MASS MoCA had a fantastic weekend with the High School Art Show and a SOLD OUT performance of the Low Anthem with Daniel Lefkowitz!
The High School Art Show included photos, ceramics, drawings, paintings, and sculptures by talented high school artists from Buxton School, Drury High, Pine Cobble School, Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School, and Mount Greylock Regional School District. The young artistsâ€™ works were displayed in MASS MoCAâ€™s galleries for one night. The event was attended by over 150 people.
Buxton School student, Zhong Weiâ€™s series of photographs was the cause of much attention at the exhibit. The layering of pieces of paper to create one large image was an â€śaccidentâ€ť said Zhong. He said he intended to continue the exploration of this technique and incorporate it into his style. â€śThis is good for a first one,â€ť said Zhong. It was inspiring to talk to Zhong, he was happy with his work, but was determined to improve his technique; a sign of a very promising artist.
Baxter Koziol entered his painting, Pingmeidgey, into the exhibition. He called himself an â€śimpulsive painterâ€ť and when asked if he paints often he responded, â€śYeah. Every day for about five hours.â€ť…Woah! Then we asked him which artists inspire him, Koziol responded, â€śMy good friend, Papsouleye Fall, heâ€™s right over there,â€ť and pointed to a fellow classmate who was walking around the exhibition with headphones in his ears.
Fall and Koziol find encouragement from each other by discussing art and sometimes collaborating (both students are from Buxton School). Fall, another gifted artist included his painting The Boxer which showed obvious inspiration from Van Gogh. Fall said his paintings were usually violent and were used as outlet for aggression, instead of scrapping (he said heâ€™s never been in a fight!)
Sarah â€śTwoâ€ť Kelly from Mount Greylock entered a printmaking piece titled, Nietzche. She used newspaper, magazine clippings, and soft-cut linoleum to create her print. Two describes herself as â€ścraftyâ€ť and says sheâ€™s always been â€śartsyâ€ť.
The ceremony was followed with delicious snacks from Lickety Split! Mmmmmm. Lickety Split provided us with pizza bites, cheese quesadillas and guacamole, pasta, brownies, coffee, lemonade, cider, and many more treats!
And just when you thought the night was over- Rebel Alliance- a local high school band – erupted with truly impressive tunes. The band had an indie, reggae, rock, soul vibe that was FAR beyond their years. Students, parents, (and myself) couldnâ€™t help but dance to the perfect nightcap.
Cortney Tunis, MASS MoCA Educational Coordinator, was â€śthrilledâ€ť with the result of the show and said some of the pieces will be featured at the Eclipse Mill! Congratulations to EVERY student who participated and thanks for everyoneâ€™s support! You really exceeded all of our expectations at MASS MoCA!
Speaking of expectations being exceededâ€¦How about the Low Anthem?!? As soon as we saw band member, Jocie Adams, walk on stage with a clarinet, we knew we were in for a great show. The four band members immediately gathered around a microphone with an acoustic guitar and bleed out a beautiful harmony. A completely sold out house watched and listened intently, not missing a beat.
The band opened with radiating slow tunes and eventually worked up to a surprisingly intense, almost â€śhead-bangingâ€ť sound which left the audience ROARING and HOLLERING! Basically, the Low Anthem sounds like music that blasts from your great-uncles pick-up truck that makes you think, â€śI wish they still made music like that.â€ť
The best aspect of the Low Anthem is the honest quality of their performance. They are TRUE musicians. Every band member played at least four instruments throughout the course of the performance (which included obscure instruments such as musical saws, pump organs, and hammered dulcimers) and emitting complex harmonies that cannot be fabricated.
The band graced the audience with an encore after the audience exploded with a standing ovation. The Low Anthem closed with their popular song â€śCharlie Darwinâ€ť. After the show, audiences rushed to the Low Anthemâ€™s merchandise to get items screen-printed right in MASS MoCAâ€™s lobby!
The Low Anthem brought warmth and serenity to the cold evening.Â Cracking jokes with the audience, inviting old friend/former band member/opener Daniel Lefkowitz to jam with them, and exchanging smiles with each other led to a truly intimate performance that will be difficult to forget.
This blog is longer than usual, but that is because we were so impressed and elated with the talent that passed through MASS MoCA last weekend. Thank you to everyone who made it possible (including Miss Danelle Cheney for the photos!)