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Family Day to Bring the Carnival Atmosphere of Victorian Seaside to the Clark July 27

For Immediate Release

July 11, 2003

Roving stilt walkers and magicians, sea chanty sing-a-longs, and a Punch and Judy show will bring the carnival atmosphere of the Victorian British seaside to the Clark Art Institute on Sunday, July 27. A sandy "beach" (courtesy of artist Eric Rudd) and pirate ship ride will add to the fun as the Clark celebrates its summer exhibition Turner: The Late Seascapes. Entertainment and activities for all ages will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

For the family day, the Clark's east parking lot will be transformed into a "beach" by Eric Rudd of the Contemporary Arts Center in North Adams. Kids and adults alike are encouraged to play in the sand. Visitors may have their picture taken in old-fashioned bathing costumes and see Victorian "bathing machine." A pirate ship amusement ride will operate from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Stiltwalker "George W. Longleggs" will roam the grounds, as will juggler "Lord Bozoris." Indoor fun will include an aquatic petting zoo provided by the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield.

The air-conditioned Clark auditorium will host live entertainment throughout the day, beginning with an 11 a.m. "Punch and Judy" show by the Robbins-Zust Family Marionettes. The troupe will return at 3 p.m. for a puppet performance of "The Three Little Pigs." Based in Richmond, the Robbins-Zust Marionettes have performed with their hand-crafted puppets for children of all ages throughout the Northeast, including the Boston Children's Museum and the City Museum in New York.

At noon magician Steve Charett will perform a magic act filled with comedy and audience participation.

The Gloucester Hornpipe & Clog Society will present a performance and sing-along of sea chanties, hornpipes, and maritime ballads at 1 p.m. The five-member band performs on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, accordion, flute, tin whistle, fife, and other instruments. They have performed at the U.S.S. Constitution Museum, Old State House in Boston, and the International Folk Festival in County Donegal, Ireland.

Hands-on art activities for children will take place under a tent on the grounds. Kids will make admiral's or pirate's hats, seashell boxes, and marine flag wall hangings celebrating the exhibition's nautical theme.

Vendors will sell English and American beach food throughout the day. CulinArt, operators of the Clark Café, will offer fish and chips, beer (for adults), and ice cream. The Store at Five Corners will have a selection including offer bangers, London broil, and sandwiches. Tupelo Honey will serve wrap sandwiches, and Hot Tomatoes will serve pizza. The Taconic Restaurant's booth will offer burgers, hot dogs, and frozen fruit drinks. Cold Spring Coffee Roasters will serve iced coffee drinks and baked goods.

Where'd You Get That? Will sell balloons, the proceeds from with will help raise money for the Berkshire Food Project. The Clark museum shop features seafaring toys such as seahorse spinning tops, make-your-own sailboat kits, and fog whistles, as well as a wide selection of art reproductions related to the Turner show.

The Turner exhibition will be on view free of charge all day. Adults and kids alike are encouraged to enjoy the paintings with their ships, sea monsters, and ocean-going adventure. Free self-guided activity cards are available to help kids and their parents get the most out of the exhibition and the Clark's own collection.

J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851) was one of Britain's greatest artists. This exhibition explores the defining years of his career when, at the height of his artistic powers, he painted the sea as a stage for human drama and action. Turner: The Late Seascapes features 35 oil paintings and watercolors, including several never before seen in the United States, that represent the culmination of Turner's lifelong fascination with the sea. The Clark is the only North American venue for the show.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.  The galleries are open daily, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu/exhibitions/turner/.

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