Museum free-for-all this weekend in the Berkshires


Mass MoCA

On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mass MoCA will open its doors for the North Adams' museum's annual Free Day.

Musicians will perform in the enormous industrial freight elevator as part of the Elevator Music Festival.

The Kidspace gallery will become a carnival for the day, with a tattooed lady dispensing temporary tattoos, a mysterious gypsy fortune teller, face painting and an "art bar" offering materials for customized artmaking. Exhibit-themed art activities will include dragon puppets in honor of the giant suspended metal phoenix sculptures of Chinese artist Xu Bing and miniature drawings inspired by the Sol LeWitt murals that fill an entire building on the sprawling campus.

Performers from the Berkshire Dance Theatre and local educational institutions will dance for the delight of the crowd, while those in the mood to move can groove with a pop-up "flash mob."

Savor complimentary slices of carrot cake courtesy of onsite café Lickety Split, which will also offer a fried chicken dinner at the psychedelic Latin dance party with Brooklyn-based band Chicha Libre at 8 p.m. that evening.

There is no charge for Free Day gallery admission and activities. Tickets to the dance party are $10 in advance, $14 at the door and free for children under 12. Information: www. (413) 662-2111.

BCC Dog show

From chihuahua to Leonberger, dogs of all breeds and combinations will descend on Paterson Field House at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the 12th annual Not Your Average Dog Show.

Each year, well-behaved canines and their human companions enter contests such as "Looks Most Like Owner," and "Earresistible Ears," while the "Mystery Mutt" category challenges judges to guess the often impenetrable mix of breeds before them.

For the "Best Dressed" contest, dogs don costumes for a parade. Past years have seen puppy firefighters, a hula dancer complete with coconut bra, and a doberman posing as a poodle.

Plenty of Fido fans come to watch the proceedings, with and without dogs in tow.

Admission is free, and donations support the college annual fund. Information: www., (413) 236-2185.

Norman Rockwell Museum

On Saturday, from 1 to 4 p.m., local teens take center stage at the opening of the 27th Annual Berkshire High School Art Show at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

In the group show, some 100 young artists from more than a dozen local public and private schools express their abundant creativity in media from digital photography and painting to ceramics and sculpture.

The opening will include a celebratory reception and a talk at 2 p.m. by James Warhola, award-winning illustrator of chilren's books, science ficction magazines and more.

His picture book, "Uncle Andy's," describes in colorful detail a childhood family visit to the house of his famous uncle, Andy Warhol, whose work inspired Warhola's choice of career.

Admission to the show, which runs through March 10, is free. Information: www.nrm
.org (413) 298-4100.


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