North Adams Transcript
NORTH ADAMS -- Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art officials confirmed Tuesday what many in the local arts community already have been talking about -- Wilco and its Solid Sound Festival will return to the city during the museum’s upcoming summer season.
"Wilco is coming back," Katherine Myers, museum spokeswoman, confirmed Tuesday.
She declined to confirm when the popular alt-country band would return to the city, saying that several dates -- including a rumored June date -- have been discussed.
However, the band is expected to make an announcement related to the Solid Sound Festival later this week, according to their spokeswoman Deb Bernardini.
Held over three days in August, the Wilco Solid Sound Festival included numerous bands, comedians and sound installations, which not only drew an estimated 6,000 people, but pumped an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million into the local economy.
The pending announcement isn’t a surprise -- Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy hinted several times during the festival, both at a press conference and during the band’s show, that they’d be returning in 2011.
But the band’s return isn’t the only thing the museum has in store for its upcoming summer and fall seasons -- there’s also a planned expansion that will include a landscape and sound installation project by artist Jane Philbrick that will encompass 1.5 acres of MoCA’s campus.
"We’re going to have a pretty large expansion in the summer," Myers said. "We have the large landscaping project, which technically won’t open until September because we want to let the plants fill in. It will look nice during the summer, but in the fall, it will be perfect. We also have another artist, Stephen Vitiello, who will have a sound installation in the former power plant building."
There’s also been some discussions about a sculpture exhibit for Building 18, but she said details for that project have yet to be finalized, she said.
Philbrick began work on the industrial garden, "Expanded Field," in August with a team of students from the Lund School of Architecture in Sweden and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with local landscaping firm, New England Landscapes and Aquatics.
The garden, which will be on the museum’s south end, will incorporate paths, plantings and a procession of sitting areas to draw audiences into it. Plans call for the design to utilize an existing foundation on the site for a sitting area called "Body Pockets" -- made up of geometric hollows carved into the foundation. There’s also a seating area called "The Rounds," made of dry stack wall and rammed earth; the "Sing Set," which is a swing set that plays the harmonic scale; and a "Sound Wall," featuring Philbrick’s original spoken word text compositions in collaboration with Bard Wells and the Williams College vocal group, "Roomful of Teeth."
Plans also call for an "Asphalt Meadow" planted with native grass and wildflowers and a fragmentary path, named the "Allee," which travels under the birch trees along the Hoosic River.
"September will signify a major expansion for us," Myers said.
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau,