NORTH ADAMS -- Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire Cultural Resource Center's DownStreet Art is gearing up for the second of its DownStreet Art Thursdays, a series of downtown celebrations for the arts festival's summer season.
The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Thursday, July 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. The celebration will include eight new exhibition openings, mural unveilings, a range of family-friendly activities and an array of musical and art performances.
"This month's DownStreet Art is particularly awesome because of its diversity in theme and media," said Leeya Rose Jackson, the Berkshire Hills Internship Program (B-HIP) intern who is serving as the DownStreet Art coordinator.
"We have theatrical dance, music and visual arts events that all have edgy and eclectic nuances to them," Jackson continued. "Plus, more fantastic murals will be unveiled to the public."
For this event, the stage will be in the Holden Street parking lot, leaving Main Street open for vehicular traffic. The line-up will include a musical performance by dark glam opera band Timur and the Dime Museum, as well as a performance by Bang on a Can fellows and faculty, the Found Sound Nation project, and MCLA student Melody Rolph ‘14.
Japanese-born choreographers Eiko and Koma will present their butoh-inspired dance performance "Caravan," recently on view at the New York Museum of Modern Art, which Koma will perform on Holden Street as part of the DownStreet Art Thursday festivities.
"Eiko and Koma have created a unique and riveting theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light and sound," Jackson said. "Their goal is to transform downtown North Adams into an environment that challenges visitors to activate their imagination biologically and artistically."
Koma's performance is an extension of the "Caravan Project" exhibition, which opened July 24 at 69 Union St. It will showcase the choreographer's work from the past four decades.
Along with the performances, July's DownStreet Art Thursday will include the opening receptions and artist talk-backs of eight new exhibitions, as well as "pop-up" artist booths on Main and Holden streets, and an unveiling of the commissioned public murals for the 2013 season. To be installed in six different locations around North Adams, Peter Dudek's mural series are architectural cartoons in which different forms of housing represent a world where buildings not only have a consciousness, but also the desire and ability to perpetuate. Some of the mural locations will include the corner of Main and Holden streets, behind the back entrance of MCLA Gallery 51, and next to the entrance of the Public Eat+Drink. In addition, in "Paint it Big! Paint it Public!," a teen workshop led by local artist Andrew Davis as a program of the Clark, students will unveil their public mural based on Albrecht Dürer's famous 16th century woodcut, "The Rhinoceros." This mural will be in the Main Street alley, between Shear Madness Salon and Eagle Street.
Highlights of the DownStreet Art Thursday opening exhibitions include Iranian artist Solly Kh's "Messages From Iran" at Gallery 53. Local artist Tatiana Klacsmann will show her work at Gallery 105, PRESS Gallery will exhibit printmaker Valerie Carrigan's "Liminality," and the Branch Gallery will showcase Michele Lauriat's "Spot Pond" drawings.
The opening receptions for the exhibitions will take place Thursday, July 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. They will remain on display until Aug. 25. For more information: downstreetart.org.