Art & Soul at Chesterwood

Art & Soul at Chesterwood

In Massachusetts? Looking for a day trip that will fuel your art and soul? Well, here's an idea: visit Chesterwood in Stockbridge ~ the summer home and studio to Daniel Chester French! Who's that you might ask? Quick backstory: DCF was the sculpture artist most noted for his work in creating the Lincoln Memorial and the bronze Minute Man sculpture. In the early 1900's, French lived in Manhattan and would travel the three hours up to The Berkshires to get away from big city living, soak up some R&R and gain inspiration for his work. Flash forward over 100 years to what is now is a peaceful country museum nestled in the heart of The Berkshires; a beautiful mountain range that spans the western most part of the state (you all know that I can go on about this place). It is only fitting that French would have been drawn to this little slice of heaven as for decades The Berkshires have attracted, influenced and helped to shape some of the most talented artists in the world. For example, my pal and contemporary sculpture artist Michael Boroniec who was inspired by Chester French in his own creation of the Lincoln Memorial entitled "Honest Abe." Michael created this piece in 2012 after spending time at Chesterwood one summer. Depending on the angle, Abe wears a different expression:

Chester French actually worked on some (not all) of the Lincoln Memorial while living at Chesterwood, along with many other pieces of his work. The grounds of Chesterwood are uniquely set up so that you can visit French's studio gallery, his barn, his gardens and home ~ but what is so cool is that the space also has a natural way of incorporating both the architectural structures with the natural surrounding landscape that makes The Berkshires so unique. I took these photos back in the fall of 2012 during a bit of construction that was taking place on the property, but even on a cloudy day you can still get a feel for it's beauty...

Studio Space

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Aside from the buildings, there are well groomed trails that loop the property and offer a peaceful spaces for guests to stroll and ponder the art...or whatever may be on their minds.

A peaceful outlook to ponder art and life.

I've been to Chesterwood before ~ on a middle school field trip, to look at it as a potential wedding space for my own nuptials...but this specific trip was to see my friend Leslie's art which was on exhibit as a part of the "Boston Sculptors Gallery at Chesterwood 2015".

To show perspective, My Mom & I in front of Leslie's artwork. Made of stainless steel, screen, staples and lacquer paint, the piece emulates the Daniel Chester French's 19th century coat, as well as the skin of Cedar tree bark.

According to Caroline Bagel, this exhibit, featuring the works of 23 Boston Sculptors, was created to show "sculpture that responds in imaginative ways to the natural and cultural landscapes at Chesterwood. Some are playful and humorous, some historical, some ecological, a few architectural, while several take advantage of the existing trees and landscape features."

4 of the 23 pieces from the Boston Sculptors at Chesterwood 2015 exhibit.

And it does just that. Because this particular exhibit sits along the winding trails that I mentioned earlier, it has a way of taking you on your own little adventure...a nature walk through art; allowing the viewer to have their own journey to think inward ~ or to have a shared experience and evoke lively conversation (at least if you are with my husband & mom like I was).

Chesterwood is open all year long and always offers something unique to its visitors, but this particular exhibit runs through the end of October. Go there and check it out for yourself ~ it is sure to be a vibrant experience...exploration, art and nature always seem to do the spirit good. Check out more about the Boston Sculptor Gallery on Facebook or by checking out their website: http://www.bostonsculptors.com. And before you make the trip to Chesterwood, make sure to visit their site to see what is going on: http://chesterwood.org.

Three cheers for the creators and the thinkers!

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Pump up the jam!

Pump up the jam!

Mount Greylock: Rise & Shine

Mount Greylock: Rise & Shine