County Fare: Native Dalton artist scores prized spots in book, exhibits

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Dalton native and portrait artist Brian DiNicola has had an incredible summer.

His artwork was selected by juror George Kinghorn, executive director and curator at the University of Maine Museum of Art, in a juried artist book competition hosted by publisher Studio Visit. More than 1,000 people entered the competition, and DiNicola is one of 350 artists who were invited to have their works featured in a full-color spread that includes an image, contact information and a brief artist statement, in one of two volumes of Studio Visit scheduled to be released this winter. It has a circulation throughout 2,000 galleries and museums, as well as into the hands of art aficionados across the country.

DiNicola, son of Geno and Kathie DiNicola of Dalton, will also have three of his works exhibited on opposite coasts.

His portrait "Rafael" will be in the 2017 California Open exhibition at TAG Gallery in Los Angeles. More than 1,700 entries were submitted DiNicola is one of 66 artists selected to participate. The exhibit runs through Aug. 26.

A second work, "Amber," can also be found in California, at Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach, in an exhibition called "Figures and Faces." More than 450 entries were received for this juried exhibit, and DiNicola is one of 23 participating artists, whose works are on view through Aug. 29.

Out here on the East Coast, "Somnambulant" will be shown at Galatea Fine Art Gallery in Boston, as part of the New England Collective VIII. The juried exhibition features 53 artists and is on view through Aug. 27.

When you look at Brian DiNicola's oil paintings, you can instantly see his rapt attention to details reflected in images at once extremely life-like yet ethereal.

In an artist statement, he says of his work: "I concentrate on figurative arts and its 'lost world.' I'm an artist who enjoys the texture of paint and the application of wet media. My background and work ethic was developed studying illustration then transition into portraiture. ... The human anatomy speaks narratives through clothing and adornments. These attributes are landscapes my hand becomes infatuated with."

Check out his works in progress via Instagram, @bldinicola.



Celebrating 77 years of 4-H youths

The Berkshire County Youth Fair will celebrate its 77th year this Saturday, but will be adding a few new features.

On display will be juried youth entries of arts, crafts, photography, vegetables, sewing, baking and woodworking; and youth-raised poultry, rabbits, sheep, cows, pigs, goats, horses and more.

For the livestock categories, fair organizers have added an "intermediate" class, as well as a model horses exhibit in the crafts section, according to a 4-H newsletter.

Saturday's fair will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 4-H Fairgrounds on Utility Drive, off of Holmes Road, in Pittsfield. The event will also include an Open Youth Horse Gymkhana, with a show at 10:30 a.m. There will also be a food booth and artist vendors on site.

All the works submitted represent what youths between 5 and 18 years old are capable of. The fair is run by 4-H Youth for all youths and is free and open to the public.

Fiora Caligiuri-Randall, 14, of Lee, serves as the vice president and entertainment coordinator for the Berkshire 4-H Youth Fair Association, the group of 11- to 18-year-olds that work all year to organize the annual 4-H fair. For the past few years, the fair has included a Youth Showcase of performances.

"This year our Youth Showcase is extra special," she said. "We are featuring more schools than ever before!"

Youth groups slated to perform include Berkcirque, Cantarella Dance, Berkshire Music School, Dalton Dance, U.S. Taekwondo, Terpsichore Dance, Funkbox Hip Hop, Youth Alive and Berkshire Children's Theater.

Caligiuri-Randall said that, as part of her 4-H Leadership Project, she's coordinated the rental of the mobile Pittsfield Art About Stage. "I hire a sound technician and system, and I personally raise the $200 to pay for it," she said.

Leadership is a big part of the Berkshire 4-H Youth initiative. This includes having a team of Berkshire County 4-H ambassadors who are ready and able to talk with groups about their program and community service.

And speaking of leadership, Scott S. Robinson of Lenox, head of Berkshire County 4-H Fair Inc., will be marking is 44th year as a Berkshire County 4-H volunteer. He and his wife, Joan, became involved in 4-H when their four sons were young. His sons, now grown, have set up the Scott S. Robinson 4-H scholarship fund to recognize their father's dedication to the organization, and makes available each year a $500 scholarship to "reward a 4-H candidate who is seeking to better him or herself with higher education."

Folks interested in supporting this and other efforts of Berkshire County 4-H can call 413-448-8285; visit the office in Suite 205 in the federal building at 78 Center St., in Pittsfield; email angelica@umext.umass.edu or lauriec@umext.umass.edu; or learn more at http://ag.umass.edu/mass4h.


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