The Clark Announces "Berkshire Backyards"Contest Winners

For Immediate Release

March 19, 2005

Local amateur artists and their friends, family, and special guests enjoyed the opening reception for the art contest "Berkshire Backyards" at the Clark last night. First, second and third place winners in the contest were announced as the show went on view.
Francis Oakley, president of the Clark and former president of Williams College, presented awards in three age categories.  The show is on view through April 10.  Admission is free.

The "Berkshire Backyards" art contest encouraged amateur artists to draw inspiration from the local landscape.  Over 150 entrants, from ages three to 87, answered the Clark's call for pictures depicting visions of the Berkshires.  Entries were received in various media, including oil paint, acrylic, watercolor, crayon, pastel, and collage.  All entries submitted are included in the show.  Pictures are displayed in the order they were received, meaning many parent and child examples are hung side by side in this unique show. 

In the youth category (ages up to 12) first prize was awarded to Sarah Jane White, of Shaftsbury, VT, for her artwork titled "Autumn in the Berkshires."  Olivia Ciolfi, of Pittsfield, MA, took second prize with "Bash Bish Falls."  "A Berkshire Mountain Scape" by Lindsey A. Keating, of North Adams, MA, earned third.

Taking first prize in the teen category (ages 13 to 18) was Hannah Cochran, of Williamstown, MA, with "Logging Road."  Second prize went to Ben Poulin, of Williamstown, MA, for "A Winter Day at Mount Hope."  Min An Kwan's "Stockbridge Bowl in Winter" was awarded third.  Kwan is from Pittsfield, MA.

Receiving first prize in the adult category was Charlemont, MA, resident Sandra Denis with "Spring Shower."  Kate Knapp, of Alford, MA, was awarded second prize with "View from My Studio Window, Housatonic. "Berkshire Winter" by Linda L. Freeney, a North Adams, MA, resident, took third prize.

Taking on the difficult task of judging the artwork were Representative Daniel E. Bosley of the 1st Berkshire District; David Bissaillion, of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce; Lesley Ann Beck, of Berkshires Week; Seth Rogovoy, of Berkshire Living; Maria Mingalone, of the Berkshire Museum; and Regina Burgio, of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau.
Prizes were donated by Northern Berkshire Creative Arts, Buster's Entertainment Center in Pittsfield, IS183, Miller Supply Company in Pittsfield, Jiminy Peak, and MASS MoCA.
"Berkshire Backyards" will be on view at the Clark through Sunday, April 10, when, as the finale of the show, a free family day will be held from 1 to 4 p.m., celebrating the region.  Activities will include guided hikes up Stone Hill, gallery talks, landscape-making art activities, and an interactive performance of Berkshire-related folk songs by local singer/songwriter JoAnne Spies.

The "Berkshire Backyards" contest celebrates the current exhibition, A Walk in the Country: Inness and the Berkshires, on view through April 17.  The exhibition of 15 paintings marks the first time the Berkshire subjects of the prominent 19th century artist Inness have been examined together.

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts.   The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is free through May.  For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.


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