Lots of interesting arts news in the Williamstown / North Adams corridor the last few months, none of which (I believe) has yet to be mentioned here. In my view, one of the best things that can happen to the region is a continued influx of artists and museum visitors. Not only because art / artists / art aficionados are cool, but when artists come, interesting cafes, restaurants, and bars tend to follow.

First, Sol LeWitt, creator of the iconic wall drawing in the WCMA, recently passed away. But his legacy will live on for at least the next 25 years at MassMoca, which has commissioned what looks to be a spectacular semi-permanent installation of his enormous wall drawings. Just the sort of art that MassMoca is uniquely positioned to exhibit due to its cavernous, raw spaces, and something which I imagine will attract a lot of visitors to North Adams.

Speaking of North Adams, the Contemporary Artists Center recently disclosed a plan to potentially move into the vacant Notre Dame Church in downtown North Adams. Bringing more art and artists downtown while rehabilitating unused historic downtown space seems like a win-win proposition.

In less happy news from North Adams (and a cautionary tale about relying too much on artists, who have a tendency to be, ummm, unpredicatable, as an engine for economic growth), an interesting article on a dispute over an installation at MassMoca’s Building Five (which has housed some of the coolest contemporary exhibits I’ve seen, as well as some truly cryptic ones).

While I’m on North Adams, a little off the art topic, but I had to mention this. A microbrewery is coming to town!!! I very, very much hope that Cold River eventually expands to become a brew pub feauring food and a bar. There is no equivalent in the immediate area, and I am sure that Williams students and young faculty would prove to be very loyal and enthusiastic customers if the food and beer are top quality.

Back to art, one more topic that I’ve heard, strangely, very little about: the Clark’s massive expansion. Is this underway? If so, how does the progress look so far? The plans look spectacular, and I like the idea of another full service restaurant in Williamstown as part of the plans.

Finally, the Clark, among other area attractions, gets a mention in this recent NYTimes feature on family activities in the Berkshires. As someone who has recently completed a llama hike in the D.C. area, I highly recommend it for kids and adults alike.

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