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Rogovoy Report for April 5, 2013

Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield is offering a fresh look at its diverse collection of fine artworks, historical artifacts and natural science specimens in a new exhibition called Objectify: A Look into the Permanent Collection. The new display includes some of the most significant and fascinating objects from the museum’s holdings. The exhibit draws from the over 50,000 objects in the museum’s possession, including its Asian art collection, twentieth-century abstract paintings, ancient Greek and Roman jewelry and glass, marble sculptures, its Egyptian mummy, and even the suit of furs worn by Matthew Henson on Admiral Richard Peary’s expedition to the North Pole.  An opening reception will be held today from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and will be free and open to the public. The exhibition is part of the year-long celebration of the museum’s 110th anniversary. Two artists from the community, designer Peter Garlington and artist Leo Nash, are the guest curators; their ideas have resulted in an innovative exhibition that highlights the museum’s extensive collections in unexpected and surprising ways.  Visitors who have been to Berkshire Museum many times over the years will enjoy seeing favorite objects and artworks in a fresh setting, from Pahat the mummy to Bouguereau’s luminous painting The Shepherdess. Some fine examples of paintings from the Hudson River School will be included, as will many of the natural science specimens, from a crocodile skull to delicate shells and colorful minerals.

Project Native presents a free, day-long environmental film festival at the Triplex Cinema in downtown Great Barrington on Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. The third annual Project Native Film Festival showcases documentary films on a variety of topics, including 90-minute features and a series of short films for children, that illuminate global issues and actions affecting our shared future. The award-winning documentary films include Bidder 70, Bitter Seeds, The Carbon Rush, People of a Feather, and YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip.

Legendary Canadian DJ King Khan will spin a mash-up of vintage soul, classic R+B, and wicked funk in a dance party in the Hunter Center that caps off MASS MoCA's 3-2-1! A Gala Celebration on Saturday at 8:30pm. It will be a worthy send-off celebration of the largest assemblage of Canadian artwork ever exhibited outside of the country. Oh, Canada is also the largest collection of art MASS MoCA has ever exhibited. ArishAmhad King Khan began his music career in the mid-'90s garage punk scene of Montreal. Since then, many collaborations and musical projects have emerged with King Khan as the centerpiece, including King Khan and The Shrines, The Black Jaspers, King Khan And His Lonesome Guitar, The Almighty Defenders, Tandoori Knights. Attempts to describe King Khan's sound have included "garage punk," "psychedelic soul," "rad-o-rama," "gospel supergroup," and "vintage boogaloo.” King Khan's musical group has been lauded as "more than just revivalists, but pranksters too."

While widespread name recognition may have evaded Alejandro Escovedo over the years, he certainly has garnered the attention of a diverse array of fellow musicians with whom in one way or another he has crossed paths. These include producing pals such as Stephen Bruton, John Cale, Chris Stamey and, most recently, David Bowie producer Tony Visconti, and songwriting fellows such as Chuck Prophet. Escovedo brings his band, the Sensitive Boys, to Club Helsinki Hudson on Sunday at 8pm for an acoustic concert.

The Texas-raised Mexican-American is the uncle of pop-funk star Sheila E and a one time punk-rocker mostly playing original alt-country music since before there was such a term. his music today ranges from Velvet Underground-style drone rock to classic punk to Los Lobos-like Chicano rock to idiosyncratic, character-based visionary music along the lines of Tom Waits.  That’s Alejandro Escovedo on Sunday at Club Helsinki Hudson. 

Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkshire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, online at ROGOVOY REPORT DOT COM.

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