PHOTOS | Pittsfield Pop-up Art Galleries
PITTSFIELD — It's that time of year, again. Consumers get to ask themselves: To shop local, or not to shop local? This holiday season, the city is making it easier to get your hands on local art.
In addition to annual happenings like the Shire City Sanctuary Holiday Shindy, "A Christmas Carol" at the Colonial Theatre, and Dottie's gingerbread house decorating party, there are some new (temporary) kids on the block. Three pop-up galleries.
The spaces — located at 139, 431, and 437 North St. respectively — are a collaboration between at least 16 local artists, the city Office of Cultural Development and area property owners.
"The office of Cultural Development is the office of collaboration," said Jennifer Glockner, cultural development director. "People come to us with ideas and we do what we can to make it happen."
In this instance, Glockner ran with an idea from artist Scott Taylor.
Standing among his vibrant paintings inside the former Ferrin Gallery, Taylor explained pop-up galleries had been a success for him, on Union Street, several summers ago. He said he thought the time was right to try again.
"I've been primarily selling online," he said. "But I'm a Pittsfield artist and Pittsfield is my home. I think people need to know we are here."
Glockner said she worked with Crawford Square owner Steve Oakes, and Jae Chung, who holds 431 and 437 North St., to approve the temporary use of their spaces.
"It's a win-win," said Glockner. "Landlords get to let people know these spaces are available and we want to get people to think about buying art this holiday season."
Neither property owner could be reached for comment Thursday.
The three spaces offer a variety of paintings — some created on-the-spot — knitwear, handmade notebooks, candles, body products and jewelry.
Glockner said the pop-up spaces are an ideal complement to long-time art spaces like NUarts Artist Studios and Galleries, located at 311 North Street above Mad Macs, visits to Berkshire Museum's Festival of Trees, and more.
"You can spend all weekend in Pittsfield and have plenty to do," she said.
Thursday afternoon a few patrons perused the pop-up spaces.
"It's awesome," said Regina Burgio, browsing inside 437 North St. "To give something handmade and local is so much better than going to Amazon."
In some ways the pop-up galleries are a throwback to the former Storefront Artist Project, which has been credited with helping to spark the city's cultural rebirth. Launched in 2001 by artist Maggie Mailer, the SAP spent a decade pairing working artists with otherwise vacant commercial spaces on North Street.
The pop-up galleries are open Thursday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., now until Dec. 23.
Reach staff writer Carrie Saldo at 413-496-6221 or @carriesaldo.