Arts & Life

Painting a more complete picture: ‘Unnamed Figures’ highlights Black presence and absence in early American history

04-18-2024 3:17 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

In partnership with the American Folk Art Museum, Historic Deerfield is presenting an exhibition on the unexplored histories of Black people in early America.“Unnamed Figures: Black Presence and Absence in the Early American North” explores Black...


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Book Bag: ‘Cecilia: A Memoir of Lesbian Love and Loss’ by Astrid Lindstrom; ‘Go Play in Traffic: A Writer’s Life’ by Michelle A. Gabow

04-18-2024 1:49 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Cecilia: A Memoir of Lesbian Love and LossBy Astrid LindstromHeliotrope Press Astrid Lindstrom’s memoir, “Cecilia,” about the loss of her wife following a difficult battle with cancer, is at times a painful read. But it’s also a memorial to her late...


Earth Matters: From Big Sits to Birdathons: Birding competitions far and near

04-18-2024 1:46 PM

By JOSHUA ROSE

A few months ago, headlines flared that Peter Kaestner had seen his 10,000th bird species. This could have been anticlimactic, as Kaestner has been renowned for years among birders for traveling worldwide and seeing more species than anyone.However,...


The Beat Goes On: Album release shows by Barnstar! and Lisa Bastoni, a Young@Heart Chorus concert with new special guests, and more

04-18-2024 1:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

’Tis the season of gigs by artists dropping new albums.In early April, the Valley indie-folk band Cloudbelly celebrated a new disc, “i know i know i know,” with back-to-back shows at The Parlor Room in Northampton, and Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini,...


Speaking of Nature: Indulging in eye candy: Finally, after such a long wait, it’s beginning to look like spring is here

04-16-2024 12:16 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

I have just about reached the end of my patience with the winter of 2024. I realize that this may sound a bit strange, especially because we are now in the beginning of spring, but those of us who bore the brunt of the April snowstorm may sympathize...


Weekly Food Photo Contest: This week’s winner: Nicholas Horton of Northampton

04-13-2024 8:01 AM

This week’s winner, Nicholas Horton of Northampton, made Ethiopian food at home with his daughter Nari Horton (also of Northampton) “with injera provided by a daughter visiting from Minneapolis.”Submit pics at features@gazettenet.com.


What does freedom look like today? On view at Williams College, seven Black American artists interpret the meaning of emancipation

04-12-2024 3:20 PM

By DON STEWART

Through July 14 at the Williams College Museum of Art you can view new works by seven of today’s leading Black American artists in “Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation.” The show, “conceived as a commemoration of the 160th anniversary...


Spring brings new art: A look at what's on tap in April at selected local galleries

04-12-2024 2:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

April weather can be fickle, as this week, with some warm, sunny days to start, followed by a few days of clouds and rain, has shown.But if you can’t get out into nature as much as you’d like, you can still see plenty of artwork in the region, which...


Book Bag: ‘Dear Oliver: An Unexpected Friendship With Oliver Sacks’ by Susan B. Barry; ‘Benjy’s Messy Room’ by Barbara Diamond Goldin

04-12-2024 11:54 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Dear Oliver: An Unexpected Friendship with Oliver SacksBy Susan R. BarryThe Experiment, LLCSusan Barry, a former Mount Holyoke College professor of neuroscience, behavior, and biology, was born with a significant case of strabismus — crossed eyes —...


Only Human with Joan Axelrod-Contrada: To journal or not to journal: Advice for when journaling feels like it’s holding you back

04-12-2024 8:43 AM

By JOAN AXELROD-CONTRADA

Anyone who’s ever kept a journal can relate to the song “Dear Diary” by the Moody Blues.The tune came out in 1969 at the height of my adolescent angst. I poured my misery into a pocket-sized pink diary with a lock to keep away prying eyes. Like the...


Arts Briefs: An arts festival at Smith College, a theatrical version of an iconic 1920s novel, and more

04-12-2024 8:40 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Editor’s note: The performance at Northampton’s A.P.E. Gallery tonight with Fumi Tomita has been canceled. However, Tomita and Allen Fowler will be present for the artist’s reception at the gallery from 5-8 p.m.​​​​​​A new arts celebrationNORTHAMPTON...


The risk in revealing: 2023 Grammy winner Madison Cunningham comes to Northampton

04-11-2024 10:19 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

Madison Cunningham, who comes to Northampton’s Academy of Music April 19, won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Folk Album, for her 2022 release, “Revealer.”In fact, Cunningham, who grew up in southern California and still lives there, also has won...


Speaking of Nature: Molting for amore: Spring has arrived and male goldfinches are starting to molt into their nuptial plumage

04-09-2024 12:16 PM

By BILL DANIELSON

It just so happens that I am a creature of habit and I always write my column on a Thursday. On this particular morning I find myself luxuriating in an unexpected, but most welcome, deviation from my normal routine. A huge winter storm has arrived and...


You’re up next: Western Mass open mic scene heats up post-pandemic

04-05-2024 2:04 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Not so long ago, there was a general lament sometimes heard among Valley musicians: “There aren’t enough places to play around here.”That might have been true for professional players who wanted to be paid — and maybe, despite the opening of new local...


Weekly Food Photo Contest: This week’s winner: Leslee Nuttelman of Florence

04-05-2024 2:03 PM

This very impressive-looking cake was sent in by Leslee Nuttelman of Florence. She says it’s “pistachio cake with a raspberry gelee filling and mascarpone whipped cream,” which sounds like the perfect combination of flavors. How to enter: Snap a pic...


Earth Matters: Why opposites attract: The magnetism between two things isn’t always fully explicable; sometimes it just feels right

04-05-2024 2:01 PM

By RACHEL QUIMBY

One of my favorite books from childhood is P.D. Eastman’s “Big Dog, Little Dog,” the story of two bi-pedal pooches who are best friends. But Fred is tall, and Ted is short; Fred drives slowly and Ted drives fast; Ted plays the tuba, and Fred plays the...


Get Growing with Mickey Rathbun: What good is an herbarium? Herbariums, like Emily Dickinson’s, are an essential resource for scientists

04-05-2024 2:01 PM

By MICKEY RATHBUN

The word “herbarium” sounds a bit quaint, even antiquated. We may think of Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, which she created during her year at Mount Holyoke in 1847-48. Although she had begun studying plants at age 9 and was helping her mother in the...


Let’s Talk Relationships: Talk to me like you love me: How to use words to love your partner better

04-05-2024 1:49 PM

By AMY NEWSHORE

As time goes by in a relationship, and partners get to know each other more, there will be inevitable hurts, disappointments and upsets. This is what happens when we share our life with another human being. We each come from our own backgrounds,...


For all the bragging rights (and one trophy): The winners of this year’s Valley Voices story slams head to a final competition

04-04-2024 3:33 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

The assignment is pretty straightforward: tell a concise story about your life, in no more than five minutes, that reflects a certain theme.The challenge is in telling that story with enough heart, spirit, verve, humor or whatever else you can conjure...


The Beat Goes On: Cloudbelly celebrates a new album in Northampton, Brazilian sounds come to Amherst, and more

04-04-2024 3:32 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Just days after former folk and Americana performer turned indie-pop singer Caroline Rose played in Florence, Cloudbelly, the Valley indie folk band led by singer-songwriter Corey Laitman, is set to showcase songs from a new album that has a...



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