Arts Briefs: A musical goodbye at Anchor House of Artists, varied exhibits in Amherst and Northampton, and more

Northampton pianist Eliot Cardinaux, seen here at a show in Brooklyn, New York, will play a farewell show Dec. 30 at Anchor House of Artists in Northampton.

Northampton pianist Eliot Cardinaux, seen here at a show in Brooklyn, New York, will play a farewell show Dec. 30 at Anchor House of Artists in Northampton. PHOTO BY PETER GANNUSHKIN

“Family Story,” a sculptural print by Julie Lapping Rivera, is part of a group exhibit of printmakers opening Jan. 5 at the refurbished Mezzanine Gallery at 33 Hawley in Northampton.

“Family Story,” a sculptural print by Julie Lapping Rivera, is part of a group exhibit of printmakers opening Jan. 5 at the refurbished Mezzanine Gallery at 33 Hawley in Northampton. IMAGE COURTESY OF A.P.E. ARTS

 “Playing to the Tide,” a collage print by B.Z. Reily, is part of an exhibit at  Mezzanine Gallery at 33 Hawley in Northampton.

“Playing to the Tide,” a collage print by B.Z. Reily, is part of an exhibit at Mezzanine Gallery at 33 Hawley in Northampton. IMAGE BY MANDANAMARSH.COM/ COURTESY A.P.E. ARTS

NRBQ plays a New Year’s Eve show at The Drake in Amherst; the group’s Dec. 30 show at the club has already sold out.

NRBQ plays a New Year’s Eve show at The Drake in Amherst; the group’s Dec. 30 show at the club has already sold out. IMAGE FROM THE DRAKE WEBSITE

  “A Simple Circle” at the Burnett Gallery at Jones Library that juxtaposes antique photos with modern ones  by James Gehrt.

“A Simple Circle” at the Burnett Gallery at Jones Library that juxtaposes antique photos with modern ones by James Gehrt. IMAGE FROM BURNETT GALLERY/JONES LIBRARY WEBSITE

An image of the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst is part of an exhibit by Michael Medeiros at the Burnett Gallery at Jones Library.

An image of the Emily Dickinson Homestead in Amherst is part of an exhibit by Michael Medeiros at the Burnett Gallery at Jones Library. IMAGE FROM BURNETT GALLERY/JONES LIBRARY WEBSITE

Published: 12-22-2023 2:16 PM

Modified: 12-23-2023 9:13 AM


A stylish and artistic send-off

NORTHAMPTON — Anchor House of Artists, which is closing for a couple weeks beginning Dec. 24, will be open Dec. 30 to host a send-off for pianist and poet Eliot Cardinaux, who has spent much of the past decade shuttling between Northampton and Europe but is now moving to Denmark.

A native of Ohio, Cardinaux studied jazz piano at The Manhattan School of Music as well as contemporary improvisation at the New England Conservatory. He’s released a number of albums, which reflect the musical and cultural influences he’s soaked up living and performing in different places.

He’s published his poetry in a number of publications, and he’s also the founder of The Bodily Press, through which he’s released the works of other poets.

The Anchor House event, which runs from at 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., will feature Cardinaux performing and reading some of his recent works, as well as word and sound performances by friends and colleagues.

Jukin’ with Johnny

NORTHAMPTON — They may have made their start in the same place Bruce Springsteen did and soaked up some of the Boss’ sound and vibe. But Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes have staked out their own turf during a nearly five-decade career.

With 30-plus albums under its belt, and a long history of touring worldwide, the band will add Northampton to its list of stages when it comes to the Academy of Music Dec. 28 at 8 p.m.

The Jukes, led by singer John Lyon, has evolved over the years as more of a white R&B horn band in the Memphis Stax Records tradition and is known for high-energy shows and good-time songs like “I Don’t Wanna Go Home,” “Havin’ a Party,” “The Fever,” and “Talk to Me.”

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for the show.

