Free Family Event Brings Switzerland to the Clark December 28

For Immediate Release

December 04, 2006

Alpine amusements abound at the free Swiss Bliss Family Day at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Thursday, December 28. The mountains and merriment of Switzerland will visit the Berkshires from 11 am to 3 pm offering a family exploration of Swiss culture. Paint a cowbell, snowshoe up Stone Hill, attempt to win the “Unspunnen Stone” throwing contest, or take in a family gallery talk of the current exhibition Alpine Views: Alexandre Calame and the Swiss Landscape. Gallery admission and activities are free.

Inspired by the traditional national contest of Switzerland, the Clark will hold its own Unspunnen Stone throwing contest. The original Unspunnen Stone weighed over 150 pounds but the Clark’s version of the “stone” will be considerably less. There will be two contests for children, one for ages six to 12 and one for ages 13 to 18. Try your best to hurl the “stone” as far as possible and plant a Swiss flag with your name where it lands. At the end of the day, the farthest distance from the starting point wins. The two winners will receive large Toblerone sampler boxes.

Imagine trekking in the Alps while snowshoeing (or hiking depending on the amount of snow) up Stone Hill on a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff from The Mountain Goat who will help identify the mountain ranges surrounding the Clark. Feel like yodeling? Treks depart at 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, and 2:30 pm. A limited number of snowshoes will be available for use free of charge. Those owning snowshoes are encouraged to bring them.

Paint a Swiss cowbell and craft a Toblerone bear ornament during art-making activities. Those with an affinity for Swiss chocolate will enjoy creating a Toblerone candy jar. The decorative jars, with a Swiss theme of course, will hold a sample piece of each of the five types of Toblerone chocolate (limit of one per family).

At 12 and 2 pm view the rugged and stunning landscape of the Alps with a family gallery tour of Alpine Views. Alexandre Calame was a native Swiss painter who grew up near Lake Geneva.His paintings of the Swiss landscape are remarkably naturalistic depictions of lakes, high peaks, and rushing waterfalls. All works included in Alpine Views are from the collection of Asbjorn R. Lunde. The exhibition is sponsored by Toblerone.

Round out the afternoon with the film Heidi (1937, 88 minutes, rated G), starring Shirley Temple, on the big screen in the Clark’s auditorium at 3 pm.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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