrary.org
Williams College — Forklift Danceworks presents Served, a new work created and choreographed with Williams College Dining Services Staff and based around their stories and daily movements, 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are free. Reservations required. Paresky Center, 39 Chapin Hall Drive, Williamstown. 62center.williams.edu
Oldcastle Theatre — Double Feature Matinee: Rigoberta Menchu: Daughter of the Maya tells the story of 1984 Nobel Peace Prize winner, a Maya woman living in a remote section of Guatemala who survived a genocide and became a voice for her people across the world. The film begins at 2 p.m. Liberating A Continent: John Paul II and The Fall of Communism follows at 3:30 p.m. The new documentarystudies the intricate role the Pope played in the collapse of communism and the liberation of Central and Eastern Europe. 331 Main St., Bennington, Vt.
Berkshire Botanical Garden — Cheesemaking at Home, 2 to 5 p.m. Make a simple cheese in your own kitchen. Learn of the equipment, supplies, and basic techniques used in making most types of cheese. Participants will learn to make 2-3 types of cheese, including fresh mozzarella from start to finish. Then take home instructions and a set of ingredients to make a batch or two at home. This workshop is for beginners. Routes 102 and 183, Stockbridge. 413-320-4794, berkshirebotanical.org
Berkshire Bach Society — Organ recital of Bach, Mendelssohn and Brahms: Fantasia, Fugues, Chorales and more with Peter Sykes, Organist, 4 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 1089 Main St., Housatonic. berkshirebach.org
Berkshire Botanical Garden — Native Seed Starting 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Learn how to grow native perennials from seed. This workshop will discuss the benefits of using native plants in various landscape types, native plant selections best suited for our region and various growing conditions, and site requirements. Participants will go home with seeds to plant at their own homes. Routes 102 and 183, Stockbridge. 413-320-4794, berkshirebotanical.org
One World Conservation Center — Who’s walking in the woods?Wildlife Tracking Workshop at the Greenburg Reserve: Learn the tracks and signs of many common Vermont mammals 1 to 4 p.m. 413 Route 2, Bennington, Vt. oneworldconservationcenter.org
Sunday Feb. 4
Clark Art Institute — Celebrate the opening of the special exhibition, Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection. Admission to the galleries is free all day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Create artwork at drawing stations 1 to 4 p.m. in the Clark Center’s lower lobby, inspired by the exhibition. Starting at 1 graduate students in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art will offer a series of talks. 225 South St. Williamstown. 413-458-2303, clarkart.edu
Stephentown Historical Society — Glenn Hankle will bring the History of the Banjo with Music to the meeting at 2 p.m. He will tell the history of the banjo and how it developed over the years into the peak years of the 1920s when it was a show piece on the stage.Stephentown Heritage Center, 4 Staples Road (corner of Garfield Road), Stephentown, N.Y.