Back in business

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NORTHAMPTON — The Northampton Community Arts Trust building, also known as 33 Hawley, is preparing for a busy 2024, now that extensive interior work to finish the arts center, construction of which began 10 years ago, is just about finished.

Beginning Jan. 5 and running through the 28th, the Mezzanine Gallery at 33 Hawley will feature “A Sense of Place,” the work of printmakers Suzanne Artemieff, Liz Chalfin, Lindsey Clark-Ryan, BZ Reily, Julie Lapping Rivera, Edda Valborg Sigurðardóttir, and Annie Silverman.

The exhibit, curated by Rivera, showcases work the artists created when they spent time in residencies in different places. As program notes put it, “While each [artist] has created work that explores ‘a sense of place’ as a connecting theme, this exhibit offers up a range of approaches and techniques.”

For instance, Sigurðardóttir, who grew up in the Iceland, where there are few trees to obstruct long-range views, is drawn to the horizon, with her work focusing on images of land meeting sky.

Rivera’s prints, by contrast, are inspired by a residency in Venice, Italy, while Reilly’s reflect her experience living in the historic village of La Bastide, in southern France, during a residency.

There will be an artists’ reception at the gallery Jan. 12, Arts Night Out, from 5-8 p.m. Community members also will have an opportunity that evening to tour the renovated Arts Trust building.

And on Jan. 25th from 7-8 p.m., the Mezzanine Galley will host a poetry reading with members of a local writing collective, with works that reflect on the theme of “place.”

Tickets going fast

AMHERST — The Drake is preparing to ring in 2024 with a couple of shows by a longtime Valley favorite, NRBQ. Unfortunately, one of the concerts, on Dec. 30, has already sold out.

So you may want to move fast if the you want to catch “the Q” (or New Rhythm & Blues Quartet if you need the full name) on Dec. 31 at 9 p.m. Opening the show are some other Valley favorites, LuxDeluxe, experienced rockers who “love NRBQ with all their might,” as program notes put it, and aren’t afraid to show it.

NRBQ, led by the band’s one original member, keyboardist Terry Adams, traces its origins back to the 1960s, but the group first gained real traction beginning in the 1970s when it had its longest running lineup of Adams, guitarist Al Anderson, bassist Joey Spampinato, and drummer Tom Ardolino.

Over the years, moving through a number of lineup changes, NRBQ has served as the unofficial house band for several seasons of “The Simpsons”; inspired cover versions by Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, Darlene Love, Dave Edmunds, and other artists; and played stages as diverse as the Berlin Jazz Festival, the Grand Ole Opry, and Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival.

Doors for the Dec. 31 Drake show open at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at thedrakeamherst.org.

Historically themed art

AMHERST — Through the end of this month, the Burnett Gallery at the Jones Library is featuring a dual exhibit in which the presenting artists have drawn on two significant names from U.S. history — the Kodak camera and Emily Dickinson — for inspiration.

“A Simple Circle” includes specially designed photographs by James Gehrt that are designed to recall the original round photographs produced by the Kodak camera, which he says revolutionized photography when it came along in the late 1800s.

Gehrt, who collects these early photographs, takes images that appeal to him and creates his own matching round photographs on silver gelatin prints as a point of comparison. He gilds the edges of his photos like the Kodak originals, he says, but then enlarges them and mounts them on 11-by-14-inch boards.

“My work ... is an homage to the evolution from analog to digital images … creating a visual dialogue across 135 years,” Gehrt writes in exhibit notes.

And in “Gem Tactics — Practicing Sands,” Michael Medeiros contributes numerous photographs of the Emily Dickinson Homestead, along with ceramics and printmaking inspired by the famous poet.

Medeiros, formerly the public relations coordinator at the Emily Dickinson Museum, says his goal with the exhibit has been to “explore notions of physical and creative space,” and to use his time working among the homes and gardens of the Dickinson property to imagine how they affected the poet’s work and life.

The title of his exhibit is taken from the two concluding lines of Dickinson’s poem “We Play at Paste.”

— Compiled by Steve Pfarrer